What we anticipatedoes not come to pass.
What we don t expectsome god finds a way to make it happen.
So with this story Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Although this was first written by William Congreve in 1697 not the Bible the distant origins of the sentiment is frozen in human memory but its earliest dramatic expression may have originated with Euripides I think he just gave it words the instinct of some women to be vindictive carriers of hellish wrath is innate I have handledthan a few divorces where all parties involved both attorneys and the husband stood in open mouthed shock and amazement of how bats crazy mad the wife could be Damn, girl Let it go.
Some women cannot She has been wronged and God and all the angels are going to know about it In Medea s defense, Jason had it coming Euripides has created an archetype, a template upon which over twenty centuries of artists have contributed and added variation But the origin is forged in a woman s soul, and God help you if you get sideways of this capability for vengeance.
As good to experience now, and as relevant, as it was centuries ago.
One Of The Most Powerful And Enduring Of Greek Tragedies, Medea Centers On The Myth Of Jason, Leader Of The Argonauts, Who Has Won The Dragon Guarded Treasure Of The Golden Fleece With The Help Of The Sorceress Medea Having Married Medea And Fathered Her Two Children, Jason Abandons Her For A Favorable Match, Never Suspecting The Terrible Revenge She Will Take Euripides Masterly Portrayal Of The Motives Fiercely Driving Medea S Pursuit Of Vengeance For Her Husband S Insult And Betrayal Has Held Theater Audiences Spellbound For Than Twenty Centuries Rex Warner S Authoritative Translation Brings This Great Classic Of World Literature Vividly To LifeReprint Of The John Lane, The Bodley Head Limited, London,Edition I understand too well the dreadful actI m going to commit, but my judgementcan t check my anger, and that incitesthe greatest evils human beings doMedea about to Kill her Children, Eug ne Delacroix 1838 As terrible as Medea s actions are at the end of the play, I can t help but feel sorry for her at least is some small way She murders her own children, but she was pushed to the brink of despair as the knife was placed in her hand by her own husband And Euripides plays on this dynamic beautifully Does one wrong justify another She gave absolutely everything to Jason The gods compelled her to love him, and she didardently that I think she ever realised She murdered for him, she fled her own kingdom and saved him from death She bore his children and helped him rule She gave him everything Without her support he would have achieved nothing And what does he do He betrays her Pity the man who would attract the ire of such a womanStronger than lover s love is lover s hate Incurable, in each, the wounds they makeMedea is passionate and volatile, without any scruples, and when the person she loved most in the world abandons her for another woman, she only thinks of how she can get him back She doesn t care about what she will lose or who else she will hurt she only wants to hurt him as he hurt her And Jason is a fool for hurting her He must have known how she was, and he should not have pushed such a woman to the brink of despair He drove her mad, and she struck back harder than he could have imagined Her actions are, of course, inexcusable but they are not entirely her own fault Her volatility erupted and she channelled it into the most ugliest and bloodiest of revenges And it s difficult to read about, but it s also important to read about Although Euripides, through his raw and visceral language exaggerates the tempest that becomes Medea s mind, this is surprisingly real world because this does happen it has happened Despair can change a person The play also has powerful feminist undertones Medea shouts to the skies that she is the equal to any man and when she has been wronged she will wrong back as a man would, recognising her own crime but committing it all the same And that s her tragedy she cannot look beyond her own pain and anger.
A Greek tragedyAnd yet Medea, the first in the theater, that of Euripides Here is a tragedy, not a black caricature made to be played, not only just read, built on a well balanced structure and not the how as I pushed you, with a real choir, a female choir Moreover, it is important Who plays his role of average humanity that the viewer identifies and whose perspective changes with the vicissitudes of compassion to horror.
And above all here s a heroine who commits a monstrous act, but which is not a monster.
She still has tears, weaknesses, doubts, hesitations, tenderness and if she decides to atrocious crime of infanticide, it is because it has reached the end of its road.
We are not fooled by this smooth talker Jason, King of quibbles, the champion of bad faith, that even after the terrible death of her children remains a sad person the chorus refers in his strings sounded like a boxer.
