Drama Classics: The World’s Great Plays at a great Little Price
Racine’s 1677 reworking of Euripides’ Hippolytus, celebrated for its tragic construction and the richness of its language.
Consumed by an uncontrollable passion for her young stepson and believing Theseus, her absent husband, to be dead, Phedre confesses her darkest desires and enters the world of nightmare. When Theseus returns, alive and well, Phedre, fearing exposure, accuses her stepson of rape. Unable to see beyond her impassioned words to his own son’s protestations, heartbroken and overcome, Theseus banishes Hippolytus and wishes him dead. But when the gods are always listening, you should be careful what you wish for.
Translated and introduced by Julie Rose.