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by Jean Racine
ISBN 1857544641 / 9781857544640 / 1-85754-464-1
Publisher Carcanet Pr
› Find signed collectible books: 'Phaedre'
The poet Edwin Morgan has translated this French classic tragedy, with its measured and highly formal rhetoric, into a vigorous, specific idiom: a Glaswegian-based Scots. He considers it at once true to the drama and psychology of Racine's play, but also answers the dramatic needs of modern theatre. His aim is to make the play speak with immediacy and to remove the hushed respect with which Racine is often presented. "Phedre" was first perfomed in 1677 as "Phedre et Hyppolite". It is Racine's last secular tragedy, drawing on the Hippolytus plays of Euripides and Seneca. Phaedra, wife of Theseus, King of Athens, is in love with her stepson Hippolytus who is in love in Princes Aricie. When Theseus is absent, presumed dead, Phaedra confesses her love. When Theseus returns Phaedra allows Hippolytus to be accused of attempted rape. Theseus rejects his son, who dies in battle with a sea-monster. Phaedra, torn by guilt, confesses and takes poison. [via]