Although the exact dating of Seneca’s plays is elusive, certain stylistic and metrical reasons point to an early date for his


, possibly the later years of Claudius’ reign. John Fitch [


102 (1981) 289-307] has claimed that the


belongs to the first group of Seneca’s plays along with the


and the


. Richard Tarrant has suggested that these three plays (

Phaedra, Agamnenon, Oedipus

) “represent an attempt to treat material conspicuously associated with each of the three canonical Greek tragedians” (1995, 220).

In this tragedy Seneca treats the well-known myth of Phaedra’s love for her stepson Hippolytus. Like his Medea, Seneca’s Phaedra is a study on a family ruined by an uncontrollable passion. The place of the dramatic action is Athens, the

2028 words

Citation: Michalopoulos, Andreas. "Phaedra". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 February 2010 [, accessed 05 March 2024.]

13463 Phaedra 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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