"We read Phèdre and Bérénice."

Phèdre and Bérénice are both tragic plays in 5 acts by Jean Racine.

Phèdre was first performed in 1677, its subject taken from Greek mythology. In the absence of her royal husband Thésée, Phèdre ends by declaring her love to Hippolyte, Thésée's son from a previous marriage.

Bérénice was first performed in 1680. Racine took as his inspiration a single sentence written by a Roman historian: "Titus, who passionately loved Berenice and who was widely thought to have promised to marry her, sent her from Rome, in spite of himself and in spite of herself, in the early days of his empire."