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Medea | Stasimon 6 | Summary

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Summary

The Chorus begs the Earth and the Sun to keep Medea from carrying out the final act in her revenge. It warns of the wrath of the gods, who will "send down/onto the houses of the ones who kill/sorrows to match their crimes." The recitation is interrupted by the boys' cries from inside the house as they try to avoid the sword. Outside the women of the Chorus are frantic but take no action. In anguish they tell the story of another woman, Ino, who was so distraught after killing her children that she leapt into the sea to join them in death.

Analysis

The symbol of the broken marriage house is a potent one at the end of the play. The offstage cries that emanate from it, which, at the start of the play, were Medea's cries of anger—have been replaced by the cries of her sons as she stabs them in a betrayal of the natural maternal role.

The modern reader might expect the Chorus to take action, but the audience of the time would have had no such expectation. The Chorus's role was only to observe and comment; it did not directly involve itself in the action of the play.

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