Presentation on theme: "Euripides ( ) Wrote 92 plays Characteristics of his plays:"— Presentation transcript:
1 Euripides (480-406) Wrote 92 plays Characteristics of his plays: Represents mythical heroes as normal peopleWorks led the invention of comediesFocused on inner lives and motives of charactersWrote about women (NEVER done before)Questioned religion of the godsCharacters confronted personal issues not just issues of the state.Uses Deus Ex Machina (God in the machine) to get his characters out of trouble/play.
2 Reading Medea Greeks v. Barbarians Greece was occupied by small city-states and islandsNo country of GreeceWho is barbarian?Greek speakers = goodAll other speakers = badGreeks were enlightened and intelligent; all others are ignorant
3 Reading Medea GenderAncient Athens – well-born women stayed at home in specially designated women’s quarters.Marriages were arrangedWomen were not citizens, could not vote, and could not speak in assemblyMedea feels she is Jason’s equal and refuses to be submissiveShe negotiated her wedding contractShe uses rhetoric which was seen as masculineDefies the Greek definition of a female role model
4 Reading Medea Witchcraft Mythology – Medea is a witchWitches in Greek mythology used poison and drugsTurned to specific deities for help like Hecate, goddess of the crossroadsNot very different from Greek religion which employed curses, prophecy and entrails from sacrifices
5 SettingCorinthIn front of Medea’s houseCharactersNurse – Medea’s servantTutor – teacher and children’s nannyMedea – formerly princess of Colchis, wife of JasonJason – hero and the captain of the ArgoAegeus – King of AthensMessenger
6 Mythology of Jason Son of Aeson - King of Iolcus Son - JasonPelias overthrew AesonJason grew up and came back to claim the throneGained Hera’s favorSends him on a quest for the “golden fleece” to get the throne backJason gets a boat, The Argo, and assembles a team of heroes including Hercules, Castor and Pollux, etc.Saves Phineas from the Harpies and Phineas tells him the Golden Fleece is on ColchisColchis’s King Aeetus tells Jason he must perform three tasks.Aphrodite makes King Aeetu’s daughter fall in love with Jason and she helps him to complete the tasks and take the fleece.
7 Mythology of Jason – cont. Medea gave him a potion to defeat the dragon that guarded the golden fleece knowing she would have to leave Colchis and go home with Jason.Medea kills her own brother to help them escapeThey arrive in Iolcus but Pelias will not give up the throne.Medea tricks his daughters into killing him so they must fleeThey end up in Corinth (a Greek city-state)
8 Prologue and Parados Beginning to pg 20, ll 219. What background facts do we learn from the Nurse's opening speech?What new trouble has the Tutor heard of?Why does the Nurse fear for Medea's children?Why does the Nurse say she prefers not to be great?Whom do the members of the Chorus represent?What excuse does Euripides use to bring Medea out in front of her house?What role did women play in ancient Greek society?How is Medea's situation worse than it would be if she were a native of the city?What promise does Medea ask for and receive from the Chorus?
9 Scene 1 pg. 20, ll pg. 27, ll 471What new misfortune does Creon bring to Medea?According to Medea, no sensible person would want clever children. Why?Why is Creon's love for his home and family especially bitter to Medea?What one request of Medea's does Creon grant? Is he really being merciful?What does Medea resolve to do?Who was Medea's grandfather?
10 Scenes 2 and 3 pg. 28, ll 471 – pg. 43, ll 878According to the Chorus, which sex is cruel and deceitful toward the other? Why have poets said otherwise?Whom does Jason blame for Medea's sorrow?What has Medea done for Jason?What justifications does Jason offer for his actions?How do Medea and the Chorus respond to Jason's defense?What does the Chorus say about what makes love desirable or not desirable?Who swears to help Medea IF she comes safely to his land? (Why would this part get special attention from the play's original audience?)What terrible plan does Medea reveal to the Chorus? Why will she do it?Why does the Chorus praise Athens?
11 Scene 4 Pg. 43, ll 879 – pg 51, ll 1139What are Medea and the Chorus thinking of in ll ? Does Jason understand? Why are his next words ironic? Why does Medea weep again?What struggle occurs in Medea ?According to the Chorus, the childless are more fortunate than those who have children. Why?
12 Scene 5 Begin on pg. 51, ll 1140How do Medea and the audience learn about the fate of Creon and his daughter? (Compare this with the way we learn of Antigone’s and Haemon’s death in Antigone.)How is the death of Medea's children staged?Why is Jason's speech in lines ironic?What satisfaction does Medea find in her horrible deed? (See lines 1403.)What final comfort does Medea refuse to allow Jason to have?How does the play end? Does this suggest that the gods approve of Medea's actions?
13 DiscussionIs Medea a tragic hero? Explain using the definition of a tragic hero?How does Euripides use Deus Ex Machina at the end of Medea? Why do you think he chose to do this?