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The Hippolytus of Euripides

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  3,007 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
1881. Edited, with Introduction, Notes and Appendix by J.P. Mahaffey and J.B. Bury. Euripides's admirers claim that he is the most tragic of the Greek tragedians, the most pathetic of the Attic poets, the most humane in his social philosophy and the most skillful in psychological insight. Hippolytus is considered one of poet's greatest works. See other titles by this autho ...more
Paperback, 140 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Kessinger Publishing (first published -428)
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Never take hasty decisions
Never judge too fast
For the consequences may be
Greater than you can bear.

Tarnished by pride, Hippolytus dares to defy Aphrodite. He refuses to show due respect to her, so she obtains revenge. She uses his father’s wife to bring him to his doom, and in this ordeal, many a person meets their death.

Phaedra and Hippolytus fight in a game of gods and both die because of Aphrodite's and Artemis's caprices. The proud gods take revenge on others through playing with
David Sarkies
Jul 22, 2015 David Sarkies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Greek Drama
Recommended to David by: David Hester
Shelves: tragedy
Sexuality & Celibacy
17 April 2012

I should mention that technically this play should come under 'I' as opposed to 'H' (and I almost put it under 'I' without thinking) namely because Greek does not actually have an 'H'. What they have are rough and smooth breathings, which is a little symbol that appears at the front of a word that begins with a vowel. If the word has a smooth breathing it is pronounced without an H while if it has a rough breathing it is pronounced with an H. You have probab
Jan 13, 2009 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Euripides. HIPPOLYTUS. (428B.C.). ****. This was a Greek tragedy that I hadn’t read or seen before. Although the story is not as portentious as “Agamemnon,” it certainly is much easier to read and understand. The story line is about Phaedra, the wife of Theseus, having the hots for his son, Hippolytus. It’s not quite as incestuous as it sounds, since Hippolytus was the son Theseus had from his relationship with the Queen of the Amazons. At the start of the drama, Phaedra is seen wasting away whi ...more
Jul 02, 2015 Keely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-plays
3.75 stars. Hippolytus is definitely one of my favourite plays by Euripides. I love how Euripides gives a human dimension to Greek Gods. No two Gods are as different as Artemis and Aphrodite, and their friction provided a great foundation for the drama that occurred. I was not a fan of Hippolytus himself but other than that this play was excellent. I even think I wrote more notes for it than for the Bacchae, which is saying something.
Aug 15, 2016 tomasawyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Les grecs meurent plus lentement que les romains, ça leur laisse le temps de pousser une dernière tirade avec une étonnante lucidité. ^^ En ça ils sont moins humains que les autres et pourtant, ils me procurent plus d'émotions. Ou une émotion différente. Qui passe par la tête plus que par les tripes. Le langage y est plus poétique, la psychologie plus subtile. Là où l'omniprésence des dieux me saoulait dans l'Iliade, elle m'éclaire dans cette pièce. Je comprends mieux la valeur symbolique et mor ...more
Oct 24, 2016 Lela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lela by: Dr. Damen
Oh, Euripides. You're so good at making totally crazy characters. For this story though, it's the Nurse. Her advice is not advisable...poor Hipploytus. I enjoyed this tragedy probably moreso because of reading Medea. I keep noticing things that feel similar like the rebuking of women's lust, the self-harming acts of spite, the roles of family being corrrupted (mother's relationship to their children), and the way that love can destroy people. Medea follows Jason and leaves everything because she ...more
Maan Kawas
Aug 13, 2013 Maan Kawas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful play with a simple plot but too many meanings & intertwined themes! It is a play about human emotions & feelings (e.g. jealousy, passion, anger, shame) and characteristics (e.g. impulsiveness), as well as it is a play about the human condition (subject to the will of deity). Moreover, it is about relationships, the relationship between people, between man and gods, and the relationships between the gods themselves. Human are subject to gods’ rules, decisions, and orders, and ...more
Mar 17, 2015 Suzanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I once saw someone describe Hippolytus as a fedora-wearing MRA, and that pretty much sums up this play. Phaedra herself is full of internalised misogyny. As always in Euripides, the nature of the gods is very interesting. I have studied Greek tragedy for years, and I do not understand why, out of all Euripides' plays, Hippolytus is considered his masterpiece.
Oct 13, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-drama
Hippolytus is the story of the title character, who is caught up in a weird, slightly incestuous situation, as his step-mother falls violently in love with him due to interference with Aphrodite. By this point, any reader knows that mentions of incest are not too uncommon in Greek drama of any kind (if this case even technically counts as incest), but I feel that the main reason these kinds of situations show up is to present a warning against this. Perhaps in a historical sense, this was an iss ...more
David Alexander
Oct 02, 2013 David Alexander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are moments in the play where lines and the dramatic moment reached me and I recognized through the ageless dust something said of man's estate true, true still, and seemingly ever-Now. (But there are those today who will argue our evolution has made Euripides and all that ancient crowd irrelevant. It is not them that clear and cool the mind which such keen, millennia-cleaving arrows of insight).
I'm also personally struck by parallels with Scripture often when I read this ancient literatu
Erik Graff
Apr 05, 2009 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: classical drama & Euripides fans
Recommended to Erik by: Maurice Lieberman
Shelves: drama
Hippolytus was assigned reading for freshman Humanities at Grinnell College. Having already read Aeschylus, Sophocles and Aritotle's essay on the character of tragedy, I was not much impressed. Euripides read like the script of soap opera. Too much hinged on divine interference and over-scrupulous moralism. By the latter I mean people keeping their oaths when breaking them might have prevented disaster--a moral dilemma to be sure, but one in which the disproportion is obvious. Our class spent mu ...more
Feb 28, 2016 Anders rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Anne Carson's translation better.
- A very summary of the play: “everything in moderation, even moderation itself (?).” This play was largely concerned with dealing with moderation. It seems like, because Hippolytus was so moderate, honest, and disciplined (sophron) he had to double down into his punishment. That is, Hip. would have lived a more flourishing life if he did not live so moderately. For example, he could have lied to his father, or told him what happened, but because he was so pious, he died.
- The question Eur. is b
Cymru Roberts
Feb 27, 2015 Cymru Roberts rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-drama
I've read the Anne Carson translation before this, tried to get through the David Grene, and now have found my favorite of the lot in Robert Bagg. I think the introductory essay is a great way to pre-judge a particular translation, because one can glean whether or not the translator even gives a shit about the work they've translated. In Carson's and Bagg's case their essays are powerful, almost as much so as the amazing work of Euripides itself. This is by far one of Euripides' best and deserve ...more
May 18, 2013 JP rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Magnificent. Both this and Bacchae seem to personify the gods better than any other tragic author. The Hippolytus won competition in 428bc and I can understand why. It is a very moving work -- particularly this version by David Grene (University of Chicago Press)
Catherine Woodman
Euripides is not a playright known for his happy endings and Hippolytus is no exception. They don't call it tragedy for nothing. I have not read Euripides since high school, but have been immersed in Classical Mythology with my youngest son this past several months, and it is well worth revisiting these stories later in life. I had forgotten just how brutal they are, and how little people have changed over the last 3,000 years.

