Extract From Euripides Hippolytus English Literature Essay

The infusion follows after the nurse has told Hippolytus of Phaedra ‘s desire, who is shocked. Hippolytus threatens to state Theseus, and with Phaedra hearing, he engages in a ferocious denouncement of womankind. After Hippolytus leaves, Phaedra berates the nurse her for her treachery and she tries to support herself on the evidences of love for Phaedra. Phaedra, her amour propre and sense of shame injured, turns love into hatred and decides to kill herself – while dragging Hippolytus down with her.

Phaedra here is ab initio presented as a by and large sympathetic character, honorably fighting against overpowering odds to make the right thing. Our respect for her is reduced, nevertheless, by her programs to implicate Hippolytus to acquire back at him: “ But in deceasing, I will turn out lifelessly to another ‘s life, to learn him non to prevail over my ruin ” . Phaedra is non responsible for her love or for its confession to Hippolytus, but with her false accusal she condemns him to decease. Hippolytus does nil immoral – he does non even uncover Phaedra ‘s passion to his male parent – but his holier-than-thou addresss, his haughtiness and his unforgiving reaction to the nurse ‘s words provoke Phaedra to extreme steps. Phaedra commits self-destruction to continue her award but non before composing a missive that impeaching Hippolytus of ravishing her. Although the text indicates that Phaedra writes the missive to avoid the shame that public cognition of her desire would convey, we can besides read this as an act of retaliation against the adult male who so cruelly rejects her. Grecian calamity is celebrated for go forthing no character without a portion in the guilt and Euripides is no exclusion in demoing this.

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Phaedra perceives in his cruel and unrestrained rejection a distinguishable deficiency of her much prized sophrosure, and this is adequate to warrant her taking events into her ain custodies: “ aˆ¦when he, excessively, feels this illness I have known, so he shall larn what restraint is ” . The drama itself is a symbolic struggle of two ideals, an severe celibacy and the natural desires of the flesh. Worlds play out this struggle, in the signifier of Phaedra ( lecherousness ) and Hippolytus ( celibacy ) .

Whatever its ideals, this myth shows us how destructive prevarications can be. It besides shows how hard it is to cognize the truth, peculiarly if one is non willing to seek. But if one does non seek for the truth, the result can be tragic, as so it is here. Phaedra tries to maintain silent, but ca n’t, and so turns about and slayings ( in consequence ) Hippolytus to continue her ain repute. This repute is what constitutes the nucleus of a adult female ‘s value, in Phaedra ‘s ( and many Greeks ‘ ) position.

Euripides is a mythmaker and indispensable to the drama are, possibly, Hippolytus ‘s celibacy, Theseus ‘ retaliation etc. , but even so apparently important a point as whether Phaedra actively sought Hippolytus, or was trapped by the conniving ‘s of her nurse, is something the poet feels empowered to alter in conformity with his intent, possibly to win that first value he failed to the first clip unit of ammunition.

Word Count: 506


Budelmann, F. and Huskinson, J. ( 2010 ) The myth of Hippolytus and Phaedra ( A330 Block 1 ) , Milton Keynes, The Open University

Part 2

Write an essay of non more than 1,500 words on the followers:

‘The Hippolytus myth suggests that there are no bounds to how much antediluvian authors and creative persons could change myth. ‘ Discuss.

About every civilization has a myth. They all come from one early beginning and are different merely because clip and local cultural fortunes have embellished or altered them. Writers such as Ovid ( Publius Ovidius Naso ) and Euripides were renowned as advanced writers who were interested in analyzing human emotions in their plants, pull stringsing good known conventional myths to accomplish a alone plot line. The myth of Hippolytus in specific is told, in slightly different versions, by Euripides ‘ drama “ Hippolytus ” and Ovid ‘s text “ Metamorphoses “ .

