It would follow then that Euripides would have had an ironic intent in titling the second version Hippolytus Crowned, as if to say, “and that’s how the zebra got his stripes. However, the nurse quickly retracts her initial response and tells Phaedra that she has a magical charm to cure her. The nurse, after making Hippolytus swear not to tell anyone, informs Hippolytus of Phaedra's desire and suggests that Hippolytus consider yielding to her. [4] A Handbook of Classical Drama, Philip Whaley Harsh (Stanford Univ. When Phaedra then reveals her love to Hippolytus and is violently rebuffed by him, she becomes profoundly vulnerable. that Phaedra simply killed herself out of guilt for Hippolytus’ death and that the goddess Artemis subsequently told Theseus the truth. Stanford University Press, 1944. Rather, men should have put down in the temples either bronze or iron or a mass of gold and have bought offspring, each man for a price corresponding to his means, and then dwelt in houses free from the female sex.” Not exactly a decent one, don’t you think? Theseus got angry and cursed Hippolytus with one of the three curses he had received from Poseidon. He can’t admit to any mistakes, faults or errors in judgment. She is responsible for Theseus’ rage at Hippolytus that leads to his banishment and the curse of Neptune upon him. And certainly not one which could appease Aphrodite. Phaedra claims if she cannot act on her passion she must kill herself, and the nurse agrees to help her win Hippolytus. Versions of this story appear in Euripides' play Hippolytus, Seneca the Younger's play Phaedra, Ovid's Metamorphoses and Heroides, and Jean Racine's Phèdre. Thinking that anything is better than facing him, Phaedra decided to kill herself. Theseus returns and discovers his wife's dead body. The messenger protests Hippolytus' innocence, but Theseus refuses to believe him. Since they contradict each other, we decided to share them with you separately; after all, both deserve to be narrated in full. On balance, her problems appear greater than Hippolytus’ such that she is the character in whose fate we become invested. She was the wife of Theseus, but she fell in love with her husband's son, Hippolytus. The play is set in Troezen, a coastal town in the north-eastern Peloponnese. [1], Euripides first treated the myth in a previous play, Hippolytos Kalyptomenos (Ἱππόλυτος καλυπτόμενος – Hippolytus Veiled), which is now lost; what is known of it is based on echoes found in other ancient writings.

Nonetheless, Seneca’s tragedies were taken quite seriously as drama by subsequent generations of playwrights, most notably the Elizabethans in England but also not inconsiderably the Italians and the French. His cult believed that Artemis asked Asclepius to resurrect the young man since he had vowed chastity to her. The point of attack in the story comes with the news that Theseus is dead. Phaedra concedes that the nurse is right in her admonitions to Phaedra not to act out her desires, but claims she can’t help herself: What power has guiding reason? Seneca then fully exploits the action/adventure entertainment value in the messenger’s story of Hippolytus’ demise under attack from the bull-like sea monster. Hippolytus swore that he would not reveal the nurse as a source of information – even after Phaedra killed herself and falsely accused him of raping her in a suicide note, which Theseus read.

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