Skip to Main Content

MHS Library | Hippolytus by Euripides

About the play

Hippolytus (Ancient Greek: Ἱππόλυτος, Hippolytos) is an Ancient Greek tragedy by Euripides, based on the myth of Hippolytus, son of Theseus. The play was first produced for the City Dionysia of Athens in 428 BC and won first prize as part of a trilogy.[1]

Euripides first treated the myth in a previous play, Hippolytos Kalyptomenos (Ἱππόλυτος καλυπτόμενος – Hippolytus Veiled), which is now lost; what is known of it is based on echoes found in other ancient writings. The earlier play, and the one that has survived are both titled Hippolytus, but in order to distinguish the two they have traditionally been given the names, Hippolytus Kalyptomenos ("Hippolytus veiled") and Hippolytus Stephanophoros("Hippolytus the wreath bearer").[2] It is thought that the contents to the missing Hippolytos Kalyptomenos portrayed a shamelessly lustful Phaedra who directly propositioned Hippolytus, which apparently offended the play's audience.[3]:3

Euripides revisits the myth in Hippolytos Stephanophoros (Ἱππόλυτος στεφανοφόρος – "Hippolytus who wears a crown"), its title refers to the crown of garlands Hippolytus wears as a worshipper of Artemis. In this version Phaedra fights against her own sexual desires, which have been incited by Aphrodite.[3]  Read more in Wikipedia

Read a synopsis of the play 

Read the play online

A short summary of the play

Study guide by Dr Rose Andujar

From Encyclopedia Britannica

Hippolytus: Background and preliminaries

LitCharts summary

Subject guide created by

Tania Sheko

contact me 

The Death of Hippolytus (1860)
by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema  Photo source

Phaedra agonsing over her love for Hippolytus Photo source

Gale Literary Sources - titles

Search for these titles in Gale Literary Sources or search for keywords eg. "Hippolytus"

Aesthetics and death: idealization, horror and the tragic tetrad in Hippolytus by Eugene Narrett