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But since Theseus has left the land of Cecrops, [35] fleeing the blood-guilt he incurred for the murder of the Pallantidae,1 and sailed with his wife to this land, consenting to a year-long exile from his home, from this point on the poor woman, groaning and struck senseless by the goad of love, means to die [40] in silence, and none of her household knows of her malady. But that is not the way this passion is fated to end. I shall reveal the matter to Theseus and it will come to light,2 and the young man who wars against me shall be killed by his father with the curses the sea-lord [45] Poseidon granted as a gift to Theseus: three times may Theseus pray to the god and have his prayer fulfilled. But Phaedra, noble though she is, shall nonetheless die. I do not set such store by her misfortune as to let my enemies off from [50] such penalty as will satisfy my heart.

But now I see Hippolytus coming, finished with the toil of the hunt, and so I shall leave this place. A great throng of his servants treads close at his heels [55] and shouts, hymning the praises of the goddess Artemis. Clearly he does not know that the gates of the Underworld stand open for him and that this day's light is the last he shall ever look upon.Exit Aphrodite. Enter Hippolytus by Eisodos A, carrying a garland, with a chorus of servants3

1 Theseus' cousins, the sons of Pallas, disputed the throne with him. He is said to have killed them treacherously.

2 The fact of Phaedra's love is actually first revealed to the Nurse, then to Hippolytus. What is ‘revealed’ to Theseus is Phaedra's false accusation of rape. Aphrodite's forecast is misleadingly abbreviated so as to leave room for some surprise in how the plot develops.

3 The Hippolytus has, unusually, two choruses, the main chorus being the women of Trozen.

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