Thursday, 25 July 2013

MEDEA – Euripides, 431 BC

So, this was written 2444 years ago and I have spent over 40 years on this earth without ever reading something so famous. But, to be honest, I could have spent over 40 more.
I don’t care whether Euripides is misogynistic or is providing the first well-rounded female in the history of drama. I couldn’t care less (even though I was sure I would be enraged) that Jason abandoned Medea for his own ends. I care not that she is a woman who will not be trampled on and, therefore, stands up as a beacon to all proud women through the ages.

As I read, I wanted to say something like: “Honestly, Medea. Get over it! Jason doesn’t love you. Move on and find someone who does.” But, actually, she did. She already had Aegeus in tow by the time she killed her children.
Greek tragedy is fantastic. Forget The Sopranos. If you want death and revenge and fate and fortune, look no further. But this one is the shockingly bloody episode, the ‘season starter,’ which pulls in the punters without moving the plot forward or enlightening us to the characterisation. I prefer the episode in the middle of the series where something subtle is revealed and it strikes a chord with your own life.

I read this in a volume of Euripides’ work called, of course, ‘Medea and other Plays.’ I will read the others, too, in the hope that I will discover something more substantial.

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