Abstract

Euripides and Seneca both include the motif of the wishes from Poseidon/Neptune, which Theseus uses to kill his son in their plays, Hippolytus and Phaedra. This detail recurs nowhere outside of the Hippolytus story. This article examines the wishes, and suggests that Euripides invented them; that the Greek playwright uses this motif to explore the interplay between divine obligations and familial relationships; and that Seneca employs it in order to emphasize Theseus’s age, to show his audience the seriousness of Phaedra’s illicit lust, and to tie the events of the tragedy together.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2575-7199
Print ISSN
2575-7180
Pages
pp. 379-392
Launched on MUSE
2008-12-05
Open Access
No
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