Phaedra is consumed with passion for Hippolytus, her stepson. Believing her husband dead, she confesses her love to him and is rebuffed. When her husband returns alive, Phaedra convinces him that it was Hippolytus who attempted to seduce her. In his interpretation, Racine replaced the stylized... show more
Phaedra is consumed with passion for Hippolytus, her stepson. Believing her husband dead, she confesses her love to him and is rebuffed. When her husband returns alive, Phaedra convinces him that it was Hippolytus who attempted to seduce her. In his interpretation, Racine replaced the stylized tragedy with human-scale characters and actions. Introduction by Richard Wilbur.
Publish date: September 4th 1987
Publisher: Mariner Books
Pages no: 132
Edition language: English
, European Literature
, French Literature
, 17th Century
I am surprised at how easy this was to read. After reading little bits on my commute, I sat down and finished it in a day. Shame colors Phaedra’s life and blinds her completely to any solution other than death. She is not a reasonable person at any point until the very end when she has seen the cons...
This is apparently Racine's last play before he gave up the theatre scene to return to a religious life within the Jansenist sect. For those who don't know what a Jansenist is (and that would probably include most of us) then picture a god who is mean, nasty, and smacks you over the head with a base...
Greek families! Histrionics, rash reaction instead of considered response, inability to control emotion. Tragedy.I don't know much about this play: what was Racine's source? It feels very Classical Greek and very Ted Hughes and not really French at all in this version. The language is not as extreme...
Racine amps up the pathos from Euripides’ version of the play. Phedra transforms from Grecian homewrecker to a French victim of amour. Her forbidden love is the product of a cruel Venus. The responsibility for Hippolytus’ death shifts to her over protective nurse, Oenone. Phedra suffers as a pow...
When is one guilty of something, when one commits the reprehensible deed, and only one knows it, or when it is made known to others?Phèdre thinks that the latter case is a great deal worse, worse even than death:je meurs pour ne point faire un aveu si funesteje n’en mourrai plus, j’en mourrai plus c...
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