In this essay I will be discoursing the development of Euripides ‘ intervention of the Hippolytus myth and analyzing what the motivations where that drove him. I ‘ll besides be sing Ovid ‘s version, and how he moved the myth from the tragic to the heroic poem. And eventually, what ‘s left out of a myth can besides alter its significance, such as the wall picture of Phaedra from the south wall in cubiculum vitamin E of the House of Jason ( Ocular Beginnings, Plate 1.4 ) .

A critic of society, Euripides was a serious inquirer of the values of his twenty-four hours. As a realist, he frequently placed modern thoughts and sentiments in the oral cavities of traditional characters. He treated myths rationally and expected work forces to utilize their rational powers ; his secret plans brimming with sensationalism, surprise, and suspense, and whether Euripides is satirizing the traditional fabulous constructs ( which would hold been tremendously controversial ) it is clear, at least, that he is utilizing myth for his dramatic intents. Budelmann and Huskinson write, “ This competition created force per unit area to introduce, and one of the countries for invention was myth. ” ( Budelmann and Huskinson, 2010, P. 25 ) .

Euripides twice treated the Hippolytus myth in dramatic signifier, which in itself suggests a grade of re-writing a myth had a certain sum of acceptableness at the clip, even though his drama was seen as ‘unseemly and worthy of disapprobation ‘ ( Hypothesis of Aristophanes of Byzantium, quoted in Halloran, 1995, P.63 ) at the clip. In his first intervention of the Hippolytus myth, Phaedra is depicted as an utterly degenerate character, a adult female reduced to shamelessness by the power of Aphrodite. The audience were outraged by such blazing behavior on the portion of a adult female so in his 2nd version we find a Phaedra defying the goddess of love with all her strength, though in the terminal unsuccessfully. She becomes a tragic foil for Hippolytus, doing his superhuman virtuousness at one time credible and apprehensible.

It is by and large thought that Euripides was so indignant that he did n’t win first award in his first effort that he wrote the 2nd to ‘correct ‘ the defects of the first in order to win and foster his calling. Not all critics believe this nevertheless and suggest that, “ Euripides ‘ licking at the Dionysian Festival may hold led him to do certain alterations in the manner Phaedra and Hippolytus presented themselves, but did non take him to reshape their personalities or motivations. Rather than taking him to fawn to popular gustatory sensation… ” ( Roisman, 1999, P. 9 ) . Euripides had besides been warned that bounds must be observed in the dramatic portraiture of a morally abhorrent subject which showed that there were so limitations.

Another version of the Hippolytus myth was provided by Latin poet, Ovid. His major work, Metamorphoses, was completed before he was exiled. This heroic poem verse form Centres on mortal characters instead than heroes or the Gods. Ovid even goes so far as to portray the Gods as self-involved and vindictive in the many narratives that Metamorphoses relates. Ovid ‘s re-telling of the Hippolytus myth in Book 15 of the Metamorphoses is surprisingly short, numbering little more than 50 lines. The narrative of Hippolytus is one of the most celebrated Grecian myths, nevertheless, if you look closer at the mode in which Ovid reinvents the myth, his interventions of his literary beginnings, and the poetic context in which he places the episode, you can see that Hippolytus could non be more Roman. He re-writes Euripides ‘ Hippolytus, pulling upon subjects characteristic of Roman lament.

Ovid besides chooses to analyze the myth by its male supporter, Hippolytus, and in making so, steadfastly establishes his retelling as basically different from those of his predecessors, including Euripides. While past dramatic representations of the myth are perceived easy through open mention in the episode, the metabolisms of Hippolytus into Virbius, signalled by his ideal, underscores the character ‘s absolute transmutation into a Roman.

The really fact that Virbius speaks of his ain decease is testament to the episodes divergency from the tragic. While it is true that Euripides ‘ Hippolytus lives to talk after the chariot clang, the concluding scene of the drama is non about every bit humourous as Ovid ‘s version. Euripides ‘ Hippolytus dies on phase, and although uncommon in Grecian calamity, the decease was certainly meant, in portion, to pull feelings of commiseration for him from the audience. In contrast, it ‘s hard for Ovid ‘s readers to show the same grade of commiseration: as Segal writes, “ even the bloody inside informations gain a certain inexorable temper when told as first-person present-tense by the deceased ” ( Segal, 1984, P. 314 ) .

