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Transcript of Medea
The Pelopponesian War
parallels the events of Jason and Medea's relationship
"The Greatest of the Greek Playwrights"
"Brail up the canvas and with shortened sail run out from under your noisy squall of words"
"...a child of my own seed"
"Should see you and your children on my soil.."
"But what you said against the royal house" (ln 483)
royal house=Creon and his
"House ___" is commonly a replacement for family, usually of noble descent or high status
"Where I need not have harmed a soul, I did" (ln 541)
a soul: a person
the soul represents all of the person
Jason is comparing himself to a skillful captain who can get out of bad situations.
"I chose the hand of the enemy who was going to destroy me, a tiger, a savage, not a woman."
Jason is comparing Medea to a tiger, meaning shes ruthless.
"From staring at the ground, deaf as a stone or wave of the sea[...]"
The nurse is explaining Medea, saying she doesn't listen to reason.
"Like a savage beast with new born young[...]"
The nurse describes Medea as defensive.
Aegeus has just returned from the oracle at Delphi to ask for a child
of my own seed= a child of my own
seed is closely associated with fertility, and therefore reproduction
effective, because the soul is the essence of a person
also, the harm Medea did to the daughters of Pelias was mental, not physical per se, so the soul is more fitting than the body
449 BCE- end of Persian War
433 BCE- Athens supports Corcyra, which threatens Corinth
432 BCE- Corinth assits Potidaean rebellion
431 BCE- Pelopponesian League declares war on Athens
431 BCE- invasion of Attica, but Athens untouched
430 BCE- plague in Athens, leaders die
425 BCE- Athens occupies Pylos, Sparta sues for peace
WAR CONTINUES UNTIL 421
"Oh my children, dear sons"
Jason is calling for his dead sons, but they aren't going to answer
"O Chastity, the gods' best gift, embrace me"
The Chorus is calling on Chasity, asking for hope. Chasity is not there, nor will he answer.
Creon has just exiled Medea for the threats on Jason and his daughter
The soil of Greece was poor for farming, and the fertile land was dedicated to the production of wine grapes and olives
The soil is another symbol of fertility, and its use is tied to Dioynsus, the god that City Dioynisia is named after
May also symbolize Jason's fondness of his bride-to-be, just as a farmer loves fertile land
Jason is confronting Medea to explain his reasons for marrying Glauce
"The water in rivers flows
uphill. From now, upstream
Medea has just made plans for revenge on Jason, and Creon.The chorus uses this paradox to show that things have turned around,and Medea is determined to get revenge.
"What painful comfort!"
Medea says this to Jason while he is trying to persuade her that his marrying another woman was something he did to keep her and the children safe.
protagonist dies in Antigone
alternates between scenes and odes
chorus is voice of myth and body politic
more about not betraying the gods wishes
Creon is the tragic hero
important characters die
both have a parados
both have an outlook of women as inferior to men
both have a prologue giving backstory or introducing conflict
strong-willed female protagonists
protagonist doesn't die
mostly scenes, but odes start after scene 4
chorus' main role is as character
about getting and seeking revenge
Jason is the tragic hero
Jealousy and betrayal lead to strife, and ultimately grief.
Jealousy can drastically change people's behavior.
Relationships cannot function without communication.
Sudden changes in behavior can hide a deeper purpose.
Starts in the spring
Dedicated to the youngest god, Dioynsus
Playwrights compete with four others, submitting their works to the elected officials
These officials appoint a choregos, a rich citizen that pays for the training and costuming of the often unpaid chorus, which early on could be 50 strong but was later reduced to 12-15 members
480 BC- Euripides is born
455 BC- First play (Daughters of Pelias)
431 BC- Peloponnesian War begins
422 BC- Wins 1st Literary Competition
406 BC- Euripides dies
1920's- Euripides' plays start appearing on Broadway
Euripides' plays include:
Iphigenia at Tauris
Iphigenia at Aulis
421 BCE- Peace of Nicias
415 BCE- Campaign against Sicily
413 BCE- Athens defeated at Syracuse
413 BCE- Sparta reinvades Attica and rebuilds fleet
411- 408 BCE- various Athenian difficulties
410 BCE- Athenian victory at Battle of Cyzius
406 BCE- last Athenian victory
405 BCE- Athens crushed at the Battle of Aegospotami
404 BCE- siege of Athens, forced to surrender
Greek Culture in
Greek View of Woman
-Women were treated as objects rather than people.
-Marraiges were arranged by their fathers.
-They spent most of their time in their homes caring for their children.
-They were not allowed to attend certain festivals and events.
-Woman could participate in some social events with their husbands permission.
-Women could not inherit property unless a sibling died..
Chorus was portrayed as wise men, soldiers, or whatever the story requires
Women may have been banned from attending, but unproven
Chorus can step out to be narrators to help the audience interpret scenes
The chorus, in addition to actor dialogue, convey the setting due to a lack of scenery onstage
Preparing the Plays
At the Play
(Aristotle got Ariswag)
Aristotle on Tragedy
Tragedy=Poetry that has a serious purpose and uses direct action over narration to make ends meet
, a feeling of inner cleansing from watching a tragedy
Contains a tragic hero
High social status, usually of noble blood or rich
Tragic flaw, a personality flaw that causes misfortune
Downfall, ex. death of friends or loss of social status
Recognition of flaw, time at which
Tragic Hero of Medea: Medea
High Social Status?
Wife of the hero Jason
Argonautica (Prequel to Medea)
Killed her brother, Abrsyrtus, to help Jason retrieve the Golden Fleece by throwing the dismembered corpse around to distract her father
Tricked two girls into throwing their father into a boiling pot of doom
Plotted to kill Jason's bride and her own two sons
Indirectly kills Creon when the poison on Glauce's robe makes him commit suicide
Creon exiles Medea to protect Glauce
None, Medea wanted the deaths of her children and did not regret it
Aristotle and the public's opinion of Medea?
Recieved 3rd place
Aristotle publicly mocked Aegeus's appearance and the sun chariot used by Medea at the ending as illogical
Not an Aristolean tragedy
He cries every time.
Total number of Allusions: 119
"It's men do the wiles and smiles, the cheating, now, it's men will not keep the vows they swore, while women now find history reversing the low esteem in which they lived before."
Zeus was alluded to many time in Medea but in the play Jason has an affair and marries the Princess, which is closely related to Zeus and Hera.
Zeus is also alluded to because he is the Supreme God.
"No goddess can delight you as much as Aphrodite."
Aphrodite is the goddess of love and beauty.
She is called out to many times in the chorus.
"Then I shall ask him if our sons can stay- I'll use them as messengers of death to Creon's child."
Hermes was the messenger between the over world and the under world.
There is also a character named the messenger which is alluded to as a whole to Hermes.
Slavery in Ancient Greece
-The citizens of Greece were split into two main roles: Free people, and slaves.
-Slaves were common, and were bought and sold by their masters.
-Men did industrial or agricultural work, while women would do domestic jobs, such as shopping or house work.
Antigone vs. Medea
Jason and Medea:
allies on the Argo, mutual support
peace for a time (marriage)
turned on each other
ultimately Jason wins,
but at what cost?
Sparta won only in name
Bulliet, Richard W. "Greece and Iran, 1000-30 B.C.E." The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History. 5th ed. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011. N. pag. Print.
Emmons, Jim Tschen. "Peloponnesian War." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC- CLIO, 2014. Web. 7 Oct. 2014.
"Persian Wars." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 7 Oct. 2014.