Classics 143A Final Essay Outlines.docx

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Department
Classics
Course
CLASSIC 143A
Professor
Mario Telo
Semester
Fall

Description
Choose one tragedy of Euripides among Hippolytus, Trojan Women and Ion and discuss the role that gender conflict plays in its thematic construct Hippolytus  Big ideas o Exaggerated self-confidence results in punishment from Aphrodite o Unstable relationship between language, perception, and reality o Eros – the most dangerous and psychomatic forces  From Kalyptomenos to Stephanophoros o Phaedra’s love was originally more shameless and she stayed alive to bear false witness against Hippolytus  Potiphar motif and contemporary connection o Role of the generally distrusted stepmother o Widow remarries, new wife who is around same age as stepson enters picture; creates opportunity for awkwardness  Dualism o There isn’t a clear hero and villain in this play o Hippolytus isn’t perfect – he is cocky and believes he is too good for woman, in particular, Aphrodite  “Since I am pure, I greet this one (Aphrodite) from afar”  Backgrounds o Hippolytus – son of Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons who hated sex o Phaedra – Cretan and daughter of Pasiphae who bore the minotaur  Relationship of dissonant harmony o Mirroring through physical descriptions of their bodies o Both describe them as worn out and need lifting o These states are a result of the situation  Mistrust o Hippolytus is vowed to silence, but Phaedra writes the letter because she fears her stepson telling Theseus o Fear as a gender driver  Does the son have a moral obligation to tell his father that overpowers a divine oath?  Is suicide a better option that experiencing Theseus’ reaction? What would a man do to his wife for having an affair with her stepson?  “nor will I come before Theseus’ face with disgraceful deeds done, for the sake of one life” o The conflict between father and son  Hippolytus is bound by his oath and cannot give his father a straightforward answer  Why does Theseus take Phaedra’s word against his sons? Does it have to do with the suicide of a woman?  Emotion and reason o Phaedra has an outward desire for honor and erotic desire she can no longer repress o Clearly this is a conflict between her conscious and subconscious wants o On respect, “one not bad, the other a burden on the house.” o “If what is appropriate were clear, there would not be two with the same letters”  The letter o Powerful symbol of the unreliability of signs and impossible communication between men and women o Compl
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