Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade February 2002

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Theseus and His Petulant Decisions If you have read Jean Racine's Phaedra you know what I have been through in my life. What a hero's welcome, I was expecting maybe a feast or something to that effect. I should have just stayed away from that lust-filled and deceitful city of Troezen. How could my beautiful Phaedra fall in love with someone else, and what makes it even worse, she fell in love with my own flesh and blood. As you can imagine I was, and still am quite angry about my adrenaline-laden actions. Those few days were the lowest days I have ever encountered. I pray that I can go back in time and fix this terrible catastrophe, which spawned from my own overemotional and uncontrollable misdeeds.

When I returned to Troezen and saw my son, I was overjoyed. When I looked into his eyes my feelings changed.

Then he started talking gibberish about wanting to leave Troezen. My senses told me that something went severely wrong while I was out of town. While walking around town people were not too happy to see me, which was odd because I am a pretty much a celebrity in Troezen. This worried me greatly. I couldn't help thinking that my own son has turned against me. My first thought was that he had some alliance with my enemies. I had to talk to Oenone to try to figure out what happened while I was away.

Oenone sure didn't help me out. She was telling me that my son tried to rape my wife Phaedra. Of course when I heard this I was completely enraged. I am so mad at my self for believing that conniving wench over my own child. As you know, if you have read Phaedra, this dreadful lie lead me to summoning the power of Neptune to kill my son, which was the biggest mistake of my life.

When I went to my wife Phaedra she looked deeply depressed and very ill. This is when I found out the truth about this terrible situation. Only on my wife's deathbed would she admit to tricking me into killing my beautiful son. You can't imagine the amount off emotions running through my body when that wretch told me the truth. I wish I could have been the one to kill Phaedra, too bad she did it herself. How could one person completely mess my life up like this? Then I felt an intense sadness for my fallen son. I rushed to his dead body, and I cried until I couldn't cry anymore. I prayed for forgiveness, but I don't think that was good enough to cleanse my soul from my terrible actions.

My disdain got the best of me in this terrible situation. Trying to save face got my son killed in the end. It all comes down to my own wrongdoings. Blaming someone else is like saying I am not responsible for my unpardonable actions. If I would have only listened to my son when he uttered, "In just resentment of so black a lie"¦. Restrain, as well, your mounting rage and woe: /Review my life; recall the son you know"(Racine 189). When he said this he wanted me to take a step back and look at what I am doing, and ask myself who is deceiving me? My groundless pride and uncontrollable passion prohibited me from registering Hippolytus pleadings. I had already made up my mind at that juncture that I was going to call in the favor that Neptune had promised me, too bad I had to waste the favor on the worst decision of my life.

I can only speculate about what my son thinks of me now that he is in the afterlife. Forgiveness for my dastardly deed is all I pray and wish for. Hippolytus was a good kid. I hope he listens to my prayers and observes my tears. What keeps me up at night is the thought that he can't see past my shortcomings. Sure I over-reacted, but that doesn't mean I didn't love him, I just hope he can see the pain that I experience with every second of every day.

I guess I am not as cold as every one thinks I am. Sure I used to slay dragons and protect people from two-headed monsters, but I have feelings too. Sometimes I can't control my emotions, which you might have inferred from my foolhardiness. When I heard about a dragon killing people my emotions got the best of me so, I went to kill the beast. It is unfortunate that I handled the situation involving my son, Hippolytus, the same way I used to take care of dragons. Using my emotions to deal with situations is all I know. Without a doubt that is my biggest flaw as a person. The maker didn't bless me with any rational abilities. Look where it got me, my only family left is my honorary daughter Aricia.

The way I handled myself was terrible. I should have taken a step back and analyzed what was going on. I was blinded with rage when I heard that the person whom I loved the most raped my wife. Lies, emotion, and my own haste killed Hippolytus, and all but killed me. What a terrible end to a terrible situation.