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Euripides (480-406) Wrote 92 plays Characteristics of his plays: Represents mythical heroes as normal people Works led the invention of comedies Focused.

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Presentation on theme: "Euripides (480-406) Wrote 92 plays Characteristics of his plays: Represents mythical heroes as normal people Works led the invention of comedies Focused."— Presentation transcript:

1 Euripides ( ) Wrote 92 plays Characteristics of his plays: Represents mythical heroes as normal people Works led the invention of comedies Focused on inner lives and motives of characters Wrote about women (NEVER done before) Questioned religion of the gods Characters 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. 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 islands Greece was occupied by small city-states and islands No country of Greece No country of Greece Who is barbarian? Who is barbarian? Greek speakers = good Greek speakers = good All other speakers = bad All other speakers = bad Greeks were enlightened and intelligent; all others are ignorant Greeks were enlightened and intelligent; all others are ignorant

3 Reading Medea Gender Ancient Athens – well-born women stayed at home in specially designated women’s quarters. Ancient Athens – well-born women stayed at home in specially designated women’s quarters. Marriages were arranged Marriages were arranged Women were not citizens, could not vote, and could not speak in assembly Women were not citizens, could not vote, and could not speak in assembly Medea feels she is Jason’s equal and refuses to be submissive Medea feels she is Jason’s equal and refuses to be submissive She negotiated her wedding contract She negotiated her wedding contract She uses rhetoric which was seen as masculine She uses rhetoric which was seen as masculine Defies the Greek definition of a female role model Defies the Greek definition of a female role model

4 Reading Medea Witchcraft Mythology – Medea is a witch Mythology – Medea is a witch Witches in Greek mythology used poison and drugs Witches in Greek mythology used poison and drugs Turned to specific deities for help like Hecate, goddess of the crossroads Turned to specific deities for help like Hecate, goddess of the crossroads Not very different from Greek religion which employed curses, prophecy and entrails from sacrifices Not very different from Greek religion which employed curses, prophecy and entrails from sacrifices

5 Setting Corinth Corinth In front of Medea’s house In front of Medea’s houseCharacters Nurse – Medea’s servant Nurse – Medea’s servant Tutor – teacher and children’s nanny Tutor – teacher and children’s nanny Medea – formerly princess of Colchis, wife of Jason Medea – formerly princess of Colchis, wife of Jason Jason – hero and the captain of the Argo Jason – hero and the captain of the Argo Aegeus – King of Athens Aegeus – King of Athens Messenger Messenger

6 Mythology of Jason Son of Aeson - King of Iolcus Son of Aeson - King of Iolcus Son - Jason Son - Jason Pelias overthrew Aeson Pelias overthrew Aeson Jason grew up and came back to claim the throne Jason grew up and came back to claim the throne Gained Hera’s favor Gained Hera’s favor Sends him on a quest for the “golden fleece” to get the throne back Sends him on a quest for the “golden fleece” to get the throne back Jason gets a boat, The Argo, and assembles a team of heroes including Hercules, Castor and Pollux, etc. Jason 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 Colchis Saves Phineas from the Harpies and Phineas tells him the Golden Fleece is on Colchis Colchis’s King Aeetus tells Jason he must perform three tasks. Colchis’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. 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 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 escape Medea kills her own brother to help them escape They arrive in Iolcus but Pelias will not give up the throne. They arrive in Iolcus but Pelias will not give up the throne. Medea tricks his daughters into killing him so they must flee Medea tricks his daughters into killing him so they must flee They end up in Corinth (a Greek city-state) They end up in Corinth (a Greek city-state)

8 Prologue and Parados Beginning to pg 20, ll What background facts do we learn from the Nurse's opening speech? 2. What new trouble has the Tutor heard of? 3. Why does the Nurse fear for Medea's children? 4. Why does the Nurse say she prefers not to be great? 5. Whom do the members of the Chorus represent? 6. What excuse does Euripides use to bring Medea out in front of her house? 7. What role did women play in ancient Greek society? 8. How is Medea's situation worse than it would be if she were a native of the city? 9. What promise does Medea ask for and receive from the Chorus?

9 pg. 20, ll Scene 1 pg. 20, ll pg. 27, ll What new misfortune does Creon bring to Medea? 11. According to Medea, no sensible person would want clever children. Why? 12. Why is Creon's love for his home and family especially bitter to Medea? 13. What one request of Medea's does Creon grant? Is he really being merciful? 14. What does Medea resolve to do? 15. Who was Medea's grandfather?

10 Scenes 2 and 3 pg. 28, ll 471 – pg. 43, ll According to the Chorus, which sex is cruel and deceitful toward the other? Why have poets said otherwise? 17. Whom does Jason blame for Medea's sorrow? 18. What has Medea done for Jason? 19. What justifications does Jason offer for his actions? 20. How do Medea and the Chorus respond to Jason's defense? 21. What does the Chorus say about what makes love desirable or not desirable? 22. 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?) 23. What terrible plan does Medea reveal to the Chorus? Why will she do it? 24. Why does the Chorus praise Athens?

11 Scene 4 Pg. 43, ll 879 – pg 51, ll What are Medea and the Chorus thinking of in ll ? Does Jason understand? Why are his next words ironic? Why does Medea weep again? 26. What struggle occurs in Medea ? 27. According to the Chorus, the childless are more fortunate than those who have children. Why?

12 Scene 5 Begin on pg. 51, ll How 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.) 29. How is the death of Medea's children staged? 30. Why is Jason's speech in lines ironic? 31. What satisfaction does Medea find in her horrible deed? (See lines 1403.) 32. What final comfort does Medea refuse to allow Jason to have? 33. How does the play end? Does this suggest that the gods approve of Medea's actions?

13 Discussion 1. Is Medea a tragic hero? Explain using the definition of a tragic hero? 2. How does Euripides use Deus Ex Machina at the end of Medea? Why do you think he chose to do this?


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