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Thus in Racine the hamartia which the thirteenth chapter of Aristotle’s Poetics had declared a characteristic of tragedy is not merely an action performed in all good faith which subsequently has the direst consequences (Œdipus's killing a stranger on the road to Thebes and marrying the widowed Queen of Thebes after solving the Sphinx's riddle) nor is it simply an error of judgment (as when Deianira in the Hercules Furens of Seneca the Younger kills her husband when intending to win back his love); it is a flaw of character. 1441-1448; Phèdre ll. But despite her extraordinary lucidity (II 1; V 1) in analysing her violently fluctuating states of mind Jean Racine is blind to the fact that the King does not really love her (III 3) and this weakness on her part which leads directly to the tragic peripeteia of III 7 is the hamartia from which the tragic outcome arises.
Racine's dramaturgy is marked by his psychological insight the prevailing passion of his characters and the nakedness of both the plot and stage. The linguistic effects of Racine's poetry are widely considered to be untranslatable although many eminent poets have attempted to do so including Lowell Ted Hughes and Derek Mahon into English and Schiller into German.