Theseus Research Paper

595 Words3 Pages
Michael I Jewell
Professor Mayes
CLA 2000
23 November 2015
Phaedra and Hippolytus
Phaedra is the wife of Theseus, given to him by Deucalion by order of Minos, the king of Crete. She is, however not his first wife according to Apollodorus. Theseus took his first wife from the Amazons who he attacked while adventuring with Heracles. Theseus kidnapped Hippolyte, who is also known by the names Antiope, and Melannipe, as well as her sisters. Hippolyte gives Theseus a son, named Hippolytus. (Apollodorus, p.91)
After Theseus defends Athens from the Amazons, who tried attack Athens in retaliation for the previous raid on them by Theseus and Heracles, Deucalion arrives with a gift from Minos, the King of Crete. The gift is Minos’ daughter Phaedra. During the wedding celebrations of Theseus and Phaedra, Hippolyte and her sisters attempt to murder the entire wedding party. They are defeated rather easily and the wedding continues. Apollodorus says that it was Theseus himself who killed her in the struggle. (p. 91).
The lives of Phaedra and Theseus are quiet for some time as she gives sons Acamas and Demophon to Theseus. During this time, Hippolytus was raised as one of the family in spite of his mother’s treachery, and grew into a young man whose beauty was exceptional. (Euripides, p.4) A consequence of his beauty is that Phaedra falls madly in love with him and
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First, the death of Hippolyte occurs with little note, and Theseus’ marriage to Phaedra comes after the event. The events are also out of order from Apollodorus in that after telling her nurse of her affections for Hippolytus, Phaedra hangs herself and leaves a note accusing Hippolytus of raping her. Theseus returns to his home to find her dead and reads the note. Enraged, he exiles Hippolytus and prays to Poseidon for his destruction. Theseus is then visited by Artemis who reveals Phaedra’s deception.

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