Hippolytus: The Tragedy Of Aeschylus And Sophocles

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Written by renowned tragedian Euripides in 428 BCE, the Ancient Greek tragedy Hippolytus is the ultimate story of betrayal and desire. Euripides’ style of tragedy is often compared to the works of the other two major playwrights of the era, Aeschylus and Sophocles, yet it differs greatly. His writing style is simple and can be communicated in colloquial speech:
Euripides was known for taking a new approach to traditional myths: he often changed elements of their stories or portrayed the more fallible, human sides of their heroes and gods. His plays commonly dwelled on the darker side of existence, with plot elements of suffering, revenge and insanity. Their characters are often motivated by strong passions and intense emotions. (“Euripides”)
These qualities are present within Hippolytus, as the reader sees a vengeful Aphrodite,
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It begins with a hamartia, an intellectual mistake, made by Hippolytus when he swears to only worship Artemis. The element is peripeteia, this reversal of fortune does not happen in a significant way until the end. For the majority of the play Hippolytus is arrogant, while he does go from being a prince to an exiled member of society, who he actually is does not change, and thus he remains fundamentally the same until the anagnorisis. In the end an anagnorisis is reached between father and son, as Hippolytus shows growth through his forgiveness of his father and it ends with them on good terms. Hippolytus is a classic Greek tragedy for a plethora of reasons: the use of tragic dialectic and internal conflict, Hegel’s principle of tragic identification, and elements of Aristotle’s tragic studies. Euripides constructed a tragedy that has withstood the test of time and captivated thousands, with its’ unusual portrayal of flawed goddesses and pitied mortals, and will continue to persevere for generations to

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