Wednesday, November 25, 2009


            Conflict is the fundamental element in tragedy, as perhaps it is in life. As a matter of fact, Shakespeare considers human beings as " a jumble of walking contradictions". By conflict I mean both the internal dilemma, as realized in the psychological mechanism of man, and the external which, thought realized outside this mechanism, leads the individual to deadlock. Therefore, conflicts may materialize within one's self, the self as opposed to the other, the ante-self, between two persons of diametrically different natures or aims, between the individual and the society or between the societies, Therefore, it will focus on displaying and/or diagnosing the nature of these conflicts, the twofold manifestation of the self, which I refer to as doppelganger or second self or double, as in the case of Phaedra and Alan, who, due to the society's restrictions on them, produce their doubles.
            The double may appear as the diabolical self, who tempts the self to do things he thinks he should not do or the things he wants to do but cannot. Thus, my point being psychological analysis, I will use the words doubling, splitting, fragmentation as synonymous to refer to the psychological disorder appearing in the form of doppelganger. The double may be a figure of the shadowy unknown, psychological duplication, multiplicity in character and twofoldedness as in Hamlet's case. Since the individual, the microcosm, is a part of that whole called macrocosm, his twofoldedness is to be affected and affect in turn the cultural and social milieu he is living in. When his inner conflict gains strength, he threatens to clash with the society or the restrictions it imposes on him.
            To draw an analogy, the society, the body, takes defense position to implement or perpetuate its obligations by sending the erythrocytes over the leukocytes to blot out the foreign or degenerate in it's structure. The individual fighting or reacting to the society becomes o rebel. In turn, the society shows a counter-reaction to this by either eradicating or confining the individual to certain limits, hence he becomes an exile. To promote the argument, the exile may be either corporeal or incorporeal: the spiritual estrangement or alienation or ostracism is incorporeal, and the actual act of depriving him of home is corporeal.
            Prometheus, e.g., is the benefactor of man, but this leads him to rebellion against Zeus, and to his subsequent exile. Hamlet's tragedy follows this pattern: his misgivings about his father's death causes his double and feigned madness to ferret out the truth. His incorporeal exile in the society takes another turn and, sent away to England for exile-and death-, he gradually becomes a rebel to be followed by a concatenation of murders. Alan, torn between the ideas and ideals of his parents, is an incorporeal exile before he commits the crime and becomes a rebel by blinding the horses.
            To be able to analyze the characters from this angle, I have developed a theoretical approach which I call "nuclear gossamer characterization". By "nuclear" I mean the core or the nucleus of the action or the one character viewed in relation to the others. By "gossamer" I mean the way a character's action affects the other in an interwoven chain of events or cobweb. When analyzing Hippolytus, e.g., first I concentrate my attention on Hippolytus as the play is entitled after him. However, since he--and Phaedra--is only the battleground of the goddesses, I delve into the origins of the war; namely, the conflict between body an soul, lust and virtue as represented by Venus and Diana. I attempt to explain the causes and results of the war in terms of doubling and I end up explaining the double or the ambiguity in the playwright himself. In this play, as in the others, I provide some--probable--source and historical criticism as well as psychoanalysis. Consequently, although seemingly incoherent or distantly related, the double, the rebel and the exile are correlated external reflections of similar internal conflicts.

The Exile, the Rebel and the Doppelganger in Tragedy
Prometheus Bound 1
            The sense of helplessness, nothingness in the face of some either internal or external; corporeal or incorporeal friction is already there in Prometheus Bound. Nietzsche regards Prometheus as the symbol of noble Greek disobedience as opposed to the slavish "Semitic obedience" in the Old Testament, alluding to Adam and Eve2. Then, he goes on to ask.
            Is pessimism inevitably a sign of decadence, warp, weakened instincts... Might it be that the "inquiring mind" was simply the human mind it, a clever bulwark erected against the truth? Something craven and false, if one wanted to be moral about it?
            Prometheus' plight is pathetic and demands our sympathy because he, alone, has rebelled against the gods, especially Zeus, for the benefit of human beings. The spectacle of a demi-god in conflict with destiny, defiant in the face of severe punishment, is what makes the compelling drama . Condemned by Zeus for giving fire to mere mortals, a felony, he is bound to the jagged cliffs with bonds as strong as adamant.
            Although Hephaesthus experiences pangs of sorrow and is reluctant to bind and maroon him there in the waste land, he is also helpless in the face of the gods. The benefactor of mankind suffers there exiled for three thousand years of torture until Shelley, expounding his idea of universal love as the remedy for mankind, rescues him in Prometheus Unbound (1820).
            He is of crucial importance because also of the fact that, created by Aeschylus regarded as pious, he challenges the gods in favor of man at the cost of his own oppression. In Ancient Greece where gods crop up everywhere, are almost welded with the social milieu: and when the fatalistic and deterministic superhuman elements sweep through the stage, Prometheus is inevitably to be sieved out.
            Prometheus hankers to break through the cyclic nature of occurrences and defy the domination of the gods:
            What am I saying? I have known all before,
            all that shall be, and clearly known; ...
            So must I bear, as lightly as I can,
            the destiny that fate has given me; ...
            I hunted on the secret spring of fire,
            a great source...
            that filled the narthex stem, which, when revealed,
            became the teacher of craft to me
            You see me a wretched god in chains,...
            because of my love for men. (100-20)3

