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This ancient drama by classical author Euripides tells a tension-filled story of chastity and lust. Hippolytus is the illegitimate son of Theseus, Duke of Athens, and an Amazonian mother. Hippolytus has angered the goddess of love, Aphrodite, because he has sworn to be chaste and will not honor her, preferring instead to worship Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. Scorned by this insult, Aphrodite takes revenge on Hippolytus by causing his stepmother Phaedra to fall madly in love with him. Consumed by what she knows to be an illicit passion, Phaedra grows ill, unable to eat or sleep, because she must suppress her feelings for her stepson. Her nurse, however, convinces Phaedra to confide in her, and Phaedra finally reveals her secret. But the nurse goes straight to Hippolytus with this news, and the revelation has disastrous consequences. He reacts with violent disgust. Meanwhile, Phaedra, ashamed, hangs herself in an attempt to preserve her honor. When Theseus arrives to find his wife dead, he also discovers a letter on her body, indicating that Hippolytus is the cause of her death. A tragic misinterpretation of Phaedra’s words sets the scene for the final calamity that has been set in motion by the meddling gods.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
The Cyprian, in God's inmost halls on high.
And wreck that life that lives in stubbornness.
That hungereth for the praise of human kind.
To more than mortal friendship consecrate!
Was opened, nor needs now much labour more.
Seeking the vision of the Mysteries.
With great love, by the working of my ...
Ratings for 'Hippolytus' by Euripides