CLASSIC 45C Lecture 7: Euripides's Medea: Overview and Themes

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Zacharitsa Giannopoulou

Class: Classics 45C Topic: Euripides’ Medea Date: 4-28-17 Background ● Produced in 431 BCE ● Medea- granddaughter of Helios, niece of Circe, has magic powers ● Other variations of death of children ○ Corinthians murdered boys in temple of Hera out of hatred for Medea ○ After Medea killed Creon and fled to Athens, leaving kids at temple of Hera, Creon’s relatives killed them in revenge ○ M tried to make them immortal but failed and they died ● Idea that M killed her children may or may not have been Euripides’ invention Understanding the Play ● M did everything from the book. Sacrificed everything for her husband. Bore him sons. Did everything for J’s sake. Followed role of ideal woman ● Aegeus promises her asylum after she’s done whatever she has to do which makes her hopeful. ● Play begins with slaves ○ Nurse-attached to Medea-gives female perspective ■ Family comes first ○ Tutor- attached to Jason- gives male perspective ■ Pragmatist view of love: ● I may love them today but later on , i might not. When that happens and when they’re not useful, i will drop them ● People are replaceable/discardable ● The individual comes first ● Medea is not upset bc J is leaving her. That’s not the real problem ○ Men back then were allowed to leave women ○ M gave J everything. Mistreatment. ○ Injustice is the problem ● Satisfaction over completing her revenge ● In the end, M still not happy. Leaves you very desolate. Just like all people that exact their revenge ● Medea’s plan ○ 1. What am I going to do? ○ 2. How am I going to avoid punishment? ● Targets husband. His new bride, and bride’s father
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