Phédre

Phédre  (´dr ).—A tragedy by Racine, produced January 1, 1677. It was founded on the story of Phædra, daughter of Minos, king of Crete, and wife of Theseus. She conceived a criminal love for Hippolytus, her stepson, and, being repulsed by him, accused him to her husband of attempting to dishonor her. Hippolytus was put to death, and Phædra, wrung with remorse, strangled herself.Phédre  was the great part of Mdlle. Rachel; she first appeared in this character in 1838. It is unquestionably the most remarkable of Racine's regular tragedies. By it the style must stand or fall, and a reader need hardly go farther to appreciate it. For excellence of construction, artful beauty of verse, skillful use of the limited means of appeal at the command of the dramatist, no play can surpass Phédre.