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Love is portrayed as nothing more than lust..... passion.
Phaedra’s lust for Hippolytus is the play’s catalyst, the engine that drives the tragedy. But lust appears in other guises throughout the narrative, sometimes more subtly. The Chorus expounds on examples of lust throughout history, pointing in particular to Diana – the goddess of chastity, no less – driven to abandon her lunar perch to seek love with the shepherd Endymion. If the goddess of chastity can fall victim to Cupid’s arrows, then anyone can. Phaedra’s mother mated with a bull, less by choice than by a mad desire to do so which she could not control; Theseus married the Amazonian Antiope, then killed her, then married Phaedra, then abandoned her to pursue Persephone in the depths of the underworld. Lust drives these characters and their gods and goddesses, and more often than not it spells calamity.