Hippolytus Quotes in Hippolytus
I have brought you this green crown,
Goddess, fresh from the scene
Where I spliced its flowers together,
A meadow as virginal as you are…
Sea goddess, share this adventure with me,
Though I have my own tactics
And these, once set in motion,
Once I share them inside with a certain young friend,
Will carry our affair to its climax.
The truth is hideous. It sears and wrenches
And will not stay clenched in my throat.
To speak it out excruciates me,
But it must come. Ahhh!
Hear it, men of the city!
My wife was raped – by Hippolytus!
I came bitterly from your womb,
O my cruelly wounded mother.
Let no one I love ever
Enter this world a bastard.
Daughter of Leto, you who were
Closest to me, my friend, my hunting partner,
Now I will go in exile
From radiant Athens.
I say goodbye to my city…
There is one practice
That I have never touched,
Though it’s exactly what you attack me for:
Physical love. Until now
I’ve never been to bed with a woman.
All I know of sex is what I hear,
Or find in pictures – these I’m not very keen
To see, since I keep my inner life
As calm and pure as I can.
What the gods did to you
Fills me with rage – O Graces, goddesses
Of beauty and kindness,
You have given – why did you do it? –
A hard life to an innocent man.
You cut him off from his home and country
To travel depressed and alone.
King, I am your slave, but don’t ask me
To believe that your son was guilty.
I couldn’t, not if the whole female sex
And all the timber on Mount Ida
Were sliced up to write suicide notes.
I know he was a good man.
And the maidens’ spontaneous songs
Will dwell on you with endless care.
And fame will find musical words
For Phaidra’s terrible love for you,
And that too will be known.