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Euripides, Medea 431 B.C.E.


Medea will send gifts to Jason's new bride to persuade her. Dress and golden diadem ... Chorus asks Earth and Sun (mother of Medea) to stop her from killing kids ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Euripides, Medea 431 B.C.E.

Euripides, Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • First production of play coincides with
    Peleponnesian War (431-404 B.C.E.)
  • First well-known example of an author alienated
    from audience
  • Common certainties between artist, audience, and
    story disappear

Euripides (480-406 B.C.E.)
  • Not appreciated until after his death
  • Did not live public or military life
  • Private intellectual/artist
  • Receptive to Sophistic rhetoric and concepts
  • Chooses new myths and revises old myths

  • Foreign woman
  • Woman of great intellect
  • Finds no redress for wrongs done to her
  • Shockingly brutal acts
  • Challenges Greek societys allegiance to male
  • Solidified in Eumenides

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • Begin with contempt for Jason
  • Later feel pity for Jason and horror over Medeas
  • Divine will of play enigmatic
  • Play exposes disorder of worldeven with gods

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • Play offers nightmare vision of the end of the
    5th-century dream of peace
  • Impending non-stop violence of Peleponnesian War
    (431-404 B.C.E.)
  • Horrible images of maternal and domestic violence
  • Breakdown of social fabric

Background Myth
  • Jason and the Argonauts
  • Great legend of voyage and exploration
  • Jason becomes great Greek hero
  • Medea helps Jason successfully capture the Golden

  • Greek national hero and explorer
  • Sent on voyage by Pelias because of oracles
    report to fear man with one sandal
  • Assembles noble men to serve as Argonauts
  • Central hero of great adventure tales

Jason and the Argonauts
Jason and the Argonauts
  • Contsruction of Argosaided by Athena

Jason and the Argonauts
  • Medea helps Jason subdue (put to sleep) dragon
  • guarding the Golden Fleece and survive other
  • to escape with Golden Fleece

Background Myth
Background Myth
Background Myth
  • Jason sent to find Golden Fleece by King Pelias
    of Iolcus (man with one sandal)
  • Jason and Argonauts sail to Colchis
  • Medea assists Jason in trials and helps him
    escape with Golden Fleece

Background Myth
  • Medea renounces family and leaves with Jason
  • Helps Jason and Argonauts escape Colchis with
  • Medea kills numerous members of her family

Background Myth
  • Medea and Jason return to Greece
  • Different versions of the myth provide different
    locations (Iolcus/Corinth)
  • Jason and Medea marry

Background Myth
  • Medea impresses daughters of Pelias with her
  • Convinces the daughters to kill dad
  • Different variations of who exactly does the

Background Myth
  • Medea may have had to finish the job of killing
    Pelias when daughters hesitate

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 642 Open at Medeas house in Corinth
  • Story depends on knowledge of background myth of
    Jason and Argonauts
  • Nurse opens story with regret for Jasons voyages
    and conquests
  • Medea would never have come home with Jason
  • Medea helped Jason get Golden Fleece

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 642 Medea persuaded daughters of Pelias to cook
    their dad
  • Jason and Medea took refuge in Corinth
  • Medea initially helped Jason in all ways at
  • All has now gone wrongJason has taken princess
    as mistress

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 643 Jason has taken daughter of Kreon as
  • Medea feels slightedlets us know about it
  • Medea has been fasting and crying
  • Medea betrayed her father and land when she went
    with Jason
  • Medea no longer likes to see her children
  • Nurse feels something dreadful coming

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 643 Medeas children ignorant of her trouble
  • Tutor and children enter
  • Nurse has come out in public to speak truth about
  • Tutor claims more trouble is to come
  • 644 Tutor has heard rumor that Kreon plans to
    exile Medea and kids

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 644 Jason no longer cares for wife and kids
  • Tutor tells nurse to be quiet about rumors
  • Nurse wishes Jason were dead
  • Nurse wants Tutor to keep kids away from Medea
  • Nurse is certain Medea will soon do something

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 644 Medea claims she has sufferedhates her
  • 645 Nurse wants controlled safetywants to grow
    old in comfort
  • Chorus of Corinthian women come to console Medea
  • Nurse openly indicts Jason
  • Medea claims she would find release in death

