Phaedra By Jean Racine Act I: Scenes 4-5

SCENE IV
PHAEDRA, OENONE, PANOPE

PANOPE
Fain would I hide from you tidings so sad,
But 'tis my duty, Madam, to reveal them.
The hand of death has seized your peerless husband,
And you are last to hear of this disaster.

OENONE
What say you, Panope?

PANOPE
The queen, deceived
By a vain trust in Heav'n, begs safe return
For Theseus, while Hippolytus his son
Learns of his death from vessels that are now
In port.

PHAEDRA
Ye gods!

PANOPE
Divided counsels sway
The choice of Athens; some would have the prince,
Your child, for master; others, disregarding
The laws, dare to support the stranger's son.
'Tis even said that a presumptuous faction
Would crown Aricia and the house of Pallas.
I deem'd it right to warn you of this danger.
Hippolytus already is prepared
To start, and should he show himself at Athens,
'Tis to be fear'd the fickle crowd will all
Follow his lead.

OENONE
Enough. The queen, who hears you,
By no means will neglect this timely warning.

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How is Theseus rumored to have died?




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