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Love and Feelings

By ash13y007 Sep 23, 2013 909 Words
Uncontrollable Passion
When you allow your heart to control your mind, you lose all direction of reality and reason. Most of Racine’s characters were born with a selfish outlook on life. There was no consideration of others’ feelings or situations throughout the play. Everyone paid the price for their persistent desires. There is a lesson to be learned from this play, ultimately, the one who loves with the heart and the mind finds genuine love and happiness that lasts. Oenone - Oenone put so much passion toward pleasing Phaedra that it brought her pain and destruction. After Phaedra turned against her, Oenone kills herself. Phadra explaining the death of Oenone to Theseus says, “Of my vile passion, make it known to you, abused my weakness and, by vicious rose, made haste to be the first one to accuse. For that she’s paid; fleeing my wrath, she found too mild a death in the waves is drowned” (Act V, Scene 7, Line 36-39). The passion that came from Phaedra had a hold on Oenone which caused her sorrow as well. Oenone had more of a deceiving type of character in the fact that she had to lie in order to please Phaedra. Oenone carried out her plan to tell Theseus that Hyppolytus had a specific feeling for his wife. Hyppolytus - The passion displayed by Hippolytus is very powerful. He wants to do what is right, but he wants to follow his heart at the same time. He wants to pursue the woman that he is in love with, but it would never bring honor to his father. He has a different type of passion than Phaedra and even Oenone. His is controlled more by his mind. His love for Aricia is honest and pure, but he said, “My reason can’t rein in my heart,” (Act II, Scene 2, Line 63). He did not want to dishonor his father, but after hearing his mother confess her love for him, he decided to act upon his feelings. He was angry at her, but he was in love with Aricia. After he was accused of having inappropriate feelings toward his mother, his father became very angry and eventually had him killed. Phaedra’s passion for him turned into a selfish hate. Hippolytus’ passion for Aricia was not selfish, but still brought him sorrow and death because his mother was jealous of their feelings for each other. He was sentenced by his own mother because of her lies and selfish ways. Phaedra - Phaedra who was the main character, had passion like no one else had in this play. Her passion was formed into love toward Hippolytus. There are many lines throughout this play that express the sorrow that is displayed due to her passion. Phaedra says, “I am faint; my strength abandons me, I fear. My eyes are blinded by the glare of day, and now I feel my trembling knees give way, Alas!” (Act I, Scene 3, Line 1-4). Her passion and love that she holds for this person is so strong that it begins to bring her despair. This type of passion leaves her helpless and broken. Phaedra does not want to take blame for her feelings because they are so wrong and inappropriate, but she couldn’t help feel this way. Phaedra expressing her feelings to Oenone says, “The Gods have robbed me of my wits. A rush of shame, Oenone, causes me to blush. I make my guilty torment all too plain. My eyes, despite me, fill with tears of pain” (Act I, Scene 3, Line 29-32). There was no way that she could take the blame, so she blames it on the gods. She lost all control over her feelings for Hippolytus and decided that she could hold them in no longer. After confessing her feelings to him, she seems to have lost quite a bit of confidence. She realized that her emotions and heart were overruling her mind and that she was not being very sensible. “My frenzied love’s burst forth in act and word. I’ve spoken what should never have been heard” (Act III, Line 5&6). Destruction within her begins to sink in. There is a part of her that regrets her passion because they both knew that it was wrong. There was sorrow after Hyppolytus turned from her; she thought that he had betrayed her. Phaedra has many metaphors that she uses when she speaks of her love for Hyppolytus. She refers to her love for him like thirst, “I feel love’s raging thirst” (Act I, Scene 3, Line 108). This is a very powerful line, her love is almost uncontrollable. This “raging thirst” eventually starves her and leads to her tragic death. She never learned how to balance her heart and her mind, therefore her heart was in control which became very dangerous. It was finally guilt that brought her to the end because she was selfish. The struggle for each character was not love; it was a passionate desire that had no control or reason. Destruction was the result to their selfish and immature actions. Love is not something that you can make up, it is not something that you can play with, it is not something that you can use. Love is a gift that starts in your heart and connects with your mind. In turn, your mind will convince your heart to act upon your feelings, feelings that are genuine and honest.

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