Ancient greek mythology and religion Hippolytus by Euripides by lanyuehua


									Ancient greek mythology and religion

Hippolytus by Euripides

Hippolytus, a little history

       First performed in 428 BC
       Hippolytus is Theseus’s son by the Amazon Queen
       He’s named after his mother, not his father
       He’s a crazy chaste man
       This is not normal in the Greek world, he would have been very strange to the Greeks.


       The prologue opens with Aphrodite and her monologue. She tells the introduction
       Aphrodite is angry that Hippolytus has slighted her by staying chaste. He will not have sex
       He just hangs out with Artemis and hunts with her and frolics in the wood
       She is determined to punish him for his sins against her apparently
       So she makes his stepmother Phaedra fall in love with him
       Phaedra won’t tell anyone but Aphrodite is determined that Theseus find out. She is sure that
        he will cause Hippolytus to die because three of his wishes Poseidon has promised will come
       Scene 1: hippolytus enters and he’s singing to Artemis
       He offers a garland to Artemis by placing it on her altar
       A servant asks him why he will not give any praise to Aphrodite. He says that he does worship
        her, just from afar
       The servants are worried about Phaedra
            o She lays in the house
            o She won’t eat
       The nurse to the queen comes out with a cloud upon her face
       Scene II
       The nurse says that it’s easier to be sick then to tend to the sick
       Phaedra sings praises to Artemis and her nurse is confused
       Phaedra knows that her madness was sent by a god
       She is ashamed of it
       The nurse knows that she is starving herself to death
       Theseus does not know that she is quite sick, she lies to him and he is away in foreign lands
       The nurse speaks Hippolytus’s name and notices that it has an effect on Phaedra
   Phaedra resists telling the nurse for a while, she says that her honor lies in silence
   Phaedra btw was the daughter of king minos and sister to Ariadne, bride of Dionysus
   The nurse finds out about her love for Hippolytus
   Phaedra says that when she first realized she was in love she figured she would just keep silent
    about it. But that didn’t work out for her so she’s resolved to die
   The nurse says to her, so what? You’re in love, that doesn’t mean you have to die.
   She says why don’t you just hang out with Hippolytus then? If you can’t be silent then just go
    through with it.
   The nurse promises not to tell Hippolytus
   Scene III
   Phaedra declares herself the most miserable and ruined of women
   She is eavesdropping
         o The nurse told Hippolytus
   Phaedra decides that she should probably die now
   The conversation between the nurse and Hippolytus:
         o He is horrified by the revelation that Phaedra loves him
         o He promises not to tell anyone that she loves him
         o Bur he’s really not very nice about women in general. He calls them wicked and says
              they are a curse
         o He says that women’s presence is a “taint” and a plague.
         o Men waste money on women apparently, whether she a daughter or a wife
         o He hates clever women and the only useful ones are simple
         o He never wants a wife
         o Wow. What a chauvinist.
   Phaedra believes that she is ruined
   She goes nuts on the nurse and yells at her for speaking of it to Hippolytus
   She tells the chorus that she’ll die, but she’s determined to bring sorrow upon another:
   Phaedra hangs herself
   Scene IV
   Theseus enters
   He wants to see Phaedra and wonders why she is dead
   Scene V
   Theseus does not understand why Phaedra is dead
   He finds a tablet in her hand
   It’s a letter from her to Theseus telling him that Hippolytus raped her
   He then calls upon Poseidon and curses Hippolytus
         o Wants Hippolytus dead
   The chorus entreats him to call back his curses or regret them
   Theseus says no, and adds banishment to his curses
   Hippolytus enters, wanting to know why he hears crying
      He sees the body of Phaedra and is shocked. He wants to know why she is dead
      He denies that he is not chaste and tells his father that he is a virgin
      Theseus sees phaedra’s death as confirmation of Hippolytus’ guilt
      So he’s exiled
      At the end of the scene, the chorus sees one of Hippolytus’s servants approaching looking sad
      Scene VI
      The messenger tells Theseus is that Hippolytus is dying by his own curses and his chariot
      Apparently they had been on the shore and Hippolytus was quite torn up about his banishment
       but sure that he must obey his father
      A huge wave came and freaked out the horses and they bolted. Hippolytus was caught in the
       reins and dragged along rocks
      Somehow he got free
      Theseus says bring him to me


      Artemis comes to Theseus
      She tells Theseus the whole story and thus the truth
      She yells at him for using one of his curses on his own son
      Poseidon isn’t happy about this either
      She says that she and Theseus are the sufferers in this story
      Hippolytus appears (he’s still dying)
      Artemis says that she will avenge Hippolytus’ death by messing with the next mortal Aphrodite
      She then gives Hippolytus honors:
           o Honors of Troezen
           o Unmarried maids will cut their hair before their day of marriage in honor of him
           o Girls will sing of him
      Hippolytus forgives his father
      The end

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