Shunned by Hippolytus, a Greek youth more into horses and hunting than the pursuit of love, the goddess Aphrodite punishes him by having Phaedra, his stepmother, fall deeply in love with him. After Hippolytus rejects her advances, Phaedra writes a letter to her husband, Theseus, claiming that Hippolytus raped her. She then hangs herself. In anger, Theseus curses his son, so that he is dragged to his death by horses. The tragedy examines the consequences of refusing to grow up and of angering the gods.