Euripides' The Medea: Medea and the Chorus

292 Words1 Page

Medea and the Chorus

The exchange that takes place between Medea and the Chorus serves several purposes in Euripides' tragedy, The Medea. It allows us to sympathize with Medea in spite of her tragic flaws. It also foreshadows the tragic events that will come to pass. Finally, it contrasts rationality against vengeance and excess. The Chorus offers the sane view of the world to the somewhat insane characters of Medea, Jason, and Creon. As the passage begins on page 176, the leader of the Chorus reveals that she has high regards for Medea despite the fact that she is "savage still." She acknowledges Medea as a foreigner and an outsider and yet is sympathetic towards her. This alliance is apparently based on female bonds rather than on any kind of national loyalty. Medea wastes no time before she begins lamenting and cursing those who "dared wrong me without cause." The Chorus tries to comfort Medea, hoping that this might "lessen her fierce rage / And her frenzy of spirit." They show real concern for her well-being, as well as for the well-being of her loved ones. This unselfish attitude is in stark contrast to the attitudes of the main characters in the tragedy, who all seem to be extremely self-serving. So in just a few short lines, it's already become apparent that while the chorus doesn't necessarily agree with the way that Medea is handling her situation, they are sticking by her and supporting her. This idea supports one of the important themes of the play: the battle of the sexes. Medea now has a chance to get a few things off her chest. She addresses the "Women of Corinth," reminding them that of "all things that live upon the earth and have intelligence we women are certainly the most wretched." She discusses the sad lot that women must deal with in marriage and again stresses the fact that she is an outsider, "alone, without / a city. Her speech is clever and compelling.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the exchange between medea and the chorus serves several purposes in euripides' tragedy, the med.
  • Analyzes how medea addresses the "women of corinth," reminding them that women are the most wretched. she is an intelligent woman, capable of outsmarting jason or creon.
Show More
Open Document