Medea Notes Essay

Medea Notes Essay

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Medea Notes


Would that the Argo had never winged its way to the land of Colchis through the dark-blue Symplegades!1 Would that the pine trees had never been felled in the glens of Mount Pelion and furnished oars for the hands [5] of the heroes who at Pelias' command set forth in quest of the Golden Fleece! For then my lady Medea would not have sailed to the towers of Iolcus, her heart smitten with love for Jason, or persuaded the daughters of Pelias to kill [10] their father and hence now be inhabiting this land of Corinth, *separated from her loved ones and country. At first, to be sure, she had, even in Corinth, a good life*2 with her husband and children, an exile loved by the citizens to whose land she had come, and lending to Jason himself all her support. This it is that most rescues life from trouble, [15] when a woman is not at variance with her husband.
But now all is enmity, and love's bonds are diseased. For Jason, abandoning his own children and my mistress, is bedding down in a royal match, having married the daughter of Creon, ruler of this land. [20] Poor Medea, finding herself thus cast aside, calls loudly on his oaths, invokes the mighty assurance of his sworn right hand, and calls the gods to witness the unjust return she is getting from Jason. She lies fasting, giving her body up to pain, [25] wasting away in tears all the time ever since she learned that she was wronged by her husband, neither lifting her face nor taking her eyes from the ground. She is as deaf to the advice of her friends as a stone or a wave of the sea: [30] she is silent unless perchance to turn her snow-white neck and weep to herself for her dear father and her country and her ancestral house. All these she abandoned when she c...


... middle of paper ...


...Chorus-Leader
You must realize that your children are no more.
Jason
Where did she kill them? In the house or outside?
Chorus-Leader
Open the gates and you will see your slaughtered sons.
Jason
Servants, remove the bar at once [1315] so that I may see a double disaster, these children's corpses *and her who did the deed, so that for these children's murder*1 I may exact punishment.
Jason tries to open the doors of the house. Medea appears aloft in a winged chariot upon the mechane, which rises from behind the skene.
Medea
Why do you rattle these gates and try to unbar them, in search of the corpses and me who did the deed? Cease your toil. If you need anything from me, [1320] speak if you like. But your hand can never touch me: such is the chariot Helios my grandfather has given me to ward off a hostile hand.
1 I give the probable sense of the lacuna.

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