            This feat observed already in Aeschylus is amiss even in many of the modern authors. Tess, e.g., in Hardy's Tess of D'urbervilles (1891), succumbs to her fate, taken away to be executed while the sun is "shining ruthlessly" above, And Zola, to name another, puts his characters in Daedalesque labyrinths out of which escape is impossible. Trying to evidence his determinism, to crown it all, he alludes to Greek literature as scapegoat:
            I invent nothing, because I believe it is more
            valuable to obey the impulsion of humanity, the
            continuous evolution which carries us along...
            Does not the eternal nature of things take on
            various forms in accordance with changing epochs
            and civilizations? ... I believe that Homer was a
            naturalist... My personal opinion is that
            naturalism dates from the first line drawn by

            It is against this background of mediocrity and the "father of gods and man" that Prometheus is fighting. Although Zeus felt free to castrate and deport his own father, and has become dominant in Olympus, he is reluctant that man schooled rank equal with him. The clash between the gods of sovereignty is now staged between them and man.
            This recurring theme of warring god and man is there in the Old Testament, too, as opposed to what Nietzsche claims:
            The LORD god gave man this order: "You are free to
            eat from any trees of the garden except the tree of
            knowledge of good and bad. From that three you shall
            not eat: the moment you eat from it, you are surely
            doomed to die. (Gen. 3: 16-7)5

            However, man eats from it, and does not die anyhow. Later on, Yahweh, realizing that "man has become one of us", his wrath by then placated, clothes them with "leather garments". They are none the less exiled as a punishment for trespassing Yahweh’s dominion.
            Prometheus is like the first exiles, Adam and Eve. But he is more like Job, with a difference, however, that while the latter's psychological outburst against Yahweh is expostulatory and his cause personal; the former's is revolutionary and impersonal:
            Because of this I speak without restraint.
            For the arrows of the Almighty pierce me,
            and my spirit drinks in their poison the
            terrors of God are arrayed against me... he would
            put forth his hand and cut me off. (Job 6: 4-9)
            I will carry my flesh between my teeth, and take my
            life in my hand. Slay me though he might, I will
            wait for him... Withdraw your hand from me, and let
            not the terror of you frighten me. (Job 14: 13-21)

Concerning Job's quandary Friedmann writes that
            Job speaks for man because he speaks for himself.
            He penetrates so deeply into the uniqueness of his
            own situation that his protest becomes a protest
            against the suffering of all man as such. Job is
            the true existentialist.6

Can we explain these parallelisms in terms of influence? Yes. We know that Greek dramatists utilize in their works the mythological elements they have borrowed mainly from Homer, Homeric woks such as Iliad and Odyssey are, though uncertainly, dated around the ninth eighth centuries. As for the Old Testament, it has four different versions: the so-called Yahwist, the Elohist, Priestly and Deutoronomic.
            The so-called J version is dated around 950 B.C., hence the oldest. What is more, despite the fact that the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew, the earliest version we have today is in Greek.
            Besides before it was recorded, Biblical stories were being transmitted orally from generation to generation. In fact, the Sumerians invented the first alphabet in around 3100 B.C., however, only in the eighth century does writing appear in Greece. As a matter of fact, Ziehr asserts that.
            ... the earliest Greek heroes, kings of Argos, and
            Thebes were of Egyptian and Phoenician origin...
            The early Greek writers were always conscious of
            the Middle East and its importance and proximity;
            they frequently described it as being highly
            Civilized. It was only later that all non-Greeks
            were disparagingly labeled "barbarians"... European
            archaeologists and anthropologists have for some
            centuries believed that western civilization is
            rooted in the Middle East... As far as the
            beginning of the second millennium B.C. Egyptians
            and Mesopotamian cultures had met and mingled in
            commercial towns such as Ugarit... Crete began its
            rise at the same time... in the extreme north-
            eastern corner of the Mediterranean, the Greeks
            made their first appearance.

In addition to this, in his introduction to The Iliad, Bloom points out, referring to the parallelisms, that
            Like the Hebrew Bible, Homer is both scripture and
            book of general knowledge... The true difference
            whether we are Gentile or Jew, believer or skeptic,
            Hegelian or Freudian, is between Yahweh and Zeus,
            and the tangled company of Zeus, and the Olympians'
            fate and demonic world.8

            To return to our main point, Prometheus is also a nostalgic figure as well as pathetic. He knows the origins of his country  how a Phoenician princess was abducted and carried her to Crete by Zeus, who disguised himself as a bull. Thus, Prometheus advises with geographical details, Io, another victim, to revert to where the roots of his culture are to be found:
            First turn to the rising sun and walk on over the fields
            no plough has broken...         
            until you come to Caucasus itself...
            For all time men shall talk about your crossing and they
            shall show the place for you Cow's-ford.
            Leave Europa's mainland then; and go to Asia. (700-37)

            Io is another exile in the play, but she does not have the prowess to challenge the gods. She has been made a plaything of ever-womanizing Zeus, and jealous Hera, who has chased after Zeus and grasped what he was up to. Prometheus, sympathetic toward her, knows the account of her transformation into heifer.
            Surely I hear voice, the voice of the maiden.
            gadfly-haunted, the daughter of Inacus? She set
            Zeus's heart on fire with love and now she
            is violently exercised running on curses overlong,
            driven by Hera's hate. (589-92)