Hippolytus is the son of the great Athenian hero Theseus. He is like
Belle Vilers
I've never read a Greek Tragedy before, so this was my first. There is definitely some deep metaphors going on concerning religion and morality. To be honest, I think everyone (Hippolytus, Thesus and Phraidra) are all guilty. I dont favor any of these characters, as I see them all flawed, which probably has to do something with the human condition or whatever. When it comes to the Gods, they just do whatever they want because they are Gods. And I think that the play truly represents those forces ...more
Mike Jensen
Jul 05, 2015 Mike Jensen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Euripides's great moral tragedy can be read on different levels. The idea of the Greek gods messing with our lives seems silly now, but remember that this play was written for a RELIGIOUS festival, and was taken seriously then. Getting that into your head and trying to understand as the first audiences understood it is where you begin. After that, though, contemplate excesses in life and the ways we can bring about our own destruction, especially if we are unwise sexually by going to the extreme ...more
Silvio Curtis
Dec 18, 2014 Silvio Curtis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read for the Classical Mythology class I TAed this semester. Hippolytos, the proud virgin son of Thēseus, king of Athens, offends Aphroditē by refusing to worship her. Aphrodite gets her revenge by having his stepmother Phaidra fall in love with him, which forces her to plot his death in order to preserve her reputation. This play takes a favorable view of Phaidra (apparently she was more usually considered a villain), writing her as someone upholding her gender norms as best she can in an impos ...more
Aug 20, 2008 Maliha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to read it for my Greek Tragedies class. The character of the Nurse is pretty cool.
Dec 16, 2014 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most incredible plays to have come down to us, Hippolytus is in fact a reworking of an earlier Hippolytus, in which Phaedra, the wife of Theseus, actually attempts to seduce our noble and chaste youth. This version was apparently a disaster; but Euripides, always ready to please his audience, altered the plot, so that Phaedra merely indicates to her nurse her affection for Hippolytus. The nurse is the cause of her mistress' undoing, when she informs Hippolytus of his mother-in-law's d ...more
Review of Michael R. Halleran's translation of Euripides' Hippolytus (Focus Classical Library, 2001.) - Halleran's translation is very readable, and he provides brief, but good and helpful notes. This is a revised version of his 1995 translation (Aris and Philips), which also included the Greek text. This newer edition is directed to a wider readership and features a very useful Introduction where Euripides' earlier, now lost, version of Hippolytus (sometimes called 'Hippolytus Veiled') is also ...more
Review of a translation by Ben Shaw (Cambridge University Press, 2007.) Not entirely happy about this translation; Shaw translates sōphrosynē more or less throughout as "self-control", and although the term (and some of its variant meanings) is also discussed in the notes, I didn’t find that discussion sufficiently detailed for such a fundamental theme in the play. The notes are on facing pages, so there is easily plenty of space for more in-depth discussion - which could have been used better. ...more
Michael Hurley
Mar 17, 2014 Michael Hurley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of five books that I, with my mom and my sisters, am reading in preparation for a Great Books discussion this Summer at Colby. The theme is judgment. This is one of those classics that I was sure I must have read because I thought I was so familiar with the story. In fact the play is far more nuanced. For some reason I thought Phaedra was a seductress (probably because I was confusing her with Potiphar's wife from Genesis.) So it was good just to get the story straight. I found that ...more
Roo  Bane
Apr 13, 2016 Roo Bane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Después de haber leído Fedra de Racine, me embolé leyendo esta obra, ya que el contenido es 90% lo mismo, porque obviamente Racine se inspiró en Eurípides para crear su obra Fedra.
Hay escenas muy interesantes, no lo voy a negar, y me encanta Eurípides pero no pude vincularme con esta obra. Simplemente no lo logré.
Nov 12, 2014 Aisllan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
once again more jelous gods doing there thing and tormenting humans. They don't only torture one person but the whole family. Ruthless! I'm really enjoying this tragedies who would have thought that something so old could be this relatable and well written..I guess that's why they call it classics.
May 10, 2016 MonBell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
El mundo de los griegos y las maravillas que nos heredaron...