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 645 Chorus tells Medea she must not grieve too
    much over Jason
  • 646 Medea prays she may see destruction come
    upon Jason and new bride
  • Chorus of Corinthian women would like to help
  • Chorus reports much of the story weve just heard

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 647 Medea shows some respect to women of
  • Medea doesnt want to offend her neighbors
  • Now Medea just wants to die
  • Medea explains why women in Greek culture are
    unfortunate creatures
  • Suggests life is good for woman in the marriage
    works out

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 647 Men look at other women (younger) as they
    age, but women to remain loyal to one
  • Medea would rather fight in war than bear child
  • Medea explains her situation is different because
    she has no country anymore
  • 648 Medea claims she is a refuge from foreign

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 648 Medea asks chorus for help to get back at
    Jason, princess, and King
  • Medea explains volatility of scorned woman
  • Chorus supports Medeas decision to pay back
  • King Kreon entersimmediately tells Medea to
    leave Corinth with kids
  • Kreon explains his dread of Medea

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 648 Medea tells Kreon a smart woman best not
    have Jasons kidssmacking insult at Kreons
  • Medea has been envied because she is clever
  • 649 Medea wishes Kreons daughter a lucky
  • Medea asks to stay in land and promises to submit
    to betters

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 649 Kreon still fears Medea as clever
    womanclaims she must go
  • Medea asks for 1 day before going into exile
  • Kreon knows he is making mistake to allow Medeas
    request for 1 day
  • 650 Kreon grants Medea 1 day more
  • Chorus feels great sympathy for Medea

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 649 Medea now plans to kill three of her
    enemies in the day provided
  • Plans to use poison secretly
  • Medea honors Hecate
  • 651 Medea calls on herself to be plotting and
  • Medea claims women are cleverest contrivers of

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 651 Chorus wants to allow world order to be
  • Chorus repeats Medeas story
  • Jason entersconfronts Medea
  • 652 Jason tells Medea she is lucky to only be
  • Jason suggests Medea is to be banished because
    she talked too much

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 652 Jason has come to make provisions for Medea
    and children
  • Medea charges Jason with shamelessness
  • Medea claims every Greek knows she saved Jasons
  • Medea reminds Jason how she helped him get the
  • Medea killed Pelias for Jason

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 653 Medea has made enemies of her friends and
    family to be with Jason
  • Now Jason doesnt want her around
  • Medea ponders why there is no outward mark to
    denote good and bad men
  • Jason claims love (Medeas) and not Medea herself
    kept him safe
  • Jason claims he has actually helped Medea by
    civilizing her in Greece

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 653 Jason claims he brought her recognition as
    clever woman
  • Prevented her from being savage
  • 654 Jason insists he never grew tired of
    Medeas bed
  • Jason suggests he has to marry again for money
    and social securityfor his kids too
  • Jason claims life would be better if men could
    have kids without women

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 654 Medea explains if Jason were not a coward,
    he would not have married behind Medeas back
  • Jason reports he had to re-marry to produce royal
  • 655 Jason offers to help Medea in exile
  • Medea doesnt want Jasons help
  • Chorus prays that it is never without a country

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 656 Chorus insists there is no sorrow about
    loss of native land
  • Aigeus, kind of Athens, enters
  • Aigeus and Medea are old friends
  • Aigeus still looking to have children
  • Aigeus turns to Medea because she is clever
  • Medea tells Aigeus how Jason has wronged her

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 657 Aigeus tells Medea to let Jason go if he is
    no good
  • Medea asks Aigeus to receive her in Athens
  • Medea will then pray for his progenypromises to
    give drugs to allow him to reproduce
  • Aigeus will not take Medea out of Corinth, but he
    will welcome her in Athens

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 657 Medea wants Aigeus to take oath on their
  • 658 Medea wants Aigeus to swear by Earth and
  • Swear that he will never force Medea out of
  • Medea wants to see Jason once morepart of her

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 658 Medeas plan
  • Will endorse Jasons adultery
  • Will ask that children can stay in Corinth
  • Will send children with gifts for Jasons new
  • Gifts will be poisoned so that all who touch them
    will die
  • Medea weeps as her plan will cause her children
    to die