The destiny that is binding "even for Zeus" has doomed her to wander to the limits of the world. The very fundamentals that have them sympathize with each other are that they both have ben wronged by Zeus. That is why Prometheus asks her to relapse to Asia. The seeds of Western obsession with the origins is already there in his words.
            If the second and third parts of the trilogy had been available, we could surely have witnessed the dethronement of Zeus by his son "in the third generation" as prophesied by him. It is both puzzling and amazing to observe the cyclic nature of events with a sense of imminent continuum in most plays, which Durkheim tries to explain as the replication of the society and its culture through mythical elements. 9
The Oresteia
            With the interrelated and interwoven net of events and complexity we find in contemporary literary works the trilogy is more powerful than Prometheus Bound. The subsequential and almost contagious nature of vendetta as realized by the characters themselves is representative of the guilt culture. Therefore, it is rife with elements of conflict, which, like dominos one leading to another, underlie the tragedy especially when we cogitate over the background of it.
            Tantalus, the son of Zeus, offers his son's flesh to the Olympian gods in a banquet. In his scorn of the gods and his measureless self-confidence he dreams that the guests would not realize this... As a punishment for his crime, they set the arch-sinner in a pool in Hades; but whenever he, in his tormenting thirst, stoops to drink, he cannot reach the water a scene very similar to those in the Bible.
            Later on, Pelops is restored to life, but his father's almost "orginal sin" materializes in him in a different way, on account of the contagious curse of his would-be bride's father, Myrtilus. This is the cause of the misfortunes that keep pursuing the family for generations. Then, the inherited curse moves to another realm: Thyestes falls in love with the wife of his brother, Atreus. Atreus avenges himself by replicating Tantalus' crime, serving the flesh of his nephews to his brother. Therefore, their children will suffer.
            On the other hand, Paris, a prince-shepherd, kept away by Priam because the oracle augured taht his son would be the ruin of his country, honors Aphrodite as more beatiful that Hera and Anthena and evokes their wrath. Therefore, Paris's judgement is the original reason why The Trojan War has borken out.
            To top it all, Paris loves Cassandra and bestows upon her the power to foretell. Later, he turns against her since Cassandra, rejecting his love, jilts him. Nevertheless, he would not take his gift back - once alloted, divine favors cannot be revoked.
            Therefore, the gods', or rathet Devils', "triangle" triggers off the conflicts between and/or among people. There is Agamemnon in a quandary as to what to do: either he is going to betray Menaelus, (?) to help him (?) his wife, who eloped with Paris; or he has to sacrifice Iphigenia so that the gods will enable him to conquer Troy. He does gain the gods' favor but falls from Clytemnestra's.
            This story has some parallels with the Biblical one, but in the latter Abraham is old and Sarah, sterile at the onset:
            Now, Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in
            years and Sarah had stopped having her womanly
            periods... But the Lord said to Abraham: "Why
            did Sarah laugh to herself and say, "Shall I
            really bear a child, old as I am?" Is
            anything too marvelous for the Lord to do? At
            I will return to you, and Sarah will have a
            son" (Gen 18: 1-4)

            Although Yahweh does not know that it takes a child nine months to get born, not "next year", to prove his ammipotence he bestows upon them the child. Later on, forgetting his own decree that "you shall not kill", he tells Abraham to sacrifice his dear son, Isaac (Gen. 22: 2-3). This is a di-phasic test, of Abraham's obedience to Yahweh, and Isaac's to Abraham in turn for Yahweh's own truthful promise.
            Then, inferring that he is loyal, Yahweh excuses him from the obligation: "Do not do the heast thing to him. I know how devoted you are to God, since you did not hold from your own beloved son." (Gen 23:12) This is where the stories differ from each other in an essential manner.
            Although Euripides in his Iphigenia in Tauris does not let the child be killed and has Orestes rescue her, because "if the gods do evil, then they are not gods", Iphigenia has already been killed before The Oresteia begins.The yoke of necessity makes Agamemnon yield to fate, and his doppelganger wins his self over:
            My fate is angry if I disobey these,
            but angry if I slaughter
            this child, the beatuy of my house,
            with maiden blood shed staining
            these father's hands beside the altar...
            For them to urge such sacrielege of innocent blood
            angrily, for theirs is great- it is riht. May all be
            well yet. (205-16)

            Not only does Agamemnon awe the gods, but he is also afraid of losing his virile impression in the society and of what-the-others-will-say. It is the norms of the shome culture that are at work. In this respect his pretext is flimsy and his cause personal: "How shall I fail my ships,/and lose my faith of battle?" Thus, the double as society and/or fate compels him to perpetrate infanticide. Automatically, in being "the second self" the second presupposes and is different from the "first self".
            There are in fact miscellaneous froms of this doubling: a figure of the shadowy unknown, psychological duplication, duplication in character it suggests twofoldedness without implying duplication. Like the inner self it suggests a deeper relationship but one that is confined to a state of mind, the intruder from the background of shadows. Keppler views this sort of doubling from a broader angle:
            They are completely contradictory to each other;
            transcends both concepts and unites them in the
            larger and infinitely more difficult concept of
            fate... "Fate" is a word that has been used no less
            loosely than "Double"... so every second self story
            is likewise a story of fate, the fate that demands
            this growth.10

