Hippolytus is a tragedy written by Euripides (c. 484-407 BCE), one of the great Greek playwrights of the early 5th century BCE. As with many tragedies of the era, the central focus of Hippolytus is humanity's relationship with the gods. Hippolytus chooses not to pay homage to Aphrodite, the goddess of love; instead, he dedicates his life and love to the goddess of the hunt, Artemis. For his slight, his step-mother, Phaedra, is made to fall in love with him; a love that can never be returned. Innocently, Hippolytus rejects Phaedra' love and vows to remain away from the palace until his father, Theseus, returns. She becomes so distraught that she commits suicide, leaving a note accusing Hippolytus of rape. When Theseus returns, he banishes Hippolytus without a trial and prays that Poseidon kill him. Later, when Artemis reveals the truth, the remorseful Theseus is confronted with his dying son's body. In the end, Hippolytus forgives his father; something that one might find difficult to accept outside a play.

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