Characterize Phaedra in terms of her sense of morality

We often think of morality in terms of right versus wrong or good versus evil.If a person chooses wisely and makes good decisions, they have morals, but if a person is evil then they have no sense of morality.Phaedra's situation is complicated and cannot easily be characterized in terms of good versus evil.While she knows it is wrong to love her stepson and tries to hide these feelings, she makes bad decisions during the course of the play which eventually lead to her death, and the death of Hippolytus.Although Phaedra is a good person and knows right from wrong, her sense of morality does come into question which unfortunately produces a terrible outcome.If a person knows right from wrong, yet still cannot control their urges or impulses, this doesn't necessarily make them evil or lacking morals, as in the case of Phaedra.
Phaedra is married to Theseus, yet is in love with his son Hippolytus.Very early on in the play we can see that Phaedra is tormented by this love and knows it is wrong.In order to prevent herself from acting on these feelings, she has Hippolytus banished from their kingdom."O heavy weight of misery!My eyes beheld the son in the father's countenance.At length I dared to rebel against myself.I spurred my spirit to persecute him, striving thus to banish the enemy I worship by assuming a stepmother's proverbial cruelty.I clamored for his exile till my cries tore my dear enemy from his father's arms" (1473)."I have a just abhorrence of my crime; I hate my life, abominate my lust; longing by death to rescue my good name and hide my black love from the light of day" (1473).Although banishing Hippolytus from the kingdom is not the act of someone we would consider to have great morals, Phaedra knows this is the only way to hide her secret.She feels she is doing what is best for everyone involved, thus showing that she is not an evil person.
When t…


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