Introduction & Overview of Medea

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 Further Reading and a Free Quiz on Medea by Euripides.

Euripides's Medea (431 B.C.) adds a note of horror to the myth of Jason and Medea. In the myth, after retrieving the golden fleece Jason brings his foreign wife to settle in Corinth. There Jason falls in love with the local princess, whose status in the city will bring Jason financial security. He marries her without telling Medea, Medea takes revenge by killing the new bride and her father, the King of Corinth. One variation of the myth says that Medea then accidentally kills, her two sons by Jason while trying to make them immortal, Euripides takes the myth into a new direction by having Medea purposely stab her children to death in order to deprive Jason of all he loved (as well as heirs that would carry on his name). In one of literature's most intensely emotional scenes, Medea debates with herself whether to spare her children for her own love's sake or to kill them in order to punish her husband completely. A chorus of Corinthian women sympathize with Medea but attempt to dissuade her from acting on her anger. However, her need for revenge overpowers her love for her children, and she ruthlessly kills them. Euripides introduced psychological realism into ancient Greek drama through characters like Medea, whose motives are confused, complex, and ultimately driven by passion. Although the tetralogy that included this play did not earn Euripides the coveted prize at the Dionysus festival in which it debuted, Medea has withstood the test of time to become one of the great tragedies of classical Greece.

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This section contains 259 words
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Buy the Medea Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Medea from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.