skip to primary navigationskip to content
 

CRDG talk

Tori L McKee (Classical Studies, The Open University): "Fragmentation and Unity: Psychoanalytical adaptations of the Hippolytus"
When Nov 28, 2013
from 05:15 PM to 06:30 PM
Where Room G.21
Contact Name
Add event to calendar vCal
iCal

All welcome!

Abstract:

My research investigates thematic clusters in the reception of the Hippolytus and Phaedra myth, via the three major source texts: Euripides’ Hippolytus, Seneca’s Phaedra and Racine’s Phèdre.  Integral to my study is the rejection of any idea of a single ‘source text’ exerting its influence on a single modern version.  I instead argue that the three source texts together form a collective Hippolytus and Phaedra tradition and that this collective, rather than any original text in isolation, is what is received by the adaptations under discussion in my thesis.  Each modern work under discussion in my thesis represents a newly re-imagined re-constructed version of the tradition as a whole, although this version may be influenced by prioritisation of one character over another, or by a particular thematic focus based on social factors (such as the consanguinity of the relationship between the protagonists) or developments in intellectual history (such as psychoanalytical theory).

This paper will discuss early 20th-century adaptations of the Hippolytus and Phaedra tradition, including Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms and H.D.'s Hippolytus Temporizes, which take a psychoanalytic approach and draw out the theme of the incestuous desires between stepmother and stepson.  Although on the surface, Desire Under the Elms and Hippolytus Temporizes appear to have very little in common aside from the dates of their compositions, the similarities between the two texts, which both arose in a context heavily dominated by Freud’s discoveries, are striking.  In both plays the connection between land/place/space and the feminine/maternal figure, as well as the father-son nexus or second half of the Oedipal complex, are dominant concerns in their re-workings of the source material.  Both O’Neill and H.D. have configured the Hippolytus myth in a distinctly Oedipal framework: their Hippolytus figures see their lovers as quasi-maternal figures and also have a strongly antagonistic and competitive relationship with their fathers.

RSS Feed Latest news

Faculty Archivist (part-time)

Oct 10, 2017

The Faculty wishes to recruit a part-time Archivist who will be responsible for the management and care of its archive collections

Kenyon Medal awarded to Joyce Reynolds

Sep 28, 2017

The Kenyon Medal in 2017 has been awarded to Joyce Reynolds FBA for her lifetime's contribution to the research and study of Roman epigraphy.

Postgraduate Open Day Saturday 18 November 2017

Sep 22, 2017

Details of the 2017 Faculty of Classics Postgraduate Open Day are now available online:

Major archaeological discovery near Orchomenos in Boeotia, central Greece

Sep 12, 2017

The Times newspaper reports on excavations this summer at Prosilio near Orchomenos in Boeotia, central Greece, conducted by the Ministry of Culture & Sports of Greece/Ephorate of Antiquities of Boeotia and of the British School at Athens/University of Cambridge

View all news