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View Full Version : Any one ever read the Book Medea?


Carolina Girl
Oct 20th, 2003, 07:35 PM
cause i have to defend her in a trail for my english class..and i think i'm gonna try to go with the insanity plea, because...well any other way would be basically impossible, because of what she did and the way she did it.... :tape: and i want to win..becauase..who wants to lose?
???:confused::p well anyways if any one can help me out i'd really appreciate it!

CC
Oct 20th, 2003, 07:57 PM
You have to defend her? I'm sorry to hear that. Haha. I read it for class a few years ago, so while I still remember the general plot, the details are fuzzy. When is it due?

Carolina Girl
Oct 21st, 2003, 06:07 PM
i'm trying to work on it now....any help would be great...its due monday

CC
Oct 21st, 2003, 06:12 PM
Oh you have a lot of time then. I'll try to re-read it and tell you what I can.

E. Blackadder
Oct 21st, 2003, 06:20 PM
I read it this schoolyear, but in dutch :)

Carolina Girl
Oct 21st, 2003, 06:25 PM
thanks ya'll :smooch: like i said any little bit will help

Carolina Girl
Oct 21st, 2003, 06:26 PM
hey ya'll its the euripides version that we are basing the trial on...

Carolina Girl
Oct 22nd, 2003, 05:50 PM
so any one got any info?

saki
Oct 22nd, 2003, 05:59 PM
Luckily for you, I have a classics degree...

I think the way forward is 'self-defence'. Jason hurts Medea beyond all measure for accepting her sacrifices (she betrays her family and lets her brother die - see the opening chorus of the play) and then leaving her for another woman; the only way that Medea can hurt him back is to kill his children.

CC
Oct 22nd, 2003, 06:04 PM
Ok, I don't know if a plea of insanity is going to be strong enough to win. It seems that way because this is a woman who murdered her brother for love (in order to escape with Jason), killed a King (Pelias); killed another King (Kreon) and his daughter, and then murdered her own children for revenge on her husband. However, think of how she pre-calculates everything that she would do to enact her revenge. She may have said, "In a kind of madness ..." but I think her reasoning is quite sane.

So ... it may be better to argue from a feminist angle. I have some arguments for this, which I will try to formulate and then let you know. Give me some more time. :wavey:

Maajken
Oct 22nd, 2003, 07:43 PM
gosh good luck! i had to write an essay last year on a Medea poem from Brecht :mad:

JonBcn
Oct 22nd, 2003, 08:49 PM
I love Medea!

In my opinion, it was the first great feminist novel. She rises from years of mistreatment by men; deserted and left destitute by her husband, forced to live in exile...theres a great passage where she tells some women what she intends to do, and they are united by their treatment at the hands of men.

Of course, after that it all goes a bit wibbly, and she kind of spirals into madness. She's completely consumed by revenge and today would be seen as a psychopath. (this is where my feminist argument admittedly goes a bit awry) In killing her own children, as much of a taboo then as today, she loses the support of others, and goes from victim to villain pretty decisively.

I'm rambling though...I reckon you could make a good case for insanity, many a woman (and man) have been broken by the cruelty of others...

Carolina Girl
Oct 23rd, 2003, 12:12 AM
thanks CC i appreciate all the help ya'll!

CC
Oct 23rd, 2003, 12:27 AM
Overall Argument

The broader, general argument of your defense is that Medea represents a rejection of traditional, subordinate roles assigned to women in society. For this you will need to do a little research on women in Greek society at that time for some background information. Medea was produced in 431 B.C. Euripedes lived from 480 – 406 B.C. From the notes in my text, “Athenian rights and institutions were made for men; the women had few privileges and almost no legal rights.” Add to that the fact that they had to bring with them their dowry - for their husband - when getting married.

The Chorus in the play is made up of women and they believe she is right to seek revenge (you will find the comment, “You are in the right, Medea” immediately after Medea comes out of the house for the first time and makes a long speech). In fact, in that speech you will find an overview of what she thinks about the marriage arrangement in her society, her unfortunate position of being an outcast with no home of her own, and how a woman feels when “wronged in the matter of love.”

She does not possess the typical (in those times) female personality:

I. “I would very much rather stand three times is the front of battle than bear one child.” She rejects the role of child-bearer.

II. She certainly wasn’t passive or cowardly when it came to getting what she wants, as is evident in the way she takes action throughout the play.

