Class: Classics 45C
Topic: Euripides’ Medea
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
○ 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’
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
● 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