The Phaedra Syndrome: Of Shame and Guilt in Drama
Rodopi, 1993 - 142 oldal
Originating probably in some oral cautionary tale, the Phaedra story illustrates a peculiar pattern of transgression and retribution. This Phaedra syndrome provided inspiration for many major writers from Euripides to Gabriele d'Annunzio. The present book offers a close re-reading and a re-assessment of four acknowledged masterpieces - Euripides' Hippolutos, Seneca's Phaedra, Lope de Vega's Castigo sin venganza and Racine's Phèdre: together with Lope's Italian source. Matteo Bandello's Novella 44, they all deal with the old tale or none of its analogues. While paying minute comparative attention to the texts, it aims at clarifying the relevance of each work for the meandrous evolution of religious beliefs and ethical criteria in the history of European society, ranging from Democritus' effort to react against his contemporaries' archaic shame-culture attitudes to Latin Stoicism, to the syncretic Baroque outlook in siglo de oro drama and to the radical puritanical inwardness of French Jansenism. The last two chapters offer an original interpretation of Phèdre as the supreme poetic utterance of Racine's confusion and perplexity in front of the unresolved contradictions in his faith; a case is made in the Conclusion the view that the puzzled and puzzling mood of this mysterious play exemplifies the new mind-set that was paving the way for Enlightenment rationalism and the ensuing dechristianisation of the Western intelligentsia.
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action allow appears assertion audience aware Bandello become behaviour called Casandra century character Christian claim close concern confession conscience course crime culture death described despite Duke ethical Euripides evil fact fate father fear Federico feelings final follow French function gives Greek guilt hand Hipp Hippolutos Hippolyte Hippolyte's honour human husband important inner innocent Italy Latin lines lovers matter means mind Minos moral motivation nature noted Nurse observed Oenone offers original passion person Phaed Phaedra Phèdre play playwright plot presented principle problem pudor punishment Queen question Racine Racine's reader reason remains reputation responsible restore Seneca sense sexual shame situation social society soliloquy Spanish speech stage stepson story Thésée's Theseus thought tradition tragedy translation turn utter values Venus virtue wife woman young
8. oldal - I have pondered on the causes of a life's shipwreck. I think that our lives are worse than the mind's quality would warrant. There are many who know virtue. We know the good, we apprehend it clearly. But we can't bring it to achievement.
8. oldal - ... lives are worse than the mind's quality would warrant. There are many who know virtue. We know the good, we apprehend it clearly. But we can't bring it to achievement. Some are betrayed by their own laziness, and others value some other pleasure above virtue. There are many pleasures in a woman's life — long gossiping talks and leisure, that sweet curse. Then there is shame that thwarts us. Shame is of two kinds. The one is harmless, but the other a plague. For clarity's sake, we should not...