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"And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand." - Majora

Hippolytus vs. Phaedra

  • Date Submitted: 11/28/2011 01:55 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 50.7 
  • Words: 664
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Although the plays Hippolytus and Phaedra tell the same story, they are actually quite different. Not only are they written in two different time periods, but they are also written by different authors; Hippolytus by Euripedes and Phaedra by Racine. Both authors had different interpretations, which is clear through the major differences in both of the plays. The involvement of the gods in each of the plays determines the events that follow and the overall interpretations of each play. Each play portrays the main characters Hippolytus and Phaedra differently, which changes the overall interpretation of each of the plays. Also, the addition of the character Aricia in the play Phaedra changes the course of events within the play.
Hippolytus, the play by Euripedes, starts out with a narrative by Aphrodite and ends with a narrative by Artemis. This is the first indication of the involvement of the gods. It is stated by Aphrodite that because Hippolytus spends all he time devoting himself to the goddess Artemis, mainly by remaining chaste which was uncommon by the Greeks of this time, she is punishing him by making his step-mother Phaedra fall in love with him. The play Phaedra does not contain this statement by Aphrodite but instead hints to it when a servant of Hippolytus tells him not to spend his time devoting himself to just one god because that will ultimately upset them resulting in a punishment from them. This is one example of a clear contrast in the gods’ involvement in each of the plays. Another contrast is that in Hippolytus the gods are seen and heard while in Phaedra they are not. Although the gods are not seen or heard in Phaedra, they are referred to quite often. For example, Phaedra blames the gods Venus and Apollo for her and her mother’s polluted desires. Just like in the play Hippolytus, when Theseus learns of his sons actions towards his stepmother he cries to Neptune to punish Hippolytus for his wrong doings. However, the difference in the plays...


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