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Phaedra And ‘Chorus’ In Euripides’ Hippolytus

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Chapter Summary

The Calamitous exposé of Phaedras secret passion to Hippolytus by her well-intentioned Nurse is one of the most dramatic scene in Greek tragedy. After ambiguous mention of φίλτρα θελκτήρια and φάρμακα, the Nurse goes into the Palace to speak to the φίλοι within. Phaedra silences the Chorus while she listens at the skene- doors, fearing and duly learning the worst: that her secret has been betrayed, and that Hippolytus is reacting with furious anger. Phaedra was cowering somewhere at the side. She recoils from the increasingly audible fury of Hippolytus as he advances towards the doors at which she ‡ has been listening. Thus, when Hippolytus enters followed by the Nurse, what he sees, is simply a large group of ladies in front of the Palace. The ladies of the Chorus see a measure of justice (1τύχομεν δίκα) in the ψόγο. voiced by Hippolytus, following the Nurses exit lines.

Keywords: chorus; Euripides; Hippolytus; Nurse; Phaedra



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