Medea
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Medea. Before, During, and After Euripides’ Medea. Sorceress Priestess of Hecate, goddess of underworld. Niece of Circe Granddaughter of sun god Helios Woman of great passion. Medea: Character Profile. Jason. Jason’s uncle usurps his throne in Iolchos; sends Jason on quest

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Medea

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Medea

Before, During, and After Euripides’ Medea


Sorceress

Priestess of Hecate, goddess of underworld

Niece of Circe

Granddaughter of sun god Helios

Woman of great passion

Medea: Character Profile


Jason

  • Jason’s uncle usurps his throne in Iolchos; sends Jason on quest

  • Jason seeks Golden Fleece in M’s father’s kingdom (Colchis)

  • Hera (Jason’s protector) gets Aphrodite to make M. fall for Jason


Promises Made

  • M will help J get Fleece

  • J will marry M

Promises Kept

  • M murders own brother to slow father’s pursuit of J

  • J marries M

    • They go to Iolchus


Jason’s Kingdom

  • M tricks J’s cousins into killing their own father

  • J doesn’t get kingdom

  • J + M get driven out of town; flee to Corinth


Euripides’ Medea

  • J + M have 2 kids

  • J has betrayed M

    • Engaged to Corinth king Creon’s daughter

  • King Creon banishes M and children

  • M kills Creon + daughter, and her own kids in revenge

  • M flees to Athens’ King Aegeus in Helios’ chariot


M marries, has son with Aegeus

Tries to poison Aegeus’ first son Theseus (fails; is banished)

Goes back to Colchis, helps father get kingdom back

Eventually becomes immortal

J dies alone, in obscurity

Piece of his own ship falls on him

After the Play


Things to Consider

  • Who would the ancient Greeks blame for the tragedy?

  • Who do you blame?

  • What is Euripides’ opinion of women?

  • What relevance does this story have for modern readers?


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