Medea Episodes 1 & 2

First Episode:

  • Examine Medea’s behaviour with Creon: what strategies does she use to manipulate him?

Medea constantly refers herself to Creon as a “mother”, even though she didn’t actually care and love her children so much as revealed previously. This appeals to Creon’s identity of a father as he shows great care towards his daughter, so Medea manipulates his empathy and resonation as a strategy for her to stay longer in this country. Also, she portrays herself as a weak and powerless woman, which could make Creon not think of her being able to revenge.

  • How does Medea’s speech after Creon’s exit give us further insight into her character?

We can see that Medea is a very cunning and clever female character who never gives up her revenging plan but pretends to be weak and powerless when facing Creon in order to achieve her revenge. There’s a strong contrast in her attitudes when she speaks alone and when she speaks to Creon. In the monologue, she not only complains about how Jason had betrayed her, revealing her revenging plan, but she also shows bravery if the plan failed by saying “I will myself take the sword — even if I must die — and kill them”. From this, we can see how much the revenge has taken her and driven her to madness.

First Stasimon:

  • What is the thematic function of the choral stasimon after this episode?

The chorus’s attitude has changed from opposing Medea’s revenge to supporting her and acknowledging that it is a just action. It reiterates the reasons for Medea’s revenge to raise the audience’s sympathy and understanding, so the audience knows that she’s not just a crazy woman but instead all her revenge is caused by all the miseries that happened on her.

Second Episode:

  • How does Euripides dramatically present the contrast between Medea and Jason’s different perspectives on their relationship?

Medea views her marriage as an important matter of life, whilst Jason treats it more as a business or trade. He presents an impatient attitude towards Medea’s anger and pretends to treat her well whilst actually making the least possible effort to Medea and his own children. He says “Even if you hate me, I could never think badly of you”, suggesting that he is a hypocritical person. Contrastingly, Medea reveals in her words that she had betrayed everything including her family and hometown to marry Jason, showing how much she cares about the marriage and treats it as the most important thing in life.

Second Stasimon:

  • What sympathy does the chorus show to Medea? Why? How is this dramatically effective?

The chorus shows respect towards Medea’s love and loyalty in marriage as she had left her hometown and friends to come with Jason, leaving herself all alone, which can be seen from him saying “wisely discern women’s love”. This is where his sympathy derives from. Since it emphasizes on love, it helps to raise the audience’s empathy and sympathy on Medea as well because it appeals to people’s emotional senses.

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