42 pages 1 hour read



Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 428

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Lines 565-1150Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Lines 565-775 Summary (Second Episode and Second Stasimon)

Phaedra, saying that she is “destroyed forever” (565), overhears the Nurse inside the house telling Hippolytus of her love for him. As Phaedra laments the Nurse’s betrayal, Hippolytus enters, followed by the Nurse. He is disgusted by what the Nurse told him and threatens to reveal the secret, even though he has sworn to keep it quiet. Hippolytus embarks on a long tirade against women, on whom he blames all of humankind’s evils. He does, however, promise to keep his oath and say nothing to his father before he storms off.

Phaedra laments her fate, and the Nurse admits that she has failed and that Phaedra is ruined. Not believing that Hippolytus will keep quiet, Phaedra rages at the Nurse and sends her away. Phaedra then makes the Chorus swear not to disclose anything that they heard and reveals her decision to die by suicide in a way that will preserve her reputation while destroying Hippolytus. She exits. The Chorus sings the second stasimon, lamenting Phaedra’s fate and recalling the grim omens that accompanied her arrival in Athens to marry Theseus.