The members of the chorus may and do act as the divided self either in themselves or representative of the characters they sympathize wtih. 11
            Clytemnestra's case is no better tha her ex-husband's. When Agamemnon is away, warring in Troy, she has been grappling with governmental as well as emotional affairs. Deprived of both her child and her husband, she has become a "femme fatale" with char ismatic nature. In The Libation Bearers she-points to this: "It hurts women to be kept away from their men, my child." (920)
            She has cuckolded Agamemnon with his very enemy, Aegisthus. With hypocritical deftness she first triumphs over his victory, then kills him with her accomplice. Her conscious mind tries to deny its unconscious through the psychological defense mechanism of displacement.
            Caught in a triangle, her duty to her husband, her maternal agony for Iphigenia, and her sexual propensity unsatisfied, her sexual desires weigh heavier than anything else. Hers is in many ways an intentional double. She tries to justify her infidelity by displacing it onto Agamemnon. However, we know that he has been dallying with Cassandra since he conquered Troy, and she can by no means know of this alleged unfaithfulness. On the contrary, her citizens know of hers so does "the house itself." Cf., e.g., how she contradicts herself:
            and may he find a wife within his house as true
            as on the day he left her, watchdog of the house
            gentle to him alone, fierce to his enemies...
            With no man else have I known delight, nor any shame
            of evil speech, more than I know how to temper bronze.
            Now it is I you doom to be cast out from my city
            with men's hate heaped and curses in my ears...
            You would not cross him once...
            his ranged pastures swarmed with the deep fleece of
            he slaughtered like a victim his own child... (141-19)

            She acts like a spider: and Agamemnon, like Actaeon turned into deer and pierced by his own hounds, is butchered by "the watchdog of the house". The fact taht she kills her husband not to avenge her daughter but herself is more clearly portrayed in Electra of Euripides (E2). Talking to Electra, she confesses:
            And yet he tempted my daughter, slyly whispering
            of marriage with Achilles...
            for their lives' sake he took the life of my dear child
            I was unfairly wronged in this, yet not for this
            would I have gone savage... (emphasis added)
            but he came home to me with a mad, god-filled girl...
            two brides being stabled in a single stall...
            Oh, women are fool for sex, deny it I shall not.

            Aegisthus is a figure both of the exile and the rebel: "Exiles feed on empty hopes. I know it. I was one." (1668). The obligations of the patriarchal and shame-culture valves have icited him to chase after feud. He has gone even further, "shaming the master's bed with lust."
            He is actually a coward rebel, not a man of prowess. Although he alleges that "I am sword-handed against you: I am not afraid of death." (1602), we know very well that Clytemnestra is the killer. As a matter of fact, the chorus deny: "But why, why then, you coward, could you not have slain/your man yourself? Why must it be his wife who killed." (163-4)
            To quote Orestes, his heart is "female", and he comes out of the house followed by his guard after she has reconnoitered the ambience. His virile instincts lead him to lie, but. Clytemnestra's dominance over him is overt. In fact, when she calls everybody for truce, he frets like urchins chippering to the parents that his peers are responsible for the browl:
            Yes, but think of these foolish lips that blossom into/
            leering gibes.
            think of the taunts they spit against me daring destiny
            sober opinion lost in insults hurled against my majesty.

            A stud for Clytemnestra, he is trying to enshroud his intrapsychic reality by means of her inter-psychic reflection. Although he has nurtured and been nurtured by his crowning aim, to avenge his father, Clytemnestra directs him like a second self: the manly power merges with the womanly cunning. They both make up for the other half of the self. This is more obvious in the case of Orestes and Electra, who have different but complementary character istics of their mother: the former her daring, and the latter, her vindictive deliberation.
            Orestes is the most important exile and rebel in the play. His duality appears in the form of "twin brothers"12 Orestes and Pylades are the allegorical incarnations of one self shared between two bodies, counterbalancing, participating and complementing each other. 13
            Pylades, a representative of Apollo, is a mentor and supporter of Orestes, who, whenever his determination flickers out, goads him on and on as he does in the murder scene where Orestes procrastinates (899-904):
                        What shall I do, Pylades? Be ashamed to kill my
                        What then becomes thereafter of the oracles
                        declared by Loxias and Pytho? What of sworn oaths?
                        Count all men hateful to you rather than gods?
                        I judge that you win. Your advice is good.

            This is the only speech we have of Pylades. In the Libation Bearers (LB). In Electra of Sophocles he is replaced by The Pedagogue, who is more verbose than active; in he does not utter even a syllable. Additionally, we know that it is Aeschylus who introduced the second actor and that his "use of the second actor can be understood only from the vantage point of the hero's pathos."14 In the only secene where Pylades speaks there are only Electra, Orestes, and the chorus on the stage.
            Further evidence to this argument is provided by Orestes in the following quotation; the shift from "we" to "I" is indicative of the unified doppelganger:
            My Lord Apollo, whose word was never false before,
            Disguised as an outlander, for which I have all gear,
            I shall go to the outer gates with Pylades
            whom you see here. He is my hereditary friend
            and companion-in-arms of my house. We shall both assume
            the Parnassian dialect and imitate the way
            they talk in Phocis. If none at the door will take us in
            kindly, because the house is in the curse of ills
            we shall stay there...
            But if once cross the door stone of the outer gates
            and findy my man seated upon my father's throne,
            ar if he comes down to confront me, and uplifts
            his eyes to mine, then lets them droop again...
            help us. And now I call upon the god who stands
            close, to look on, and guide the actions of my sword. (560-84)

                        I have sorrow for this pair in their twofold
                        Your "brother" as they call him... (E2, 1287)

            Orestes must be around twenty-five now because the war lasted a decade and so has another elapsed since his father was killed. Thus, his "hereditary friend" is nothing but his hereditary wrath and vengeance.
            Torn between his duty to avenge his father, and his filial love to his mother, he suffers although he has already opted for the former. His second self as twin brother or tempter is later replaced by the one as pursuer, the Furies in the Eumenides. They are symbolic of deep-felt contrition in the form of manic depression which now challenges the self:
            I grieve for the thing done, the death, and all our/
            I have won: but my victory is soiled, and has no pride.
            ... I am a charioteer whose course is wrenched outside
            the track, for I am beaten, my rebellious senses... (LB,

