Medea Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 46 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Medea.
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Medea Summary & Study Guide Description

Medea Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Medea by Euripides.

"Medea" by Euripides is a play that was written and performed in 431 B.C. It is based on the Greek myth of Medea and Jason. When Jason betrays Medea by marrying a Corinthian princess, Medea plots and enacts her revenge, destroying everyone her husband holds dear. "Medea" is an interesting, yet controversial, version of the popular Greek myth sure to thrill and appall modern audiences.

The play follows the adventures of the Golden Fleece during which Medea betrayed her barbarian country of Colchis as well as her family, Medea happily lives in Corinth with Jason until he betrays her to marry Glauce, Princess of Corinth. As Medea grieves over her loss, her nurse fears what Medea may do to herself and her children. A chorus of Corinthian women visit to comfort Medea.

King Creon, Glauce's father, visits Medea and sentences her and her sons to exile, fearing what she may do to his daughter; however, Medea convinces him to delay her exile for one day, giving her time to enact her vengeance. Jason also visits Medea and attempts to explain himself, insisting that his marriage to Glauce presented a rare opportunity for him which will allow him to better provide for his sons with Medea through their familial relationship to the princes Glauce will bear Jason. Medea reminds him of all she gave up for him, scorning his offer to assist her in her exile and expressing the hope that he will not find joy in his new wife.

Next, Medea receives a visit from Aegeus, King of Athens, who has returned from a trip to the Oracle of Phoebus where he sought guidance to bare children since he is still childless. Medea offers to use magic to help his wife conceive if he grants her refuge in Athens. Aegeus agrees on condition that Medea make her own way to Athens.

Medea resumes her plots for vengeance, planning to poison Glauce and kill her own sons as this is the best way to hurt Jason. Medea summons Jason and apologizes falsely, sending her sons to Glauce with her gift of poisoned robes. Glauce is killed by the poison, as is Creon when he tries to save his beloved daughter.

Determined to complete her revenge, Medea rushes offstage and kills her sons. Jason arrives to protect their sons from the vengeance of the king's relatives and learns that Medea has already killed them. Medea appears in a chariot given to her by the Sun and drawn by dragons, mocking Jason's grief. She refuses his request to bury his sons and escapes to Athens with her sons' bodies as the chorus contemplates the gods' will in Medea's actions.

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This section contains 448 words
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