And one can complain Medea, following the meanderings of his pain Despite his unforgivable act, she remains a mother, a mother stricken with madness and folly, but a mother sublime, necessarily sublime If you see what I do not want to not say The dark madness treacherous Erynie the lurks, and is much less black magician a little kitsch painted by Seneca, who taunted Jason on the roof of the palace in flames and flies with his chariot of winged serpents, how Game of Thrones , an unfortunate stranger abandoned in a hostile land, which, strangely, Aegean, in exchange for a settlement of knots can not have children, promises a stamped passport, one model integration and a new start in his light city, Athens, beautiful, generousSo that, if this is not a sign that even the gods give back to Medea a second chance.
A play by Euripides quite successful, in fact, with its ambiguities and contradictions, to give us grist and we stuffed somewhat around the central character Black is black, would say as someone, but here the black color is the last before the lights and the passage to the other side I wish Shakespeare had written a play where the Macbeths got divorced You d love to see what Lady Macbeth would have to say about it, right The thing with marrying an asshole is, divorcing them isn t going to be pretty.
Here s the ugliest breakup in history, the most famous play by the nastiest Greek playwright, the sly and vicious Euripides The plot is, Jason of the Argonauts, this guy has married an asshole It was a good idea at the time Medea slew an actual dragon for him, and who doesn t get turned on by a good dragon slaying But now that the adventures are over, Jason wants to leave her for apolitically advantageous wife The thing with dragon slayers is you get back to your kingdom and they re sortof traipsing around looking scary and you re like well, I feel like you re not going to be amazing at throwing feasts Jason tries to break it to her easy he s like listen, I m going to marry this princess lady but here s the good news, your sons will be princes now No seriously, that s what he says He s such an asshole, and that s one of the fun things about Euripides, he ll take a hero like Jason and be like But what if he was a douche Here s Jason in ahonest moment To me, fame is the important thing.
I d give up all I owned for it.
What good is a voice like OrpheusIf no one knows it belongs to you So what happens next is that Medea is miffed Men win their battlesOn the field but women are ruthless when the bedBecomes the battlefield We ve lainIn our own blood beforeand have survived Medea shocked everyone when it was first performed in 431 BCE it came in last in the competition that year It s like when Hardy wrote Jude the Obscure and everyone got so mad about it that he never wrote another novel There s a level of darkness that people just can t handle, and when you go there they blame you for it This play is a dark place Look, Greek plays are sortof spoiler proof There s only one thing that happens in each of them, really Their characters spend the whole play deciding whether to do the thing, and then they always do the thing, and then the chorus is like holy shit, they did the thing, that was nuts, and then that s the end of it Which is one of the nice things about them they take like an hour and a glass of wine to read Maybe two You shouldn t even read Medea if you don t know how it ends But here it is in order to get back at Jason, she murders his new fiancee Which actually that part sounds almost reasonable, right It s pretty gory the fiancee s dad Creon, that guy again comes and embraces her corpse but she poisoned the corpse, wow, so he gets StitchedTo it like ivy to laurel,Felt his flesh ripping from his bones But we re not at the bad part yet The bad part is that she murders her and Jason s children, too Murders her own two kids Euripides doesn t make you watch it you never watch murders in Greek tragedies, it s always just howling off stage, and here you get to listen to her kids yelling, Look A knife and then screaming It s awful The chorus, always weird and ambiguous participants in Euripides plays, tries half heartedly to talk her out of it Chorus Suffering so great you ll kill your sons Medea Yes, anything to make Jason s suffering worse then mineChorus And turn your grief into wretchedness and misery Medea Who can say The time for talk has ended.
