Wednesday, 18 January 2012
A servant's regrets
In the play I am an old servant who has watched Hppolytus growing up. I'm worried that he's spending too much time following the goddess Artemis by devoting himself to her great pleasure, hunting. It's not that I'm against hunting as such, but I think he needs to get more balance into his life. I advise him to start respecting the goddess Aphrodite by engaging with his emotional, sexual side. Admittedly I phrase it a little more subtly than that. But it's not my fault that the first time temptation comes his way it comes via the nurse of his stepmother, Phaedra, who reveals that Phaedra desires him. And I didn't know that Aphrodite herself had already vowed to destroy Hippolytus for neglecting her and to ruin Phaedra as well. Obviously I'm not responsible for what happens next. But I can't help thinking that perhaps I should have spoken to Hippolytus sooner. If I'd done so, he might not have incurred Aphrodite's anger in the first place. And he might have been better equipped to react to what the nurse tells him without leaving Phaedra feeling humiliated and determined to kill herself and blame him. But it's too late now.