Hippolytus | Study Guide

Euripides

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Hippolytus | Stasimon 3 | Summary

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Summary

The Chorus of Huntsmen sings of how great it is to be cared for by the gods even though men's lives and fortunes are always changing. The Chorus of Women prays for peaceful and prosperous lives, knowing they will have to adjust to all of tomorrow's changes. The huntsmen admit they are confused because they've seen something they never expected to see in their lives: a bright "star of Athens" killed by his father. The women confirm that Hippolytus will never again ride his chariot or walk in nature or play his lute in his father's house because now there is an end to the battle between Aphrodite and Artemis. The Chorus of Women confesses they are angry with the gods for letting this tragedy happen.

Analysis

Euripides reflects the differing attitudes between men and women in this final stasimon. The men are grateful for the care the gods provide them, though they worry about the fact that men's lives and fortunes change too unpredictably at times. Now that they've seen what happened to Hippolytus at his father's own hands, they question the gods' role in men's lives.

The women appear more realistic: they yearn for calm, untroubled lives that are not so easily disrupted by the gods. They understand that life brings changes and they must be able to adapt as necessary. The Chorus of Women laments the joys in life that Hippolytus will no longer enjoy, and they sympathize with his Amazon queen mother who brought him into the world in vain. They clearly express their anger at what Aphrodite has done and what the gods allowed to happen. The women's view of their world appears more compassionate and empathetic than the huntsmen's, and they seem unafraid to condemn the goddesses for doing what they did.

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