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Introductory Lecture 1/20/2011. Euripides Circa 480-406 BCE Last of 3 great Athenian tragedians (Aeschylus, Sophocles) Noted for: Strong female characters.

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Presentation on theme: "Introductory Lecture 1/20/2011. Euripides Circa 480-406 BCE Last of 3 great Athenian tragedians (Aeschylus, Sophocles) Noted for: Strong female characters."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introductory Lecture 1/20/2011

2 Euripides Circa BCE Last of 3 great Athenian tragedians (Aeschylus, Sophocles) Noted for: Strong female characters Intelligent slaves Use of heroes from Greek mythology ~95 plays, including Medea (431 BCE)

3 Medea Princess of Colchis (East on the Black Sea), niece of Circe (witch), grand-daughter of Helios (sun god) Betrays her family to help Jason and the Argonauts Killed her brother (chopped into bits!) Marries Jason, bears two sons Medea and Jason end up in Corinth

4 Euripides’ Medea Characters Medea Jason Creon Aegeus Nurse & Attendant Chorus of Corinthian Women Messenger Non-speaking roles: Creusa, Medea’s 2 children

5 What’s the story? Jason is to marry Creusa, Creon’s daughter Medea grieves the loss of her husband Many characters fear what this sorceress might do Creon orders her to be sent into exile Entrance of Aegeus- agrees to harbor Medea in exchange for helping his wife conceive

6 Medea’s vengeance Death to Creon and Creusa! Poisons golden robes (wedding gifts) Euripides’ invention: Kills her own sons- Why? Medea escapes, with refuge promised in Athens, on a chariot of the sun-god Helios

7 Questions to Consider Was Jason wrong to marry Creusa? Any benefits to children/Medea? Is Medea justified in killing Creon & Creusa? In killing her two sons? What does Medea’s murder of her children add? Other authors had them killed by the angry Corinthians Does Euripides authorize Medea’s actions by allowing her escape to Athens?


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