She just shrugs it off It s sortof an Iagoesque villainy she s uninterested in thinking this through Medea is one of the starkest and cleanest of the Greek tragedies Euripides in particular tends to have slightly messier plots, but not here this is one cold dagger stroke to the heart It s troubling and unforgettable Its reputation has blossomed since its inauspicious beginning it was the most performed Greek tragedy of the 20th century, with a reputation for winning Tonies for its Medeas And here s the chorus again Stronger than lovers love is lovers hateIncurable, in each, the wounds they make So just keep that in mind, next time someone slays a dragon for you That was nice of them, but what happens when you run out of dragons M Medea play , EuripidesMedea is an ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides, based upon the myth of Jason and Medea and first produced in 431 BC The plot centers on the actions of Medea, a former princess of the barbarian kingdom of Colchis, and the wife of Jason she finds her position in the Greek world threatened as Jason leaves her for a Greek princess of Corinth Medea takes vengeance on Jason by murdering Jason s new wife as well as her own children, after which she escapes to Athens to start a new life 2012 1389 148 1390 9789642432714 1391 1392 1394 1395 1396 164 1397 76 9786007806777 431 Gracious, hell hath no fury While tunneling through Ovid s Metamorphoses, I ve been coming across a lot of familiar stories from childhood, the ones that have stuck with me over the years and from which I find frequent references in popular culture and life in general such as this tale of a famous warrior who scorns his sorceress wife for another woman you dumbass , the story of Medusa and Perseus, the rape and imprisonment of Persephone, etc I have also, with wholly unchecked excitement, discovered many myths which I was either previously unaware of, or not yet old enough upon my first readings to feel the reverberations from them One such story is that of Philomela which, during my reading, started playing a familiar tune in my head which I finally managed to place it is Titus Andronicus minus the character Titus Andronicus More specifically, it is the story of Titus s daughter Lavinia s tragic fate, with all the rape, tongue cutting, and cannibalism included in the box Shakespeare, you pomo, re appropriating son of a gun Naturally wanting to read , I investigated a bit and found that with the exception of Ovid and Shakespeare, there really isn t much as far as plays or re tellings of the Philomela and Procne myth are concerned, so I moved on to the next most fascinating story This is my long winded way of saying I think I will invest some time and read a bunch of these old Greek tragedies, and Medea is the one I opted to start with Just because I can t sit through a musical doesn t mean I can t enjoy reading plays, right This story is such a severe caricature of revenge that it makes Beatrix Kiddo look like a woman of marked restraint I won t spill it all here like so much baby blood and oozing princess flesh and ruin it all for you, but I will attempt to analyze the moral encoded in this thing First, is there one You read a lot about the vengeful nature of the god s almost no matter what ancient scripture or interpretation of scripture you are analyzing, and blind though the rage and excessive though the punishments may often seem, there is consistently at least an attempt at bigger picture lesson teaching This is not really the case with the mortals, however The tales on Earth areabout the wicked ways of mankind, the bruised egos and battered hearts, and the violent rage such insults can cause This is not a map of how to live this is human brutality exhibited I suppose if I were to draw any conclusions from stories such as that of Medea, it would be that control over one s emotions is hard won if it s even remotely embraced at all, the line between righteous vindication and moral depravity, in fact between emotion fueled yet justifiable behavior and sheer insanity, is hazy on the best of days I m still working through this in my head Basically, there is no light here, there isn t a shred of an upstanding character in this romantic turmoil, everyone s some new mutation of a self centered asshole, and life humankind are straight up fickle and mean, so just deal with it already because all you can really do is try your best to break the bucking mare that is your brutal heart.
Some of the lines in this play are gorgeous, but the final dialogue between Medea and Jason is so Jerry Springer that it drags the whole stage down on their heads I m not saying the crowd would ve egged the former couple, but some of them would ve definitely gotten on the mic and screamed at these people to just shut up already, inter splicing their advice with any number of obnoxiously censored curse words The last few pages were basically No I didn t , Yes you did , No, you are , No, YOU ARE , which was a disappointing finale to an otherwise great show All the same, I would recommend it if you are interested in morally ambiguous revenge tales, mythology, scorned love, poison, discussions of the role of a good sex life in sustaining emotions, how fleeting our hearts and minds are, how cruel and self serving people can be, violence as a human instinct, the role of money and status in human interactions, how women have been viewed throughout history, physical and emotional pain, family, friends, country, sacrifice Oh, it s harsh to think of what the future hides.
Sho nuff, man.
