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Medea | Stasimon 3 | Summary

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Summary

In response to Medea's plot, the Chorus sings the praises of Athens and asks Medea to consider how "this city of sacred streams,/this land of strolling lovers" will react to the presence of a woman who has murdered her own children. It begs Medea again to give up on her plan and show mercy to her children.

Analysis

The Chorus mentions Erechtheus, an early king of Athens. His "sons," the Athenians, are said to be blessed and living in a "city of sacred streams." The Chorus once again brings up the motif of binding love with wisdom, which it believes Athenians do in order to "foster all fine things." This motif contrasts with the themes of betrayal and revenge, which result when passion overcomes wisdom. The Chorus foreshadows possible action beyond the play, to the time when Medea makes her escape and lands in this sacred country, bringing the memory of her rage and violent acts with her.

In one of Euripides's lost plays, Erechtheus sacrificed his own daughters to the god Apollo in order to win a battle with another city-state. The chorus seems unaware of this, but perhaps Athens is actually the most suitable place for Medea to find sanctuary.

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