OVERRIDE

Phèdre

A Play

Jean Racine; Translated by Ted Hughes

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The myth of Phaedra, or Phèdre, is one of the most powerful in all of classical mythology. As interpreted by the French playwright Racine, the dying queen's obsessive love for her stepson, Hippolytus, has come to be known as one of the great dramas of tragic infatuation, a tale of love strong enough to bring down a kingdom.

For this "tough, unrhyming avalanche of translation" (Paul Taylor, The Independent), Hughes replaced Racine's alexandrines with a lean, high-tension English verse that serves eloquently to convey the passions of his protagonists. This translation has won acclaim in a stage version with Diana Rigg as Phèdre.

REVIEWS

Praise for Phèdre

'Ted Hughes's new version grasps the spirit of the original in a taut modern classicism. Everything falls on the eye and ear with splendor and passion."--Alastair Macaulay, Financial Times

"The French alexandrine couplet is notoriously hard to replicate in English cadences...yet, in the...fast-moving free verse he used to translate it, [Hughes] seems utterly at home with the action."--Eavan Boland, The New York Times Book Review

"[Ted Hughes] at his best...It is a strange and wonderful fact that...he should write so brilliantly just before he died."--Brian Cox, The Hudson Review

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jean Racine; Translated by Ted Hughes

  • Ted Hughes (1930-98) wrote more than forty books of poetry, prose, and translation, including his version of the Oresteia of Aeschylus and the Alcestis of Euripides. He served as Poet Laureate to Queen Elizabeth II, and in the year before his death he was awarded the Whitbread Book of the Year Prize (for Tales from Ovid) and the Forward Prize (for Birthday Letters), and received an Order of Merit.
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Available Formats and Book Details

Phèdre

A Play

Jean Racine; Translated by Ted Hughes

  • Trade Paperback

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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