            His recourse to Apollo is but a struggle to be justified and be acquitted of the crime, using his psychological defense mechanism. This ordeal is more powerfully pictured in where, after a long bout of hesitation. Orestes slays his mother and prick of conscience commences to harrow and embitter him and Electra, the "brain", no later than the matricide. They murder the "murderers" only to be caught in the web of rahkling obsession:
                        You may not play the coward and fall to weakness,
                        Go in, I will bait her a trap as she once beated
                        one... (982-3)
                        O Earth and Zeus who watch all work
                        men do, look at this work of blood
                        and corruption, two bodies in death...
                        for my pain.
                        Weep greatly for me, my brother, I am guilty...(1170-81)

            They are acquitted later like Augustine who "fulfills the requirements for sacramntal confession: oral admission, contrition, and penance."15 Since the conflicts between the gods, the gods and men: man and man: and more importantly, selves are solved. Pylades, thus the doppelganger, and Electra are separated from Orestes never to meet again:
                        Hold me now closely breast against breast,
                        dear brother. I love you.
                        But the curses in a mother's blood
                        dissolve our bonds and drive us from home,
            Orestes- I shall not see you again. (1321-31)

            Although the tragedy stems, again, from the curse of the gods on human beings, it is superb in its psychological drills and profundity of intermingled conflicts. Hippolytus scorns Aphrodite, and worships Artemis only, the chaste and fair. Despite the fact that there is a strong affection between him and his father, Theseus: Hippolytus does not care an iota about his Phaedra, who, on the contrary, takes too much notice of him. She is stricken with her son, madly and miserably, overwhelmed with shame, but utterly unable to conquer it.
            The story later on to be revived in such works as Seneca's Phaedra, R. Jeffer's dramatic poem, "The Cretan Woman" (1954). Racine's Phaedra, and M. Renant's novel, The Bull form the Sea (1962), has strong parallelisms with the Biblical story of Joseph's temptation by the potiphar's wife, although the latter is by no means compatible with the drama:
            ... Now Joseph was strikingly handsome in
            countenance and body. After a while, his master'
            wife began to look fondly at him and said, "Lie
            with me". But he refused..." ...How the could I
            commit so great a wrong and thus stand condemned
            before God?" Although she tried to entice him day
            after day, he would not agree to lie beside her or
            even to stay with her... One such day... she laid
            hold of him by his cloak... he got away from her
            and ran out side... She screamed for her household
            servants and told them, "Look!... He came here to
            lie with me, but I cried as loudly as I could. When
            he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak
            beside me and ran away outside..." As soon as the
            master heard his wife's story, ...He seized Joseph
            and threw him into the jail... (Gen. 40: 6-70)

            The chief character being Hippolytus, he is "the battlefield upon which the goddesses fight out their quarrel".16 The play is constructed almost upon the clash of binary oppositions, the doublings. We have the idea of corporeal and incorporeal love, e.g., as represented by Aphrodite and Artemis. The former is furious because
            alone among the folk of this land of Troezen has/
            blasphemed me
            counting me the vilest of the Gods in Heaven.
            He will have none of the bed of love nor marriage,
            but Artemis,... (10-15)

            Obviously, the drama revolves around the never-exhausted polar opposites, the body and the soul. The derisive and ironical ambience of the play stands out throughout. Hippolytus, haunted by his seraphic love, is a bastard, born of Antiope the Amazon, nevertheless he is a statue of virtue. He is a male replica of Artemis with whom he identifies himself. He has already given himself to his spiritual love, rejecting his body: "Man make their choice: one man honors one God,/ and one another."
            It is crucial to observe that the servant and the nurse play important, though secondary, roles-mediocre people acting as consultants or assistants with articulate and larger-than-life attitudes. The generation gap is also apparent between the young virginal Hippolytus, Artemis'vizeir, and the old servant idolizing Aphrodite:
            O Cypris mistress, we must not imitate
            the young men when they have such thoughts as these,
            As fits a slave to speak, at your image...
            When one that has a young tempestuous heart
            speaks foolish words...
            You should be wiser than mortals, being Gods.

            But it turns out that the gods are not "wiser" than mortals: the tongue-in-cheek remark here is of course Euripides'.
            Pitted against Hippolytus as doubling is Phaedra, who unlike him, gasps for fulfillemnt in love. The gnawing desire makes her bed-ridden and she is in the know what the curative power is:
            If I could only draw from the dewy spring
            a draught of fresh spring water!
            If I could lie beneath the poplars,
            in the tufted meadow and find my rest there"...
            I would hold in my hand a spear with a steel point. (209-20)

            The object of phallic symbols and/or with sexual implications are almost itemized: "the dewy spring", "the poplars", "the tufted meadow", "a spear with a steel point"... To draw an analogy, she is a Yahoo; and he, a Houyhnhnm. She strives to bury her smoldering love, but the smoking lavas betray her as the nurse realizes: "She hides her troubles and swears that she is not sick."
            Phaedras's plight, "the inherited curse", is so obsessive and agonizing that she cannot even dare to utter Hippolytus' name, just implying everything about him. The fact that the chorus are divided reflects her double nature as she is in a predicament as to what to do: yield to her desires or to the requirements of the shame culture:
                        ... object of hate to all Destruction light
                        upon the wife who herself plays the tempter
                        and strains her loyalty to her husband's bed...
                        ... I hate...
                        lip-worshippers of chastity who own
                        a lecherous daring when they have privacy. (405-15)
                        I would rather die
                        than think such thoughts as hers.
                        I am sorry for her trouble, (364-7)

