Hippolytus’ neglect of Eros: A dialogue between Euripedes’ drama and Sarah Kane’s Phaedra’s love

Anastasia-stavroula Valtadorou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kokkini (2013) has recently argued that the destruction of Euripides’ Hippolytus is crucially linked to his absolute rejection of erotic love. She argues that the participation in (or experience of) eros was considered an integral part of Greek male identity that no one could disregard without serious ramifications. With this in mind, it would seem then that Sarah Kane’s universe has nothing to do with this early account of the myth. More specifically, in Phaedra’s Love Hippolytus is no longer the chaste devotee of Artemis, but rather, an obese, depressed and atheist prince, who avails himself of every opportunity for intercourse with anyone at all. His endless list of lovers includes not only Phaedra, his stepmother, who is desperately in love with him, but also her daughter Strophe and a Catholic priest, as well. Nevertheless, a close reading of her work may well reveal that Kane, despite the displacement that her play evidently achieves, conveys a message which is well in accordance with the underlying essence of the ancient myth. This article will demonstrate that in Phaedra’s Love Kane presents Hippolytus’ indifference towards, and neglect of, erotic love in a way that may indeed reflect the Euripidean tragedy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-87
JournalNew Voices in Classical Reception Studies
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2018


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