CliffsNotes on Racine's Phaedra & Andromache

CliffsNotes on Racine's Phaedra & Andromache

CliffsNotes on Racine's Phaedra & Andromache

CliffsNotes on Racine's Phaedra & Andromache

Excerpt

Act I

Orestes, son of Agamemnon, meets an old and faithful friend, Pylades, at the court of Pyrrhus, king of Epirus. In answer to the latter’s inquiry, Orestes informs him of the reason for his presence. The Greeks are worried about the news that Pyrrhus has fallen in love with his prisoner Andromache, Hector’s wife, and for her sake is protecting her son Astyanax. They have dispatched a mission to claim Astyanax, for he constitutes a potential danger to them. Orestes, in love with Hermione, Pyrrhus’ neglected fiancée, has volunteered to head the mission, for he finds in it an excellent pretext to see Hermione again and perhaps take her back with him. First, however, he presents his demands to Pyrrhus, who haughtily rejects them. But his refusal is conditional on the love of Andromache.

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