Play thoughts: Medea by Euripides

Medea by Euripides

Published: 19th April 1993 by Dover Publications (first published -431)

Length: 47 pages

Where did I pick this up: School library.

Why did I pick this up: I wanted to get ahead of the Classics course that I’ll be taking.

Summary from Goodreads:

One of the most powerful and enduring of Greek tragedies, Medeacenters 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 more 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 more than twenty centuries.

I picked this play up to get ahead on the Classical Civilisation course I’ll be taking since I know the first thing we’ll be covering in September is this play. Oh boy, even if I wasn’t taking Classics, I’m still so glad I read this.

The play itself is a small section of a long long LONG sequence of events and spans no more than a day. It focuses on Medea and her desire to get revenge on her husband Jason who has betrayed her even though she has given up so much for him. With a number of powerful monologues from Medea, Jason and others, many people find this to be a very shocking play. And I fully agree.

Medea herself is a very interesting character. We hear of the many things that she has done for/to be with Jason and at the beginning of the play I did really feel for her. I enjoyed her monologues the most because there was a lot of internal struggle that she faced during the play and so it wasn’t simply I’ve-planned-this-out-and-now-I’m-going-to-go-through-with-this-without-any-hiccups kind of ordeal. This, for me, made her character, considering how dramatic this play is, more believable.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. I haven’t read enough plays nor have I read enough Greek Mythology to give this an accurate rating. I’d recommend it to everyone since it’s a great story and really not that long. I will say, though, that there are many themes in between the lines of this play and I’m looking forward to not only covering this in my course but also hopefully seeing it in London some time in September/November.


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