In the Metamorphoses, the chariot clang is followed non by an emotional rapprochement between Hippolytus and his male parent, but by an immediate journey the underworld. Not merely has Ovid excluded the reunion scene that makes the myth tragic, but by making so, the episode falls short of arousing any important sense of understanding from the audience. Virbius has been hurt, but now he ‘s basking immortality. His obvious and unusual self-awareness and his withdrawal from the hurting and agony of decease announce this divergence from the tragic literary tradition. Ovid has moved beyond the tragic boundaries of Euripides ‘ drama by re-establishing the myth as one of transmutation by ideal.

Furthermore, with the passage to the underworld, Ovid has efficaciously removed Hippolytus from his tragic context and placed him steadfastly in an heroic poem one ; he joins the ranks of those other great heroes, such as Aeneas, who have made their ain needed expeditions into the underworld and returned, to the full restored. Following the illustration of Hercules in book 9, Hippolytus is among a long list of famed Romans who are accommodated into Rome ‘s hereafter through ideal.

Although, the myth has been more forcefully represented in play than in art, there is an impressive wall picture of Phaedra from the south wall in the House of Jason that shows that what can be left out of a myth can besides alter the significance of the myth itself. It ‘s different to most representations of the myth as it omits Hippolytus and focuses wholly on Phaedra and her amah. The picture depicts a minute of quiet tenseness and was developed and enhanced by the Romans to hammer moralizing exempla expressive of Roman values. And if certain expressions had already been given ocular signifier ( aggressive chases, amative brushs, homicidal onslaughts ) , these types could be modified to picture different myths. Artists could show their personal readings by adding, juxtaposing, altering or canceling certain elements. “ So what is left out and what is juxtaposed in a fabulous scene may be as influential in conveying agencies as what is included. ” ( Budelmann and Huskinson, 2010, P. 67 ) .

In decision, by accommodating the myth of Hippolytus and so Phaedra, Euripides has now adapted them as near different persons. He understood that in order for any dramatic work to be successful the audience must experience for the characters. Through one change of the preexistent myth Euripides has altered the audiences ‘ position of Hippolytus and Phaedra and creates characters the audience can surely experience for. Euripides succeeds in making a powerful play by doing Gods more human and uses the audiences ‘ designation with the characters to do the old preexistent events of the myth far more powerful.

We have besides established that although Ovid ‘s reading of the Hippolytus myth is based on tragic beginnings, the poet considers the narrative beyond its tragic context. And we have seen that while traveling off from tragic tradition, Ovid at the same time employs heroic conventions. The low-level male of the episode, the Greek tragic Hippolytus, is rapidly written out of the narrative, along with his tragic associates. Replacing him is his metamorphosed opposite number, a to the full restored Virbius, who is more suitable to epic and can be taken up by the Roman hereafter. The episodes aetiology attests to Virbius ‘ new found Roman-ness. The Grecian aetiology of Euripides has been discarded wholly.

In art excessively we have seen that the myth can be ‘edited ‘ to accommodate whatever representation the creative person chose to do. In the wall picture ‘s instance, “ it emphasises the heavy moral message, while at the same clip possibly suggesting at the love affair ” . ( Budelmann and Huskinson, 2010, P. 53 ) . The mythmaking of ancient play excessively involved choosing stuff that drew upon the bottom of myth ; something Buxton has stressed. The usage of myth in these three illustrations has shown that they are non fixed and are merely facets or versions of the Hippolytus myth. They are trying to demo calamity for their clip, each supplying a important case of the tragic vision. At the bosom of each intervention nevertheless resides the secret cause.

Word Count: 1514

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