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Medea, World lit

by: Chanah Fallin

Medea, World lit ENGL 2200 - 004

Chanah Fallin


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These notes cover Medea lecture as well as our small group discussion on symbols and debating whether its a feminist/anti feminist play.
World Literature before 1600
Class Notes
english, 2200, world lit before 1600, medea
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Chanah Fallin on Friday January 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 2200 - 004 at a university taught by LINDSAY DOUKOPOULOS in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views.


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Date Created: 01/29/16
“Medea” by Euripides *Dramatic Action: she killed princess w poison king dies trying to save her kills children ^wants revenge on Jason for leaving her *motivation: she's been wronged and is upset. easier to go to war than to have children? *subtext: wants everything the way it was, before she left/betrayed the family and killed her brother wants to be princess/powerful entitled, granddaughter of helios (god of time) *theme: passing of time -beginning: nurse “i wish…..had never happened” ^gives backstory about Jason, Medea and the gold fleece and presents time as a theme -refer to past as important to understand the present -desire to turn back time, OR foreshadow the current predicament?? *Greek audience already knows how it ends, they experience it for the skill and interest in the final outcome “golden fleece” : argo/argonauts Jason assembles a team, he doesn't go alone…is he not enough by himself to succeed in his quest? MEDEA an outsider x3 1. woman in male-dominant world 2. foreigner/barbarian in greek city 3. smart woman surrounded by fools (intelligence is a dangerous quality) Audience
 male/landowners/wealthy…woman didn't go written for male audience, identify with? but not well received: Jason is a fallen hero.. Euripides: won playwriting comp 4x/90 plays not as popular as Sophocles why? oedipus vs. Medea Medea strikes terror, audience prefers oedipus Medea: more complex, pity at the beginning but not the end. Women terrorize men in power, and capable of anything (Medea killing brother, king, etc) Oedipus: good man vs. fate? -not invented by him -his version: 431 BC -first time: she kills children, princess and escapes w flying chariot -last place in 431 ^after: it became hugely popular, most performed ^lost and won for the same reason: deeply unsettling play, especially for men chorus: mainly woman - sympathize with Medea and identify with her. in the beginning: empathy…end: don't want her to murder her kids *Creon: why does he giver her 24 hours s ' e h soft, doesn't have gumption to kick her out now -leadership: problems, weak, questionable *motivation: doesn't trust her *action: banishes *subtext: intellegent, manipulative, doesn't trust *Aegus: why does he show up in the middle of the play? plot hole? on his way from oracle @ Delphi to find out if he will have children why does he grant Medea Sanctuary? -she can give him children -questionable loyalty…why do men continue to take her in *Jason: why did he leave her? -give sons a title and princely brothers motive: paternal or selfish? ^Medea doesn't kill him, kills everyone he loves extreme character anti hero eliminates children: no on carries on Medea and Jason’s lineage (time theme: clean slate) **Medea’s only identity and value to men is a “mother” not “powerful” ^she casts down children to “un-mother” herself -children are seen to provoke sympathy from the audience “Deus Ex Machina”: diety from out of a machine *ending: medea gets on a chariot characters find themselves in an impossible situation, a god would be lowered down tot resolve the problem -Jason ends play groveling and sobbing -not much talk about the gods: the chorus just suddenly starts speaking and explaining the “gods” motivation and solution *not a crime of passion particularly horrifying force of Medea’s actions is that they are done in full will and knowledge/ consent dramatized 2 betrayals of social order -husband v. wife -mother v. children *pro feminist play? “women of corinth” speech (ln. 212-276) strong women, weak men unselttling counter evidence *Tragic hero: sympathetic and stricken w overwhelming flaw that causes them to suffer and repent. Medea is the opposite smart, deserted, outsider : rise to revenge, and never apologizes . prideful, and escapes with no consequences *anti-hero: never INTENDS to do good. *symbols: helios-time door-barrier, Medea is always closed off chorus- conscience, voice of reason crown-royalty is flawed, evil, manipulative, power used against power (revenge) feminist v. anti feminist play?


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