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Medea Project

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Xaviera McMichael

on 25 September 2012

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Transcript of Medea Project

Xaviera McMichael Medea Background Setting The chorus is a group of Corinthian women, who came to Medea's house to comfort her. The chorus often acts as the conscience. In the beginning, the chorus was very sympathetic towards Medea, but as her quest for revenge became more gruesome, the chorus began to abhor her Jason Creon Aegeus Medea Chorus Nurse Tutor Messenger Medea is mourning the betrayal by Jason (Euripides 1-6)
Nurse fears Medea's rage and revenge (Euripides 1-2)
Chorus tries to comfort Medea (Euripides 5-10)
Theme: the role of women introduced Euripides (8-9) Exposition Rising Action Medea kills her children (Euripides 41) Climax Falling Action Resolution Resolution Literary Terms Jason went on a quest for the Golden Fleece in order to win back the throne that was taken from his father by his brother Pelias (MacManus 1)
He finds the fleece at Colchis. King Aeetas sets impossible conditions for handing over the fleece. Aphrodite causes Aeetas's daughter Medea, who was a sorceress, to fall in love with Jason (MacManus 1)
Medea agrees to help Jason in exchange for him making her his bride.Jason accomplishes all the tasks with Medea's help, but Iolcus refuses to hand over the fleece. Medea helps Jason steal it.(MacManus 1)
Jason and Medea flee Colchis, and Aeetas gives chase. While fleeing her father, Medea kills her brother and throws his body in the ocean to slow her father. Aeetas gives up the chase. (MacManus 1)
While Jason had been away, Pelias killed Jason's parents. Medea tricks Pelias's daughters into killing him. People of Iolcus refuse to make Jason their king. (MacManus 1)
Jason and Medea move to Colchis, here Medea has 2 kids with Jason. Jason divorces Medea and marries the princess of Colchis. Here, the play begins (MacManus 1) Before the opening of the play, Medea and Jason's travels included Colchis (MacManus 1), in Asia Minor, now western Georgia, (Mikaberidze and Nikoladze 1) ; Iolcus, modern day Volos, Magnesia, Thessaly, Greece ("Pelion..")
This play takes place in 4th century BC in Corinth, Greece at Medea and Jason's house (Euripides 1) and at Creon's palace (Euripides 31).
Corinth is located on the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnesus peninsula to the mainland of Greece ("Corinth, Corinth") Medea is the daughter of Aeetas, king of Colchis and owner of the Golden Fleece, as well as an accomplished sorceress (MacManus 1). Aprodite made her fall in love with Jason, who had come to collect the Golden Fleece (MacManus 1). She vowed to help him in his quest in exchange for becoming his bride (MacManus 1) (Euripides 1). She sacrificed everything for Jason, so his betrayal was unfathomable (Euripides 1-2). Medea sank into a deep depression, and was both suicidal and homicidal (Euripides 1-5) after Jason left her. The fear her temper induced is evident in the nurse's speech (Euripides 1-2), and in her conversation with Creon (Euripides 12). When she is granted refuge by Aegeus, it gives her a clear path to exact her revenge against those she believes have wronged her; Jason, Glauce, and Creon (Euripides 25-26). She pursues her revenge relentlessly no matter the cost, or collateral damage. Her passion and rage blinds her and prevents her from seeing reason or the consequences of her actions. Jason is the son of Aeson, the rightful king of Iolcus. Aeson's brother Pelias stole the throne from him. To regain the throne Jason had to retrieve the Golden Fleece from Aeetes, king of Colchis. When he reached Colchis, King Aeetes set impossible tasks for Jason to complete to collect the fleece. Medea then is made to fall in love with Jason by Aphrodite, and Medea vows to help him in exchange for becoming his wife. Aeetes refuses to relinquish the fleece after Jason completes all the tasks, so Jason and Medea steal it and flee. Aeetas gives chase, and to delay him Medea kills her brother and throws him into the ocean; Aeetas gives up the chase. Upon returning to Iolcus, Jason finds out that Pelias has murdered his parents and refuses to give up the throne. Medea then tricks Pelias's daughters into killing him, and the people of Iolcus refused to make Jason king. Jason and Medea flee to Corinth, where Jason's 2 children are born. Jason's ambition to become a ruler leads him to leave Medea and marry Glauce, the princess of Corinth. In the beginning of the play, Jason has it all. He is in a position to be king with 2 wives, 2 children and a good father-in-law; but as the play progresses Jason loses everything. His ambition and arrogance play pivotal roles in his downfall. His ambition to rule led him to leave behind his wife and children and commit adultery, and his arrogance deluded him into believing that Medea would accept and even be happy about his actions (pg.18). At the end of the play Jason finally sees the error of his ways after the deaths of Creon, Glauce, and his children. He is left in Corinth emotionally deciamted and alone (pg. 46). Creon is the ruler of Corinth, Greece and father of Glauce. He is depicted as a loving father, and banishes Medea out of concern for the safety of his family (pg. 10). Medea uses the knowledge that he is family oriented to manipulate him, so she can remain in Corinth long enough to exact her revenge. Creon pays the ultimate price for the kindness he extended to Medea with his life (pg. 38). Aegeus is the king of Athens, Greece and an old friend of Medea. He was having fertility issues, so he visited the oracle of Pheobus (Apollo), at Delphi (pg.21). Aegeus wasn't able to decipher the oracle's message, and was on his way to see Pittheus when he stopped by to see Medea (pg.22). During his conversation with Medea he learns of Jason's betrayal and Medea's exile (pg.23). Medea begs him to allow her refuge in Athens in exchange for a way to cure his infertility (pg.24). Aegeus agrees, makes a vow to Medea, and leaves. The nurse is a mother figure to Medea. The nurse has been a part of Medea's life since she was born and has followed her through all her adventures with Jason. In the beginning of the play, the nurse is genuinely hurt to see Medea so depressed (pg.1-4). As Medea's revenge gets more bloodthirsty, the nurse still sticks by her even though she doesn't like what Medea is doing. The tutor looks after Medea and Jason's children. The tutor isn't particularly sympathetic towards Medea. In the conversation with the nurse, the tutor seems to have an indifferent attitude towards Medea (Euripides 2-4). Also, he isn't surprised by what Jason has done and wonders why the nurse and Medea are (Euripides 4). The messenger is a member of Creon's household. He represents the collateral damage Medea's revenge has caused. He was a witness to the murders of of Creon and Glauce (Euripides 37-40). Creon banishes Medea, but allows her 24 hours to get her affairs in order (Euripides 10-12)
Jason visits Medea, and offers help (Euripides 15-20)
Aegeus offers refuge for Medea in Athens (Euripides 23-24)
Medea plots revenge with earnest (Euripides 25-28)
Medea sends poisoned gifts with children for Glauce (Euripides 31)
Glauce and Creon die (Euripides 37-40) Jason arrives too late to save his kids (Euripides 42)
Jason threatens Medea (Euripides 43)
Medea prepares to escape via dragon drawn chariot (Euripides 43)
Medea refuses to let Jason touch, or bury the children (Euripides 45-46) Jason is emotionally decimated (Euripides 46)
Medea flees to Athens (Euripides 47)
Jason morally rots in Corinth
Jason is killed by falling timber on the Argo Deus ex machina- a character that is introduced late in a play and provides a solution to a problem that seems insolvable
Ex: Aegeus "...if you by yourself can reach my house, then you shall stay there safely." (Euripides 24)
Aegeus provided a solution to Medea's problem of where to go in her exile
Hamartia- the tragic flaw or fatal weakness of the protagonist that causes their downfall
Ex: Jason's arrogance "Next for your attack on my wedding with the princess: Here I will prove that, first, it was a clever move,...I made it in your best interests and the children's." (Euripides 18)
Prologue- the opening section of a play that is not part of the first scene or act
Ex: The nurses speech "How i wish the Argo never had reached the land...I know it won't be easy to make an enemy of her hand and come off best..." (Euripides 1-2) Tragedy- a play that features a protagonist who suffers a downfall via flaw in his character or circumstances
Ex: The Medea. Jason has it all in the beginning and due to his ambition and arroganace ends up emotionally decimated
Peripeteia- when the protagonist takes action expecting a particular outcome, but the opposite occurs
Ex: Jason expected his marriage to Glauce to unify both families and make his children princes, but he ends up alone after the deaths of Glauce, Creon, and his children (Euripides 18, 37-41, 46)
Chorus- a group who comments on the events of the play and characters
Ex: Group of Corinthian women Anagnorisis- the hero's recognition of their mistake
Ex: Jason realizes leaving Medea wasn't a good idea (Euripides 46)
Dramatic Irony- when the audience knows something the character does not
Ex: Creon allows Medea to remain in Corinth for 24 hours believing she can do no harm in that time frame, but the audience knows she will exact her revenge in that allotted time (Euripides 10-14) Works Cited "Corinth, Corinth." Corinth. N.p., 30 July 2010. Web. <http://www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/corinth>.
Euripides. Medea. New York: Dover Thrift Editions, 1993. Print.
McManus, Barbara F. "Background and Images for Medea." Background and Images for Medea. N.p., Feb. 2011. Web. <http://www.cnr.edu/home/bmcmanus/medeabg.html>.
Mikaberidze, Alexander, and George Nikoladze. "Colchis." Colchis. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.conflicts.rem33.com/images/Georgia/Colchis.htm>.
"Pelion Myths: Jason and the Argonauts." Pelion Myths: Jason and the Argonauts. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.greeka.com/thessaly/pelion/pelion-myths/jason-argonauts.htm>.
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