Monsters Created by Uncontrolled Emotions: Examples of the Greek Mythical Characters Thesee, Oenone and Phedre

1061 Words Jan 28th, 2018 4 Pages
Greek mythology is full of monsters that the hero like Theseus or Hercules has to kill in order to achieve his glorious fate. However, there are other types of monsters, not based on their physical attributes, but because of the acts that they commit. Jean Racine in his play Phedre shows these psychological monsters who, based on appearance, look like any other character in the story, but it is their actions and thoughts that make them monstrous. The mythological set of the play, which takes place in ancient Greece, highlights the difference between a physical monster, like the Minotaur, and the monstrosity that is within some of the characters like Phedre, Oenone or Theseus and is much worse than any kind of beast. After all, it is easy to fight the hideousness when one can see it, but when it is invisible; it lurks in the shadows and only in the end, when it has fulfilled its monstrous desire, becomes visible to others. However, as the play shows, when the invisible monster becomes visible, it is too late to fight it, leaving behind a tragedy that not only wrenches the heart but is a warning against the immorality and rashness exemplified by the monstrous characters of Thesee, Oenone and Phedre. Phedre, as the title of the play suggests, is the main character of the story. She is the wife of Theseus and the stepmother of Hippolyte. At the opening of the play, Phedre is dying not…

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