Meeting 14 - CC 303 7.2 Medea Plot and Themes EURIPIDES IS...

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CC 303 7.2 Medea Plot and Themes EURIPIDES IS KNOWN FOR INTEREST IN HUMAN PSYCHOLOGICAL STATES. PERFORMANCES AS PART OF PUBLIC FESTIVALS. EACH OF THREE TRAGEDIANS PRESENTS 3 TRAGEDIES AND A SATYR PLAY. 3 ACTORS + A CHORUS. Medea : CHARACTERS IN PLAY: JASON, son of Aeson, king of IOLCUS in northern Greece, famous hero, leader of Argonautic expedition to obtain golden fleece in COLCHIS at the eastern end of the Black Sea. Colchis is the land of exotic easternness, at remote limits of sea travel, no surrounding high 'civilized' cultures. Cf. use of Timbuktu in west Africa. In Colchis: King Aeetes, a sorcerer and son of Helius, the famous ‘witches’ Circe and Hekate were his sisters (Hesiod, Theogony, 957 ff.) children: Medea, Apsyrtos Medea betrays her father and her country (pater and patris) and she cuts up her brother Apsyrtus and scatters him upon the waters to slow her father’s ships in pursuit. Back in Iolcus, Jason’s uncle Pelias cheats him out of his rightful possession of the kingship. Medea convinces Pelias’ daughters to ‘rejuvenate him’ magically by chopping him up and cooking him up in a stew pot. From there the happy couple and their two young children go and settle in Corinth. Medea is a sorceress. This is meaningful for the Greeks who had not yet rationalized away the 'black arts'. She has the ability to use 'voodoo', dark magic, black cat bones, mojo hands and so on and people believe in their efficacy. Just by stepping on stage Medea would bring with her associations of exotic magical power (niece of Circe and Hecate), alluring sexuality (femininity not controlled by the dominant male power as in Greek culture), proven capacity for murder and treasonous betrayal, uncharacteristically strong personality. The Medea deals with major issues of importance regarding affairs of the heart, psychological states, our
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2008 for the course C C 303 taught by Professor Faulkner during the Spring '07 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Meeting 14 - CC 303 7.2 Medea Plot and Themes EURIPIDES IS...

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