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 659 Medea realizes she will kill her children
  • She will then flee
  • Medea doesnt want to be remembered as weak,
    stay-at-home woman
  • Chorus tells Medea not to do such an act
  • Medea claims she must kill her children
  • 0nly way to wound Jason

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 659 Medea tells chorus to obey her and be
    quietif they are born of women
  • Chorus speaks of Athens as peaceful, content
  • 660 Chorus again begs Medea not to murder kids
  • Jason enters
  • Medea begs Jason for forgiveness

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 660 Medea now claims Jason is doing the best
    thing for his kids by giving them royal brothers
  • Medea now tells Jason he is wise to marry again
  • 661 Medea now claims she was wrong
  • Suggests women are foolish and men wise

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 661 Medea invites children out to say goodbye
    to Jason
  • Medea claims she is ending quarrel with Jason
  • Jason agrees with Medeas newfound wisdom
  • Claims her newfound wisdom is appropriate as she
    is clever

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 661 Jason tells kids that he has taken care of
  • Predicts they will be great leaders in Corinth
  • Wants to see kids again when they are young men
  • Medea starts to cry
  • 662 Medea asks Jason to beg Kreon not to banish
    the children

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 662 Jason will try
  • Medea will send gifts to Jasons new bride to
    persuade her
  • Dress and golden diadem
  • Medea sends poisoned gifts to Jasons new wife
  • Jason tries to dissuade Medeaclaims such gifts
    to a princess are unnecessary
  • Medea insists

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 663 Chorus bemoans impending death and grief of
  • Medea claims she is lost upon hearing her gifts
    have been receivedchildren are allowed to stay
  • Medea says goodbye to kidsshe must go into exile
    while they can stay in Corinth
  • 664 Medea tells kids once she leaves, they will
    never see her again

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 664 Children smile sweetly at Medea
  • Medea now renounces plan and decides to take kids
    with her into exile
  • Medea knows princess is now dyinig
  • Medea now kisses children
  • Medea has to send kids awaybecomes overcome by
  • 665 Chorus claims women not without learning

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 665 Chours speaks of trials and difficulties of
  • Prompts us to question why we would ever have
  • Medea awaits news of what she knows must come
  • Medea now in the position to know what must come
  • Messenger tells Medea to get out of the land
  • Princess and King are dead

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 666 Medea tells messenger he speaks fine words
  • Medea wants to know how they died
  • Messenger offers accounts of Kings and
    Princesss death
  • Jason had to persuade princess to accept gifts
  • 667 Shriek rung out throughout palace

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 667 Rather gruesome account of Princesss death
  • Princesss father comes to daughterasks to die
    with daughter
  • King dies rather gruesomely
  • 668 Chorus pities Kreons daughternot Jason
  • Medea claims she must now kill kids and leave town

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 668 Medea tells herself to be forgetful of kids
    for a moment
  • Chorus asks Earth and Sun (mother of Medea) to
    stop her from killing kids
  • 669 Children now heardcryingasking for help
    to stop Medeatrapped by sword
  • Jason arrivesclaims he has come to save lives of
    his boys

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 669 Chorus tells Jason Medea killed kids
  • 670 Medea appears in chariot pulled by dragons
    with bodies of 2 kids
  • Medea tells Jason he cannot harm her in chariot
    given her by Helios
  • Jason indicts Medeacharges her with leaving him
  • Jason now claims he was cusred all along for
    bringing Medea to Greece

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 670 Jason suggests Medea has always been
  • Jason bemoans he will never speak to his sons
  • Medea tells Jason he can call her a monster if he
    wants to
  • 671 Medea claims she shares in Jasons pain and
  • Medea claims children died of disease caught from
    their father

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 671 Jason now calls Medea wholly evil
  • Medea claims gods know who brought on kids
  • Medea will not give Jason bodies of children to
  • Medea to bury kids in Heras temple
  • Medea predicts Jason will die without distinction

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • 671 Medea surprised Jason doesnt feel it
    yettells him to wait for future
  • Medea claims Jason never wanted to speak to kids
    before they died
  • Jason wants to touch boys flesh once more
  • 672 Jason will now lament

Medea (431 B.C.E.)
  • Chorus expresses surprise that what the thought
    would happen has not happened at the end of the
  • Sense that this world and the gods are