Medea, with her suffering, her hatred, her cruelty, has been present this week in my life Her myth living in various guises of representation And all engaged me in various degrees and manner It all started on Monday when, touring the Thyssen Musem in the search of paintings which had to do with the idea of Travel , I stopped to admire this painting, The Argonauts Leaving Colchis, by Ercole de Roberti ca 1480 This depicts the earlier part of the Myth the adventure in Colchis, The Voyage of Argo The Argonautica As the lovely Medea, in read, is already in the Argos, this represents the return trip with Golden Fleece on board There is no hint of their dark future On Tuesday I watched Pasolini s classic, from 1969,with the magnificent Maria Callas impersonating Medea Pasolini s account gives us the full myth, from the youth of Jason under the care of the Centaur, until the final gruesome deed perpetrated by Medea What enraptured me of this film was Pasolini s ability to portray an ominous barbaric kingdom Sinister in all its splendour For splendorous the filming certainly is Just to admire his choice of locations is it worth watching this film These are G reme in Capadocia, with those haunting caves and extended yellow land the imposing and Aleppo fortress, which we may very well lose as Syria is now under the control of other dark forces and parts of the delicate Camposanto in Pisa Beautiful.
The only time Callas agreed to act without singing was for this Medea She and her director succeed in giving us a cold hearted Medea, possessed by her hatred and full of feelings of revenge, but who is in control of hers and other s destiny Disheartening.
Then I finally landed in and read a text, the major literary source, Euripides play The tragedy begins at the end This is Medea s revenge There were two aspects that drew my attention most in Euripides One was his pride in the Greek civilization, for he justifies Medea s barbarity as precisely that, the act of a barbarian Impossibly expected from a Greek.
And second his lines on the plight of women Medea s lmost out of a feminist pamphlet, but this is Euripides stylus Of all things with life and understanding,We women are the most unfortunate,First, we need a husband, someone we getFor an excessive price He then becomesThe ruler of our bodies This misfortuneAdds stilltroubles to the grief we have,Then comes the crucial struggle this husbandWe ve selected, is he good or bad For a divorce loses women all respect,Yet we can t refuse to take a husband,Then, when she goes into her husband s home,With its new rules and different customs,She needs a prophet s skill to sort out the manWhose bed she shares My latest Medea was last night, when I attended a performance of Seneca s version Medea This play focuseson Medea s abilities as a magician and zeroes in sharply into her hatred and rage than does Euripides The quality of the performance wavered between some less convincing passages and some truly brilliant ones I withheld my interest when hysteria took over the tragic, but there was an unforgettable representation of magical rites If the play had begun with an astonishing enactment of the beginning of the Universe the ancient Greek Big Bang , when out of the amorphous chaos a series of deities emerged, the stage later offered Medea in her rage engaged in a metamorphosis through which she conjured up her powers A frenzy of mud and voices, of dislocated movements and terrorizing tremors build up to a climatic trance, and Medea, becoming one with the goddess Earth, adjured the destruction of the Kingdom of Corinth.
To my astonishment I found myself gradually slouching in my chair, pulled down by my daze and holding my breath clearly I could not resist being dragged by the intoxicating trance.
Unforgettable There is at least oneMedea waiting for my attentionChrista Wolfs Medea.
for when I have recovered.
Medea is a play about society, and how it deals with people who do not fit into the dominant cultural code It is about power, marriage, betrayal, hate and revenge as well, but the most important aspect is the typical fate of a strong and intelligent woman, following her husband to his home country She is treated as an intruder and danger to society, mainly because she is different, and knows things other people do not want to see She is the witch that narrowminded provincial men like to hunt, the threat to traditional family structures that scares the community to the point of becoming evil She is the wronged women who has to bear the shame and the consequences of her husband s weakness and treachery I have thought of teaching the play with a global citizenship focus after seeing recent developments in the world, as being foreign once again has a great impact on your life, your perception in mainstream society, and your outlook on the future.
Medea is the archetype of a person who won t accept injustice without fighting back The way she chooses to do this, according to Euripides, causes acute nausea of course, which might explain why her social suffering and fight against an oppressive mainstream community has not becomewell known and symbolic.
Christa Wolf came up with an interpretation of Medea that took away the guilt of infanticide and left the failure of the strong, vocal woman as the main focus I liked that idea, as it isacceptable to modern readers However, nothing beats Euripides complex Medea in my eyes The brutality of her fate matches the brutality of human beings and their response to change and diversity.