            Euripides clearly has some jabs at the society of his time as well as the pring Hippolytus. Phaedra's first plan is "silence and concealment", then she, agreeing that she cannot "conquer love", resolves to die. What she does not know, howewer, is that she is as narcissistic as Hippolytus:
            ... Here, you, take my hand
            They are beautiful, my hands and arms!
            Take away this hat, it's too heavy to wear. (200-3)

            Howewer the fundamental difference between them is that while he appears in the form of a goddess-manipulated automaton, her narcissism explodes as ego-oriented doppelganger, which, being more like lust than love, paves the way for her psychomachia. "Yes, in self-worship you are certainly practiced," says Theseus (1080), but "all men should have two voices, one the just voice, and one as chance would have it..." (926-8). But Hippolytus, almost a misogynist, has long since made up his mind:
            ... Men might have abdicated
            in your temples images of gold,
            ... thus have brought...
            the seed of progeny,...
            So we might have lived
            in houses free of the taint of women...
            We have a proof how great a curse is a woman...
            I'll hate you women, hate and hate and hate you
            and never have enough of hate... (620-65)

            Bereaved of emotions, he is not to be moved; and he simply pines to transcend and shaackle another sphere of his being, be elevated to godly heights. As a matter of fact, The Nurse, albeit for the wrong reason, objects: "We should sin, being human." Besides the gods themselves indulge in such affairs as she is aware:
            That Zeus once loved Semele:
            he know that Dawn...
            once ravished Cephalus hence to the God's company
            for love's sake. Yet all these dwell in heaven.
            They are content, I am sure, to be subdued
            by the stroke of love. (453-8)

            The thematic diagnosis is that man is a melange of soul and body, and cannot do without either. Only when in harmonious fusion can they both lead to happiness; otherwise, it will trigger off tragic consequences. Indeed at the denouement of the play, no one, except perhaps Cypris, is triumphant and/or hilarious. The seeds of the confluctung forces are actually ingrained in Euripides himself, and are outer reflection of his inner waning self. He seems not to give a damn about the gods, but almost obsessively writes about them. His unfathomable nature is divulged in a poem of his translated by J.A. Reymond, "There are no Gods":
            Doth some one say that there be gods above?
            There are not; no, there are not. Let no fool,
            Led by the false, thus deceive you.
            Lock at the facts themselves... 17

            In another poem of his, translated by H. Doolittle, his duality of nature is displaced onto Creusa:
            nay soul, O my soul,
            be silent:....

            Although he is very similar to Orestes, Hamlet's case more complicated. He qrovides a perfect sample of all the exile and the double and the rebel. One can, in his personality, scrutinize how the (sanely) mad protagonist and the personse of literature convey the intricate relationships between the psychic requirements and the social and cultural milieu in which these are expressed.
            His madness and double being di-phasic, first feigned and then real, he is an example of madness in reason or, to make a counter-argument, reason in madness. Feder describes this dilemma "as expressions of the true self, explicit revaluations of reason or sanity that exclude the traditional forms of logic, order and judgement occurring generally in psychic diffusion and social alienation."19
            After two harrowing vicissitudes in life, the murder of his father and the winged marriage of his mother to his uncle, his father's ghost reveals to him that Claudius is the killer; but, unable to bring himself to action and beset by doubts as to the truth of what the ghost said, he persuades some travelling players to reenact the death of his father. Claudius' reaction convinces him of the ghost's revelations. Then, there is a chain of metamorphoses in Hamlet, from the double to the exile; and from the exile to the rebel, dragging and being dragged behind by the flow of events.
            Although there some attempts to do so, Hamlet's perdition cannot be explained via oedipal complex theory, Jones claims20 that Hamlet loves his mother and is jealous of his father, he has no sound textual evidence as to Hamlet's oedipal complex. What he does is out-Shakespeare Shakespeare in sexuality. Everyone in his place, caught in his mousetrap, would, similarly, be Hamletized. First of all, Hamlet has no hostility towards his father, on the contrary, he loves him, bemoans his death, and condemns his mother, soliloquizing:
            Frailty, thy name is woman!
            A little month or are those shoes were old,
            with which she followed my poore Father's body. Like
            Niobe, all tears. Why she, even she
            (O heaven! A beast that wants discourse of reason,
            would have mourned longer) married with Uncle. (1.1.8)

            It is the sudden fiuxes in his life that replicate selves out of him. As Whatt argues,
            Hamlet is a psychopathology. The we drama and
            the destiny of all around, depend upon the inner
            age and content of thoughts, sentiments and
            passions of one character, a nature divided against
            itself, a soul with an internal cleavage between
            action and contemplation... He is victimized by
            the events... The contradictions which baffle him
            without and so doubt and disgust alternating
            demoralize his will.21

            Hamlet's self is replaced by several each of which possesses a different aspect of the self. The first blow is his father's sudden and unexpected death, and the second Gerthrude's "incestuous" and almost supersonic marriage to Claudios -a fact that Hamlet cannot literally digest- :
                                    O God, O God!
            How weary, stale, flat and
            Seemes to me all the uses of this World!...
            But two Months dead: Nay not so much: not two...
                                                            Within a Moneth!...
            She married...
            But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue. (1.1.8)

