Free Will Versus Control in Phaedra’s Outburst and the Nurse’s Rebuttal in Euripides’ Hippolytus ( 373- 480 ) In antediluvian Grecian civilization. it was believed that worlds were in control of their ain fates and actions despite being capable to the caprices of the Gods. However in Euripides’ Hippolytus this belief is shown in a contradictory visible radiation. particularly refering the character Phaedra. for she lacks free will. due to Aphrodite utilizing her as a pawn in her program to kill Hippolytus. Though Phaedra refuses to talk of this affliction. lest her repute be called into inquiry. she experiences an incident where her Nurse’s nosiness into her degenerative province leads to an effusion. This outburst. and the subsequent conversation. serves non merely to uncover critical background information on Phaedra’s character. but besides outlines cardinal subjects that sheds uncertainty on the belief that worlds are in control of themselves. The Nurse discusses the nature of free will and how it is viewed in Grecian civilization. In Phaedra’s effusion. she outlines the stairss she took in her effort to accomplish sophrosune in order to command her passion. As good. Phaedra and the Nurse discuss the nature of Godhead control and the technique Aphrodite uses to command people.
The Nurse’s rebuttal to Phaedra’s effusion reveals that free will is useless when pitted against a God. In her address straight after Phaedra’s outburst. the Nurse outlines the method Aphrodite uses when interacting with worlds: “She goes gently after the 1 who yields. but whomever she finds believing excessive and proud ideas. she takes him and you can’t conceive of how severely she treats him” ( Euripides 444-447 ) . This portraiture of how Aphrodite uses her power over passion straight conflicts with the really thought of free will. Free will is. by definition. the power to do one’s ain determinations unconstrained by external forces ( Free Dictionary ) and this portraiture shows that Aphrodite is interfering with Phaedra’s free will and moving as an external force on her determinations. The individual act of giving Phaedra the overpowering passion creates a Domino consequence. in which all her determinations until her decease are affected by this passion. This usage of Aphrodite’s time shows that despite holding some control over their lives. ancient Greeks could non be in complete control because of the gods’ influence. In a vain effort. Phaedra tries to conceal her newfound passion through the pattern of sophrosune.
She formulated a program to get the hang her emotions. which finally failed: When passion wounded me. I started to see how/ I might bear it. So I began with this. / to maintain quiet about this disease and concealed it ; /… Second. I took attention to bear the folly good. / seeking to repress it with moderateness. / And 3rd. when I couldn’t manage/ to get the hang Cypris in these ways. it seemed good to decease. / the best program. ( Euripides 391-402 ) The construct of free will is shown to be violated in the account of Phaedra’s program because she is no longer able to exert control over herself any longer. If she were in control of herself she would be able to maintain her feelings of passion to herself. by manner of silence. and merely ne’er reference it to anyone. However this is non the instance and this passion becomes so overpowering that she feels she must kill herself to halt herself from go againsting her matrimony ( Halleran 281 ) . Aphrodite is considered one of the most powerful goddesses in mythology. despite her lone being able to command her ain time of gender ( Buxton 69 ) .
This means that Aphrodite is non able openly control someone’s actions. However she still manages to command the state of affairs: “Cypris goes through the air/ and is in the crestless wave of the sea. everything is born from her ; / she is the 1 who sows and gives desire” ( Euripides 447-449 ) She maintains her control over the events of the drama by manner of use of Phaedra’s passion. She places Phaedra in a place where she would hold no pick but to state of her affliction. This leads to Hippolytus happening out and his effusion of misogynism. It was because her passion was so strong for Hippolytus that Phaedra was so devastated. devastated plenty to go forth that suicide note that seals Hippolytus’ destiny. Phaedra’s conversation with the Nurse is used to demo the delicate balance between free will and command. every bit good outline the nature of sophrosune. These subjects. in relation to Phaedra’s state of affairs. raise an of import inquiry about free will in general. In a divinely controlled existence. where Gods can exercise their influence over lesser existences. and no sum of temperateness can alter the result. is free will even possible? There are a batch of conflicting theories about free will in Hippolytus entirely. and it is rather a complex inquiry that may hold no unequivocal reply. However based on the instance of Phaedra. it can be seen that if there is free will in a godly existence. said deities have no scruple taking it off when it suits their demands.
Buxton. Richard. The Complete World of Greek Mythology. New York: Thames and Hudson LTD. 2004. Print Euripides. Hippolytus. Trans. Michael Halleran. Newburyport: Focus Classical Library. 2004. Print “Free Will. ” The Free Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company. Web. 17 Oct 2011. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //www. thefreedictionary. com/free+will & gt ; . Halleran. Michael. The Hippolytus: An Interpretation. E. d Stephen Esposito. Newburyport: Focus Classical Library. 2004. Print Further Reading
Alternate interlingual renditionEuripides. Hippolytus. Trans. Sophie Mills. London: Duckworth. 2002. Print Scholarly BookLuschnig. C. A. E. Time holds the Mirror: a survey of cognition in Euripides’ Hippolytus. New York: E. J. Brill. 1988. Print. Scholarly ArticlesMueller. Melissa. “Phaedra’s Defixio: Scripting Sophrosune in Euripides’ Hippolytus. Classical Antiquity. ( 2011 ) Macintosh. F. Things are rarely what they seem! . Classical Review. ( 2000 ) Helpful Website
hypertext transfer protocol: //classics. uc. edu/~johnson/tragedy/hippolytus. hypertext markup languageThis web site helped me better understand Hippolytus because it gives background information on the characters yesteryears. such as Phaedra’s household. and it gives an overview of subjects found in the drama.