The Tragic Myth of Phaedra

Long, long ago…

Poseidon, the god of the sea, gave a white bull to Phaedra’s father, King Minos of Crete. Minos refused to sacrifice the animal to the gods, so Poseidon punished Minos by making his wife, Queen Pasiphae, fall in love with the bull. Pasiphae ordered an inventor to create a hollow cow that she could hide in. Nine months later, Pasiphae gave birth to a half-boy, half-bull: the Minotaur. She and Minos already had two daughters, Ariadne and Phaedra. Minos imprisoned the Minotaur in an underground maze, known as the Labyrinth. For many years, the Minotaur killed everyone who entered the Labyrinth. But one day,the hero Theseus arrived in Crete. Princess Ariadne gave him a ball of string to guide him through the labyrinth, and allowed Theseus to kill the Minotaur.Theseus promised to marry Ariadne, but instead abandoned her on an island, where she died.

Years later…

Phaedra and Theseus were married. But Phaedra began to lust after Theseus’ son, Hippolytus. The chaste, young Hippolytus refused her, but Phaedra told Theseus that his son had seduced her. Theseus, enraged, banished Hippolytus.  As he was leaving the palace, Hippolytus died in a terrible chariot accident. Phaedra, overcome with guilt and terror, killed herself.

That’s the classic myth of Phaedra. But this is Phaedra Backwards.

For a plot summary of Phaedra Backwards, click here.