I read my first Racine, an early work reputed to be be weak called Thébaïde. (I've read Phedre before too, but I mean with my new Racine project.) My idea is to be a silent expert on Racine. In other words, just do everything an expert would do except write about it (except on this blog).
I guess I'll have to read other neoclassical dramas, since a Racine specialist would have done this. The logical first step though would be to read the primary texts in chronological order, then figure out what Racine scholars think about it.
The characters just sit there and talk. They argue their positions. Everyone dies in the end, ignoring the incidents in Sophocles's Antigone. The women pursue peace (Jocasta, Antigone); the men war. Creon is in love with Antigone and kills himself after she kills herself, so all the major characters are gone. Not an elegant solution, since then you can't write another play in which Antigone tries to bury Polynices.
The vocabulary is easy. Everything is pretty clear and self-evident.