By Jean Racine, Ted Hughes
A lean, high-tension model of a vintage tragedy.
The delusion of Phaedra is likely one of the strongest in all of classical mythology. As dramatized by way of the French playwright Jean Racine (1639-99), the loss of life Queen's obsessive love for her stepson, Hippolytus, and the scrupulously upright Hippolytus' love for the forbidden attractiveness Aricia has become often called one of many nice tales of tragic infatuation, a story of affection robust adequate to deliver down a kingdom.
In this "tough, unrhyming avalanche of a translation" (Paul Taylor, The Independent), Hughes replaces Racine's alexandrines with an English verse that serves eloquently to show the passions of his protagonists. the interpretation was once played to acclaim in London in 1998, and the London construction, starring Diana Rigg, was once staged in 1999 on the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
"We are nonetheless catching up with Ted Hughes's reward for narrative verse after his Tales from Ovid," one English critic saw after the London most desirable. "Little must occur on degree while there is a swirling action-packed catastrophe movie-riddled with intercourse and violence-in Hughes's loose verse."