Jacqueline Long Study Questions These questions suggest directions for you to pursue your ideas about feminism and Classical tragedy. Questions about upcoming readings generally flag concerns I expect will be important in class discussions.
Every character in the play suffers to some degree. Indeed, it is their suffering that serves, on one level at least, to create a community that is organized as a kind of counterpoint to the other community in the play—that of the gods who weigh in upon the lives of the characters.
Significantly, it is the intersection of these two communities that proves problematic in the play, as the supernatural figure of Aphrodite, in particular, steps forward as a force that must be appeased in her desire for followers.
At another level, though, Hippolytus is a play that speaks directly to the cultural and philosophic concerns of more modern times. The play asks many of the tough questions that philosophers and writers have struggled with for millennia. Is there a higher power ordering this world as a kind of transcendent guide to a right and good life?
Is there such a thing as a just world or truthful world? What are the powers and limitations of reason and intelligence in dealing with this world? And finally, is it possible to live an ethical or moral life given these questions? As Robert Bagg's translation titled Hippolytos underscores, these questions are offered and answered with a deep and respectful sense of the power of language.
The consensus is that Euripides was born on September 23, b.
Mnesarchus or Mnesarchides was his father's name, and Euripides's mother was believed to be named Cleito. Although few solid details of his childhood survive, there is evidence that Euripides was greatly influenced in his youthful reading by such writers as Protagoras c.
Euripides was reportedly married twice, once to a woman named Choerile and also to a woman named Melito, though it is unclear which woman was his first wife and which woman was his second. Very little is known of his life beyond his work as a tragedian writer of tragedies. He is considered the last of the three great tragedians of classical Athens, along with Aeschylus b.
Euripides entered a play in the Dionysia the most famous of Athenian drama festivals for the first time in b.
He continued to compete in the festival regularly, winning prizes four times during his lifetime. Hippolytus took first prize in b. Euripides was also awarded one posthumous victory for his play The Bacchae. Given that Aeschylus reportedly won more than a dozen of these competitions, and Sophocles carried off eighteen victories, it is understandable that Euripides might have become disheartened in defeat.
Whatever the reason, Eurpides left Athens in either b. Euripides reportedly died in Macedonia during the winter of b. Many of his plays were freely revised by Seneca c. References in this plot summary are derived from comments by ancient writers, who often provided relevant information about the staging of the plays, as well as from more recent scholarly inferences about Greek theatrical conventions.
Accordingly, mention of stage directions in the Plot Summary has been kept to a minimum. Prologue The play opens in front of the palace of Theseus in Troizen, with the statues of Artemis goddess of the hunt and Aphrodite goddess of love, lust, and beauty placed on opposing sides of the stage.
The living goddess Aphrodite appears, and in the prologue to the main action declares her intention to punish Hippolytus, the chaste son of Theseus, who chooses to worship Artemis rather than Aphrodite. Aphrodite's plan has already been put into action as the play opens.
She has placed a love for Hippolytus into the heart of Phaidra, the wife of Theseus and stepmother of Hippolytus. Her hope is that Theseus, upon discovery of this love, will kill his son using one of the three fatal wishes that he has been granted by Poseidon god of the sea and of earthquakes.
Act 1 Hippolytus enters the stage with his entourage of huntsmen leading dogs and carrying weapons from the hunt. He praises the statue of Artemis, placing a garland upon her head as a tribute to her. A servant suggests that Hippolytus might want to honor Aphrodite in the same manner, but the young hunter ignores the advice, thereby completing his insult of the powerful goddess.
The Chorus of townswomen enters, telling the story of the love-sick Phaidra. They wonder at the cause of her illness, positing that she might have gone mad or is responding to some slight from her husband. Or, the chorus suggests, perhaps her sickness is simply evidence of the weakness of woman's nature.
The love-sick Phaidra enters the stage, accompanied by numerous servants and her own Nurse. The Nurse initially talks her queen into confessing to the chorus both the source of her sickness and her resolve to die rather than to continue suffering.
The Nurse then turns to comforting the suffering queen, suggesting that Phaidra act on her love rather than allowing herself to be consumed slowly and painfully. Finally, the Nurse promises to assist Phaidra by concocting a special medicine that is strong enough to change the course of love.
What she needs in order to complete this antidote, the Nurse explains, is a piece of hair or clothing from Hippolytus. As Phaidra contemplates her decision, she also implores the Nurse never to reveal the truth behind her sickness to Hippolytus.Comparison Of Bacchae and Hippolytus In the plays Bacchae and Hippolytus, many similarities and differences exist between the relationships of the characters.
One similarity between the relationship of Pentheus and Dionysus in Bacchae and that of Hippolytus and Aphrodite in Hippolytus are t. The plays are: HECUBA, ORESTES, PHOENISSAE (The Phoenician Virgins), MEDEA, HIPPOLYTUS, ALCESTIS, BACCHAE, HERACLIDAE, IPHIGENIA IN AULIS, and IPHIGENIA IN TAURIS.
According to Wikipedia: "Euripides (ca. BCE BCE) was the last of the three great tragedians of classical Athens (the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles).5/5(1).
These themes also characterize interactions between the play’s mortal characters. Hurt by Hippolytus’ reaction to the nurse’s revelation, Phaedra commits suicide to preserve her honor but not before composing a letter that accusing Hippolytus of raping her.
more generally, about the relationships between the Olympian gods. Euripides. Classical Tragedy - Women and Gender Focus Fall Semester Dr.
Jacqueline Long: To what other female characters in other plays we have studied can the Cassandra of Trojan Women be compared fruitfully, Orient Euripides' Bacchae in relationship to the other tragedies we have been reading by consulting the Index of Dates.
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His plays seem modern by comparison with those of his contemporaries, focusing on the inner lives and motives of his characters in a way previously unknown to Greek audiences.