            Hamlet's reasoning faculty is evidenced by the very fact that when the ghost appears, he does not pramptly act. We can think of the ghost as the formal reflection of Hamlet's misgivings as to his father's death, thus the emergence of the first double. "His feigning madness comes from the original story.22 He knows how to pull the strings of his double at the beginning, and it is only later and gradually that he succumbs:
            Why looke you now, how unworthy a thing
            you make of me: you would play upon mee:
            You would seem to know my stops: you would
            sound me from the lowest Note, to the top
            my Compasse: and there is much Musicke
            Excellent Musicke in this little Organ, yet cannot
            You make it...
            You cannot play upon me. (3.2.39)

            Hamlet's procrastination is phart of his determined and planned nature. Of one of the reassons why he delays, Lucas writes of Hamlet "as the typical man of thought who cannot act- to much brain, too little will."23
            His melancholia and hatred swell in him so much that he is left alone with his double. "His mother failed him. The girl he loved failed him... instead of behaving like a Juliet... [Ophelia] dutifully lends herself to her father's bait... Even his friendship fails him."24
            Ostracized from the society, he improves his friendship with his doppelganger and rejects Ophelia, who is also torn between filial duty and love, in an expostulatory manner:
            Such an act... takes off the Rose
            Form the faire forehead of an innocent love,
            And makes a blister... (3.1.31)

            But Ophelia is as faithful to her father as he, to his. He actually has no rihgt to rain accusations on her. Hamlet's wretchedness comes out in schizophrenic but down-to-earth outbursts: Shakespearean "humors" are all at work. "The world is a stage", and the feigning actor later plays his own selves.
            I have of late, but wherefore I know not,
            lost all my mirth, forgone all customs of exercilses...
            What pieces of work is man,
            how noble in reason, how finite in faculty.
            ... man delights not me. (2.1.29)

            No, Hamlet is not a raving madman. "He has seen the shadow behind his life's shoulder, and laughter loses its mirth in the sight. He is just torn between the highest duty and the crime of murder, nicknamed "justice".25
            A play seeking not the illusion of reality, but the reality of illusion, Equus is a psychoanalytical penetration into the ever-evading scenic levels of interior life. Behind the psycological deadlock of Alan is war of ideals and beliefs both on the part of Alan and that of Dysart. It is, too, in many ways the battle between the two fountain-heads of Western episteme; the Jud-Christian and Greco-Roman traditions. The Latin Word "equus" carefully chosen, both rhymes and complements "Jesus".
            Horses in literature have been used to mean and/or symbolize different things, Plato, after his famous comparison of the soul to a charicteer, touches on the elements of reason, spirit and appetite. According to him, "the ruling power in us men drives a pair of horses... one... fine and good and of the noble stock and the other opposite in every way."27
            In Gulliver's Travels they are the symbols of pure reason, furged of animal and irrational elements The old Napoleon in Animal Farm portrays a horse, which after serving the pigs, the monarchs, is betrayed by the very chimera of equality in the governmental system, being sent to shambles, under the pretext of medical care. In Shaffer they are essentially the Christian superego that saddles, harnesses and bridles people's attitudes and desires. Dysart himself is exteremly aware of this.
            ... And of all nonsensical things, I keep
            think ing about the horse! Not the boy: the
            horse and what it may be trying to do. I keep
            seeing thatn huge head kissing him with its
            chained mount... I am wearing that horse's
            head myself... I cannot jump because the bit
            forbids... The doubts have been there for
            years... the extremity of this case... made
            them active. (1.1.954-5)

            Although a psychiatrist himself, Dysart, torn between the never-compromising poles of his paganic and Christian values his sexual as well as occupational dissatisfaction has developed the alter ego. While he tries to delve into Alan's world, he learns about himself, too, through intro- and retro-spection. It is due to Alan's non-chalant rebel against the superego that he looks after him "fascinated".
            Dysart is so much enchanted by the misty past that his nostalgy to the world sneaks into his dreams:
            In it I am a chief pirest in Homeric
            Greece... wearing a wild gold mask... like
            the so-called mask of Agememnon found at
            Mycenae... I have started to feel distinctly
            nauseous... It is just professional
            menapause...  More and more I would like to
            spend the next ten years wandering very solwly
            around the real Greece... It is that lad of
            yours who started if off. (1.5-6.957)

            Alan is a product and victim of the conservative mother who has married a man beneath her and who imbues him with Christian doctrines as represented by the horse engraued onto his crebrum; and of the equally dogmatic marxist father. Their impact on him is so profound that most of his speeches are but as mere paraprasing or quoting of their word:
            No one ever says to cowboys: "Receive my
            meaning! "They could not dare. Or "God" all
            the time... "God sees you Alan, God has got
            eyes everywhere- (1.13.968)
            Who said "Religion is the opium of the
            people?" (1.6.96)

            In the character of Alan, the warring selves representative of the society's quandary as to which of them to identify with. Alan is the melange incarnate of both, which results in the fiasco of both. Dora, unawarely, confesses how she has impregnated the child's brain with "equus":
            We have always been a horsey family. At least
            my side of it has. My gradnfather... used to
            ride... look splendid on it. Indulging in
            equation, he called it... I told him that
            came from equus... Alan was fascinated by that
            word... Because he had never come across one
            with two U's together before. (1.6.161)

