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Phaedra

Various questions about the play are explored:

1. Does this play display verisimilitude by displaying each of its three components (reality, morality, and universality)?

2. Is this play "regular"? Meaning, does it have the proper characteristics for its genre and avoid mixing genre's.

3. Does this play follow the rule of decorum?

4. Does this play fulfill the dual function of theatre?

5. Does the play have the proper number of acts?

6. Does the play follow the three unities? (unity of time, unity of place, and unity of action)

7. Overall, how well do you think this play meets the neoclassical ideal?

Solution Preview

Please consider these ideas when creating your own responses:

1. Does this play display verisimilitude by displaying each of its three components (reality, morality, and universality)?

Racine's play utilizes verisimilitude. Please note the effort to create reality among the characters and to foster conformity to the set of neoclassical rules. Racine observed the unities of time, place, and action. For example, please note that the dramatic action did not exceed 24 hours, remained with a specific setting or locale, and involved unity of action through a central plot. The play's focus on "emotion versus reason" also represents attempt at reality and morality. Also, the use of sexuality and power dynamics also coincide with universality. Phaedra's last word, "purity" further symbolizes moral dilemmas. Her suicide also exhibits issues within this topic.

2. Is this play "regular"? Meaning, does it have the proper characteristics for its genre and avoid mixing ...

Solution Summary

This posting examines style and theme within this piece.

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