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Euripides’s Revolution under CoverAn Essay$
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Pietro Pucci

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501700613

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501700613.001.0001

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Phaedra

Phaedra

Chapter:
10. Phaedra
Source:
Euripides’s Revolution under Cover
Author(s):

Pietro Pucci

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501700613.003.0010

This chapter examines how the character of Phaedra in Hippolytus enables Euripides to stage the split/conflation that he has dramatized in the debate of Troades between the traditional, anthropomorphic and the cosmic, natural source of sexual desire. In the first part of Hippolytus, Phaedra, after her confession to the Nurse, seems to relax: she describes the painful trajectory of her attempts to silence her shameful passion for Hippolytus. She is unaware of being Aphrodite's victim without hope of escape, and believes that she can silence and suppress what the audience knows from the prologue to be an inextinguishable erotic passion implanted in her by the goddess. This chapter analyzes Phaedra's confession and its specific language and how her eros drives her being, voice, and utterance into a hallucinating fantasy, bringing her closer to Hippolytus.

Keywords:   sexual desire, Phaedra, Hippolytus, Euripides, Aphrodite, eros, erotic passion

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