Classics 430:
Greek and Roman Mythology
20 February 2002

I.   The Outsider Within: Women Who Speak, Women Who are Silenced

Or: Something Wrong with a Foreign Bride: Hippolyta, Phaedra, Hippolytos

1. Background
    a. Theseus fathers Hippolytos by Hippolyta / Antiope
    b. Theseus leaves Hippolyta / Antiope and takes a new wife, Phaedra
    c. Hippolytos, the son of an Amazon woman and an Athenian man, grows up
    d. Note: at a symbolic level, what does Hippolytosí parentage suggest will happen to him as a young man?

2. Hippolytos, the (young) Man
    a. Loves hunting: worships Artemis (unmarried goddess)
    b. Hates women: ignores Aphrodite (sexual goddess)
    c. What do these desires / revulsions symbolize?

3. The story as it is told in Euripides (Hippolytos) and Seneca (Phaedra), and referred to in Ovid's Heroides IV.
    a. Aphrodite is angry, decides to punish Hippolytos for ignoring her
    b. Aphrodite makes Phaedra fall in love with Hippolytos, her stepson, whilst Theseus is out of town.
    c. Oooh!  Does Hippolytos hate women (cf. Powell pp. 406-407)
    d. Phaedra is driven crazy by lust and guilt; she doesnít know what to do!
    e. Nurse comes up with plan; approaches Hippolytos with the information
    f. Hippolytos is revolted at the suggestion.  Did I mention how much this guy hates women?  Wow.  He sure is a woman-hater, yes siree.
    g. Phaedra, in terror, kills herself (question:  how does she do it?  Why?)
    h. Before she dies, Phaedra leaves an incriminating note accusing Hippolytos of rape and giving this as a cause for her suicide.
    i. Theseus returns home, reads note, curses Hippolytos to death by calling on his father / grandfather, Poseidon.
    j. Hippolytos is killed by guess what kind of animal when he is down by the sea shore?  One of those scenes it's worth learning Greek for!

4. Thoughts and Notes
    a. A kind of proto-monotheism?  Why is Aphrodite so angry?  What's wrong with Hippolytos not wanting to get married and have sex?
    b. Like Mother, rejects typical gender rolesórefusing to participate as an adult within reproductive heterosexual society.
    c. Why is Hippolytos 'guilty' in the end?  What is he guilty of?
    d. Is there any such thing as a male virgin?