This introductory study presents Racine's Phèdre as the culmination of French classical tragedy. It situates the play in its historical, literary and theatrical context, shows its relationship with other tragedies of Racine, and sketches its influence on later European literature. It analyzes the structures and language of the play, considers the major characters in action, and explores the ancient classical background and the mythological content. A chronological table of Racine's life and times and a guide to further reading are included.
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The context of Phèdre 77
Phèdre the play
The posterity of Phèdre
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accusation action allow ancient appears Aricie audience becomes begins cause century characters claim classical close concern confession confidant Corneille created crime death describes desire drama effect element emotional Enone Euripides expression fate father fear Fedra feelings figure final follows force French give gods Greek guilt hero heroine Hippolyte Hippolyte and Aricie Hippolyte's human imagination innocent interest language leave legend less light Louis lover meaning mind Minos monster moral nature never nurse offers once Paris particular passage passion perhaps Phaedra Phèdre physical play plot political present question Racine Racine's Racine's play reader references rejection relationship responsibility reveals rhetorical rhyme role scene seen Seneca sense speak speech stage structure suggests suicide syllable Théramène Thésée Theseus tout tragedy tragic translation Troezen