Otra gran tragedia griega. Sinceramente, cada una de las tragedias que hasta ahora he leído me ha gustado. ¡Increíble el talento que los antiguos dramaturgos poseían!
Jan 25, 2011 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, plays
Hippolytus, illegitimate son of Theseus king of Athens and the Amazon Hippolyta, has angered Venus, goddess of love by swearing chastity and refusing to revere her. Venus causes his stepmother to fall in love with him and commit suicide when her nurse tells Hippolytus. King Theseus finds a letter on his dead wife blaming Hippolytus. Oaths of secrecy keep the Chorus and Hippolytus from telling the king the truth and he banishes and curses Hippolytus. Neptune follows through on the curse and Hippo ...more
Jul 25, 2015 Jocelyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, mythology
Hippolytus is a dick despite being pious and temperate. Was this the beginning of the women crying rape thing? I will blame Euripides and his contemporaries for that issue we now face today. Thanks, dudes!
Hybris. What a proud boy and such strong opinions about women. Too proud kiddo got murdered. / I could write better review...
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(Greek: Ευριπίδης )
Euripides (Ancient Greek: Εὐριπίδης) (ca. 480 BC–406 BC) was the last of the three great tragedians of classical Athens (the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles). Ancient scholars thought that Euripides had written ninety-five plays, although four of those were probably written by Critias. Eighteen of Euripides' plays have survived complete. It is now widely believed that wh
More about Euripides...

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“There is one thing alone that stands the brunt of life throughout its course; a quiet conscience.” 10 likes
“О Зевс! Зачем ты создавал жену?
И это зло с его фальшивым блеском
Лучам небес позволил обливать?
Иль для того, чтоб род людской продолжить,
Ты обойтись без женщины не мог?
Иль из своих за медь и злато храмов
Иль серебро не мог бы сыновей
Ты продавать, чего который стоит,
Освободив жилища нам от жен?
Что жены зло, мне доказать не трудно.
Родной отец за дочерью, ее
Взлелеявши, чужому человеку
Приданое дает - освободи
Его от дочки только. Муж, конечно,
Отравленной украсив розой сад,
Ей восхищен бывает. Точно куклу
Иль алмаз фальшивый, он жену
Старается оправить подороже.
Но и мужей жена нищит, и только.
И хорошо, кому попалось в дом
Ничтожное творенье, чтоб ни злого,
Ни доброго придумать не могла.
Но умницы!.. Избави боже, если
В ней на вершок побольше, чем в других,
Ума, излишек этот Афродите
На пользу лишь - коварством станет он.
Напротив, та, которая природой
Обижена жена, по крайней мере,
На хитрости Киприды не пойдет.”
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