Medea: Prologue & Parados

Prologue: 

What is the significance of the information the Nurse gives the audience? How does it influence our impressions of Medea’s character before we see her?

The nurse sets the scene for the audience and gives context to better understand the scene. This makes us think about Medea and that maybe she might be overreacting. The nurse portrays her as being overly dramatic comparing her current state, to many things in the past that would be considered worse to where she is at now. This creates the idea that maybe Medea is a “drama queen” as she exaggerates the size of this problem. However, Medea is also human and seems to be a very passionate woman, this is shown in her obsessive nature towards Jason and how much she thought she loved him. Therefore, this creates the initial impression that she might be annoying to talk to as she is overly obsessed with this idea of love and trust towards Jason.

Parados:

How does The Chorus develop the detail and themes outlined in the Prologue? What dramatic effect is created? How does Medea characterise her suffering to the audience in her initial address?

The characters do not talk to or meet Medea until later on in the scene. The Chorus highlights the idea that Medea is overreacting through the fact that they think Medea should just move on, similar to the nurse, that maybe Medea is just too obsessed with this idea. This creates the effect that we initially would think that Medea is a mess, that Medea cannot get over a man that has done her wrong, through her common depiction of her depressive episode. With her frequent use of saying she wants to die, lack of eating, loathing around, and so on, we would initially think that maybe Medea is struggling to keep hold of herself. However, when she walks out, she looks very well put together contrasting the common idea that she is a “mess”.

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