• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'Hysterical and Vindictive' is that a better description of Electra or Phaedra? (including plan)

Extracts from this document...


'Hysterical and Vindictive' is that a better description of Electra or Phaedra? (including plan) At the beginning of Hippolytus when we are introduced to Phaedra she would certainly be described as 'hysterical', she is panic-stricken and frantic because of her sudden love for her step-son Hippolytus. Before she reveals to her nurse why she is so panicked she is clearly in an unstable state and is repeatedly described as 'mad'. I would say that her behaviour at the beginning of the play defines being 'hysterical' but once the play progresses she calms down because she believes the nurse if going to help her. It seems like an overreaction but hysteria cannot be controlled and Phaedra is certainly not in control of her feelings. Electra however, I would not describe as 'hysterical', her behaviour is more on the side of grieving and lamenting the murder of her father. When we meet her she is clearly seen lamenting at his grave and cursing the fact that her mother killed her father. ...read more.


Phaedra is found dead in the middle of the play, she had hung herself. In her hand Theseus found a piece of paper blaming Hippolytus for her death and accusing him of attacking her. She used her death as a way of blaming the one she loved and this is extremely vindictive because now she has taken her own life, her accusations can never be disproven (or so she thought). In Electra from beginning to end she is clearly vindictive, even when her sister comes out to lay offerings on Agamemnon's grave she seems to only think of the hatred she has for Clytemnestra. She appears to be constantly plotting and trying to make her mother's life worse, especially when she is told explicitly to stop lamenting, she argues with her. Her hatred and spiteful feelings towards her mother continue throughout the play, however she seems less vindictive than Phaedra by the end of the play. This is because once Orestes has revealed that he is still alive, it is he and the Paedagogus that carry out the deed of killing Clytemnestra and Aegisthus, not Electra. ...read more.


"...now the wretched woman, groaning and reduced to madness by love's cruel jabs, is dying without speaking a word." She has resorted to drastic measures because she is in the agony of love, she cannot confide in anyone so that makes her suffering even harder on her. Here the nurse and chorus-leader are deliberating what could be wrong with her. We feel sorry for Phaedra because of her pain and the fact that she must endure it alone (for now) "Kill herself, you say? Well, her refusal of food is certainly likely to remove her from life." We feel sorry for her because even though she has been promised that the nurse will not say anything to him and will find her a charm- yet this all goes terribly wrong and the nurse eventually tells Hippolytus and this ultimately causes the suicide of Phaedra. She was betrayed by the only person she confided in, so we sympathise with Phaedra. "But in so dying i will prove deadly to another's life, to teach him not to triumph over my downfall...then her shall learn what restrain is" ?? ?? ?? ?? Charlie Classics ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. Compare and Contrast the Portrayal of Clytemnestra in Agamemnon and Electra

    It's all one," to the men of Argos symbolised by the chorus. In Electra Clytemnestra reveals that the repercussions of the murder do emotionally affect her, "I know my tongue is sometimes bitter; that's because I'm spoken of as a bad woman."

  2. 'What do we learn about the character of Dionysus from the Bacchae?' (including plan)

    Zeus kills Semele with a lightning bolt and snatches Dionysus from her womb. What has happened to Dionysus' appearance? He is disguised as mortal so he can go to Dirce's stream and the waters of Ismenus. Where is Dionysus Standing?

  1. Was Julius Caesar an effective leader?

    This opens a question on the judgement that led him to invade Britain? I would argue that it was simply because he believed that he could not fail. But this setback tempered his arrogance. In these two efforts he was not an effective leader, he had made a poor decision and was unsuccessful.

  2. To what extent do you agree that Phaedra and Hippolytus are in control of ...

    It is also revealed that Phaedra must die in accordance with the plan which ultimately shows that no matter what either Phaedra or Hippolytus do during the course of the play they were always destined to endure Aphrodite's plan and die.

  1. history classics

    The Tholos tombs at Mycenae are also on a huge scale as they are carved into the mountain side, even the lintel blocks weigh over one hundred tons. Stilicho's sarcophagus is the smallest of all three, but for a Roman tomb it is still massive.

  2. Conflicting Values between Phaedra and the Nurse in Euripides's Hippolytus

    even by the gods '' Zeus once desired to bed Semele'' she implies that Phaedra suppress her feelings but resign herself to them .This goes against every value of virtue and reputation that Phaedra esteems. Phaedra would rather die than be unfaithful, she despises women who ''lay claim to virtue '' but ''dare to commit shameful deeds'' .

  1. Examine and compare the motives and actions of Orestes and Electra. To what extent ...

    "So I can do nothing but wait in misery". Pg 77. Mourning in the ancient Greek sense here meant tearing off your hair, crying and all sorts of self-harm. 'I bring my sad songs here and tear my breast till it bleeds".

  2. Compare the portrayal of Clytaemnestra in both Aeschylus’ Agamemnon and Euripides’ Electra. Which ...

    to her daughter in regards to unhindered fury and a lust for vengeance. This older, wiser Clytaemnestra still remains crucial to the plot, but not as a central character, and is merely a shadow of her former self, the confident, powerful creature who dictated the action of Aeschylus' play.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work