Hippolytus

The Character of Phaedra College

In the play Hippolytus, Euripides depicts characters in a realistic fashion by displaying their warring emotions in the wake of dramatic events, as well as their deceit in achieving their objectives. A prime example of such tactics is the character Phaedra, who is content to suffer until death due to the shame of her forbidden desires for her stepson. However, when the nurse unveils her secret, Phaedra devises a scheme to ruin his reputation to save her own. Up to the creation of the letter for the stepson’s downfall, Euripides has the audience sympathize with Phaedra, leading us to understand her grieving over her love-stricken heart. At first, Phaedra yearns for the same nature and hunt that she knows Hippolytus is partaking in, largely because of the common desire to be near the person that one loves. Phaedra then becomes more conscious of her rapture and is consumed by shame for wanting Hippolytus. Afterward, the audience is allowed to watch her go back and forth regarding the question of whether her sinful desires are results of the sins of the women in her family or are prompted by the Goddess Cypris. Lastly, Phaedra uses deceit to protect her reputation from being tarnished after she dies. Therefore, Euripides uses...

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