Hippolytus Study Questions:
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?