            "Two U's together." "U" has the symbolic reference to luck, resembling horseshoe. Howewer, ironically enough, it brings about Alan's misfortunes: and hence, metaphorically speaking, he is made "horsey" wearing the two "U"s, the horseshoes, on his feet, Howewer, he is actually semi-horsey: divided between the poles, he is the equator left to burn like Pantheon and Icarus.
            His father is harping on diametrically contrary strings: "I am an atheist... it is the Bible that is responsible for all this.. Bloody religion- it is our only problem in this house, but it's insuperable." (1.8.962) Consequently, Alan's almost caatatonic reticence due to his suppressed selves comes out in explosions or derisively tautologic gibberish.
            "I told him that... sex is not just a biological matter." says Nora. Howewer Alan is so obseessed by horses, first appearing in the form of religious epilepsy and of identification with it, that this obsession later turns into a sort of animism and even animophilla.
                        Dora. It was a reproduction of our Lord on
            his way to Calvary. Alan... fell absolutely in
            love with it... insisted on... hanging it at
            the foot of his bed where he could see it
            last thing at night... I must admit it was a
            little extreme. (1.10.966)
                        Alan. It was sexy... I was pushed forward
            on the hourse. There was sweat on my legs...
            Then suddenly... dad pulled me. I could have
            bashed him. (1.13.968)
                        Frank. He took a piece of string out of his
            pocet. Made up into a noose. And put it in
            his mouth. (1.15.970)

            Frank and Nora do not have a happy married and sexual life. In fact, he tries to compensate for it through watching pornographic films in the cinema. Nor is Dysart content with his wife. Therefore, he hankers to break through all the social and religious fetters. He has in his mind a utopia, which he describes in terms of Greece, and wants to revert to a communal and almost instincctual life:
            I imply that we cannot have children... I had
            myself tested behind her back. The lowest
            sperm count you could find, ... Margaret is
            the puritan, I am the pagan... Such wild
            return to the womb of civilization... "Oh,
            the primitive world;" I say. "What instinctual
            truths were lost with it." ... a woman I have
            not kissed in six years... and [I] go off to
            hospital to treat him for insanity. (2.25.283-4)

            Alan's plight is no different from theirs. Obviously, he missed a chance of getting away from his imminent dilemma when Frank took him off the horse, Trojan. Trojan, symbolic of the Ancient Greek world, the "vast intuitive culture", might have taken him away as it won the victory for the Greeks, if it were not for his parents.
            The last image of horse in the psychodrama as revolving around Alan is that of the ubiquitous, omnipotent "big brother" that causes his sexual impotence. Thus, Alan, who once was shouting: "I want to be in you! I want to be you forever and ever!... Equus I love you." (2.22.980), wants to blind the horses so that the blinded superego so carved in his brain will not see him making love: "Thou- God- Seest- NOTHING!"
            Although Dysart promises "to take him away from his field of Ha, Ha, and give him normal places for his ecstasy", one is left wondering how he will achieve  this because he hislef needs treatment, too:
            I need- more desperately than my children need
            me- a way of seeing in the dark... What dark
            is this? ... I cannot get that far. There is
            now, in my mouth, this sharp chain.

            1. All the references made to Greek tragedy are from D Greene and R. Latimore, eds, Greek Tragedies 1, 2, 3, (1966, Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1983)
            2. See Francis Golffing, trans., The Birth of Tragedy and Gnealogy of Morals by F. Nietzsche (New York: Doubleday and Company) 15.
            3. Numbers refer to the lines in the drama.
            4. See G. J. Becker, ed., Documents of Modern Literary Realism (Princeton: Princeton U.P., 1963) 197-200.
            5. All the references made to the Bible are cited from The New American Bible translated by a joint commission (Nashuille: Thomas Nelson, 1971).
            6. Maurice Friedmann, Problematic Rebel (1963, Chicago and London: U of Chicago P. 1970) 18.
            7. Wilhelm Ziehr, The Ancient World (1977, London: Orbis P, 1982) 6-21.
            8. Harold Bloom, ed., introduction, The Iliad (New York: Chelsea House, 1987) 3.
            9. For more information on the sources and impacts of myths on the society, see J.W. Swain, trans., The Elementary Forms of Religious Life by E. Durkheim (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1935).
            10. C.F. Keppler, The Literature of the Second Self (Arizona: U of Arizona P, 1972) 196.
            11. See my paper # 1 on the functions of the chorus in Electra plays.
            12. A more elaborate description of this kind of duality is to be found in E. S. Hartland, "Twins", Encvclopedia of Religion and Ethics, ed., J. Hastings (1911, Edinburg: T. and T. Clark, 1958) 491-500.
            13. For similar cases, see A. Metraux, "Twin Heroes in South American Mythology", Journal of American Folklore 59 (1946): 114.
            14. G.F. Else, The Origin and Early Form of Greek Tragedy (Cambridge: Harvard U.P., 1987) 87.
            15. S.J. Paolini, trans., Confessions of Sin and Love in the Middle Ages: Dante's Commedia and St. Augustine's Confessions (Washington, D.C.: U.P. of America, 1982) 8.
            16. G.M.A. Gruble, The Drama of Euripides (London: Methuen and Co., 1941) 177.
            17. Both of the Euripidean poems I am citing art from Michael Grant, Greek Literature: An Anthology (1973, London: Penguin, 1982) 140-44.
            18. All the references to the play are from a facsimile of 1703 edition of The Tragedy of Hamlet (London: Cornmarket, 1969).
            19. Lilian Feder, Madness in Literature (Princeton: Princeton U.P., 1980) 98.
            20. For more and invaluable information, see "Hamlet's Place in Mythology" in Ernest Jones, Hamlet and Oedipus (New York: Norton, 1949) Chap.7.


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