Classical Mythology
  Daily Schedule
  Study Questions
Myth Links

Classical Mythology

CLA 2-216-2001

Theseus & the Minotaur

Hippolytus Study Questions:

  • Background and Images for the Hippolytus

  • How does Euripides characterize , Hippolytus, Phaedra, and Theseus in this play? Are any of them sympathetic figures? What are their "fatal flaws"? How responsible are they for their actions? How do the gods and family history come into play here? (What is the family history of Phaedra and Hippolytus?)

  • What are the roles of language and silence in this play? Why is it that Phaedra decides to accuse Hippolytus of rape? What is at stake for her and her children? Why does she kill herself and leave a suicide note? How might the audience have reacted to her?

  • Consider the framing of the play. What are the roles of Aphrodite and Artemis? What is the role of Poseidon? Are the god(des)s agents in the action, or just expressions of human emotions?

  • How are the themes of moderation and chastity important to understanding this play and the characters' motivations?

  • What do you think of the end of the play? How is this an "aetiological moment"? What institutions does Artemis establish at the end? Do they seem appropriate? How might Hippolytus and Phaedra felt about it? What kind of resolution is this?

Last Update: Sept. 30, 2001
Classical Studies ProgramCornell College Home PageAbout CornellAdmissionsAcademicsAlumniCampus LifeOfficesNewsHomeSearchSite MapContact Us