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Hippolytus The Thorn Birds

from movie with Christopher Plummer as Archbishop Vittorio Contini and Richard Chamberlain as Ralph de Bricassart Full quotes ARCHBISHOP VITTORIO CONTINI: You must study your languages if you're to be a church diplomat. The dying
youth in the play is Hippolytus. He is cold to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. To punish him for his neglect she causes his mother to fall hopelessly in love with him. But, Hippolytus spurns her. And that's why she kills herself? Hippolytus' father blames him and has him killed by the god of the sea. RALPH DE BRICASSART: A cruel story, and so unjust: Hippolytus dies even though he's innocentA cruel story, and so unjust: Hippolytus dies even though he's innocent. In fact, he behaves laudably. ARCHBISHOP VITTORIO CONTINI: A good Catholic interpretation, yes, perhaps. But to the ancient Greeks he is quite guilty of the sin of prideancient Greeks he is quite guilty of the sin of pride. You see, it is that Hippolytus holds himself above human love. He's cold. He will not even admit that human passion exists. RALPH DE BRICASSART: And what if he would admit it? Would he then escape his fateWould he then escape his fate? ARCHBISHOP VITTORIO CONTINI: That is the cruelty because this is his fate. He cannot choose to love anymore than his poor mother can choose to be cold. The gods have willed it for their sportThe gods have willed it for their sport. Cruel, but rather an appealing system, is it not? No decisions to make, no conscience, no agony of free will nothing. All fated from the first.
RALPH DE BRICASSART: Rather shockingly at odds with the teachings of the Church of Rome.
ARCHBISHOP VITTORIO CONTINI: My dear Ralph, do you not find it humbling to realize that when this play was first performed Rome was still infested with fur-clad barbarians?

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