previous next

Hear, Theseus, the state of your misfortunes. (And yet I accomplish nothing by this, and merely cause you grief.) But it was for this purpose that I came, to make plain that your son's heart is guiltless so that he may die with a good name, [1300] make plain, too, the maddened frenzy of your wife or, in some sort, her nobility. For she was stung by the goad of that goddess most hated by us who take pleasure in virginity and fell in love with your son. And as she attempted to conquer Aphrodite by her resolve, [1305] she was destroyed all unwitting by the contrivances of her nurse, who told your son under oath of her malady. He, as in fact was right, did not fall in with her words, nor yet again did he break the firmness of his oath, being pious, though he was reviled by you. [1310] And Phaedra, fearing lest she be put to the proof, wrote her false letter and destroyed your son by deceit, and though it was a lie, she persuaded you.

O pain!

Does this tale sting you, Theseus? Hold your peace so that you may hear the sequel and groan the more. [1315] Do you know that you possess three reliable curses from your father? One of these you took, base man, to use against your son when you could have used it against an enemy. Your father, the sea-lord, kindly disposed as he was towards you, granted what he had to grant seeing that he had made this promise. [1320] But in his sight and in mine you are proved base since you did not wait either for confirmation or for the word of a prophet, you did not put the charge to the proof nor grant to Time the right to investigate it, but more rashly than you ought you let loose the curse upon your son and killed him.

[1325] Lady, may I live no longer!

You have done dreadful deeds, but for all that it is still possible for you to win pardon for these things. Aphrodite willed that things should happen thus, sating her anger. Among the gods the custom is this: no god contrives to cross [1330] the will of another, but we all stand aside. For be in no doubt, if it were not that I feared Zeus, I would never have come to such a pitch of shame as to allow the death of the man I love most among mortals. Ignorance acquits [1335] your misdoings of baseness, and further the death of your wife made impossible the testing of her words, and thus she persuaded your mind.

Chiefly upon you do these misfortunes break, but I too feel grief. For the gods do not rejoice [1340] at the death of the godly, but the wicked we destroy children, house, and all.Enter Hippolytus by Eisodos A supported by his servants.

load focus Greek (David Kovacs)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (1 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: