42 pages 1 hour read



Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 428

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Lines 1151-1466Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Lines 1151-1282 Summary (Fourth Episode and Fourth Stasimon)

One of Hippolytus’s servants enters as a Messenger. He tells Theseus and the Chorus that Hippolytus is dying. In a long speech, the Messenger relates how Hippolytus was riding his chariot along the coast when a great bull emerged from the sea, frightening his horses. Hippolytus made a valiant effort to control his horses but was finally thrown from the chariot. Caught in the reins, he was brutally trampled and mangled. Now, dying, he is being brought back to the city.

The Messenger ends his speech by asserting his belief in Hippolytus’s innocence. Theseus accepts the news composedly: He is glad that Hippolytus has been killed, though it would be impious to openly rejoice. As the Messenger exits, the Chorus sings a brief fourth stasimon in which they describe the scope of Aphrodite’s dominion, which extends to all living things.

Lines 1283-1466 Summary (Exodos)

The goddess Artemis appears on the roof of the house. She reveals to Theseus the enormity of what he has done: He has killed his innocent son based on false accusations: “Among good men,” she tells him, “you have no share in life” (1295). She tells Theseus the truth about Aphrodite’s plan to destroy Hippolytus and about Phaedra’s desire and ultimate deceit.