III. She is definitely not submissive; when her husband decides to leave her for another woman, she doesn’t accept it as only natural for a man to do this sort of thing. She feels wronged, and she aims to do something about it.

IV. She doesn’t hold her tongue. Jason tells her, “With reasonable submission to our ruler’s will, you might have lived in this land … as it is you are going to be exiled for your loose speaking.”

V. She is too smart. She says, “Through being considered clever I have suffered much … and if you are thought superior to those who have some reputation for learning, you will become hated.”

VI. Jason breaks their marriage vows, yet she is being threatened with exile. Why? King Kreon tells her, “I am afraid of you.” He is afraid because she rejects the constraints they place on her, and is therefore powerful in that regard.



Arguing in defense of her acts:

1. She killed her brother to help Jason escape. It was done out of consideration for the man she loved, and not because she was an evil sorceress. “At home, I have, in kindness to you, made enemies … I killed, and so gave you the safety of the light. And I myself betrayed my father and my home … and then showing more willingness to help than wisdom, I killed him, Pelias … and took away your fear.”

Jason’s selfish response is that Aphrodite (goddess of love) was responsible for preserving his life. And that, “You have got from me more than you gave.” He claims marrying the princess is in “Your best interest and the children … that we might live well … bring my children up worthy of my position.” He is conceited and takes her for a fool; he must pay.


2. Taking revenge is her means of making Jason suffer. She kills the princess and her father, and why not? The bitch stole her husband and her father condoned it. They have power and she is a foreigner and female, so she doesn’t really matter. Dead wrong.

3. Ah, the killing of the children. If she is going to fully represent a rejection of what it means to be Woman, the children must die. Childbearing is the symbol of womanhood. And we already know her position on this – she would rather go to war.

On a more practical sense for the sake of your argument, she has no choice but to kill her children, because what will become of them after she has been exiled? “I am going into exile into another land … before I have seen you happy and taken pleasure in you.” This sums up what it means to be a parent: she will not be there to see them grow up and marry and lead their own lives. “What was the purpose, children, for which I reared you? … once the hopes in you I had, poor me, were high ones …”

In addition, when she is gone they will be mocked and ridiculed by her enemies and she cannot bear the thought of that.

Killing them also makes Jason suffer. Lovely! She has taken care of four birds with one stone (or rather, with two male children).


Read the play with these points in mind and approach the text as a commentary on their society, and supporting quotes/arguments will leap out at you. Point out the injustices, and make Medea the heroine rather than the villain – she existed to shatter the docile, complacent image of women, and in doing so emasculated the men in her world: her father, her brother, King Pelias, King Kreon, Jason, and her own children. The only man who is not destroyed in a sense by Medea, is King Aigeus. And guess what? King Aigeus is impotent. He is no threat (we all know a man’s power is in his phallus, haha!), and therefore happens to be the one who promises her a refuge in his kingdom.

Carolina Girl
Oct 23rd, 2003, 12:34 AM
thank you cc..:hug::smooch: i love u to death!

CC
Oct 23rd, 2003, 12:39 AM
You're welcome.:)

Carolina Girl
Oct 23rd, 2003, 12:45 AM
man ya'll i got soo much to do..but i appreciate all the help!

alexusjonesfan
Oct 23rd, 2003, 01:04 AM
Whoa CC, you know your Medea! :eek:

I know this is :topic: but Medea was brought up today in my Canadian Short Stories course. The story we were doing had jealousy/passion as the main motive force behind the characters' actions. Our prof. made this comment about how when a female character is driven by jealousy the ultimate passionate crime for her is suicide whereas a male driven by jealousy inevitably ends up committing murder. It's an interesting reading of the situation, the woman destroys herself and takes her own life whilst the man takes someone else's :o

CC
Oct 23rd, 2003, 01:09 AM
Whoa CC, you know your Medea! :eek:

I know this is :topic: but Medea was brought up today in my Canadian Short Stories course. The story we were doing had jealousy/passion as the main motive force behind the characters' actions. Our prof. made this comment about how when a female character is driven by jealousy the ultimate passionate crime for her is suicide whereas a male driven by jealousy inevitably ends up committing murder. It's an interesting reading of the situation, the woman destroys herself and takes her own life whilst the man takes someone else's :o

And Medea acts like the man is this case. :eek:


Hey, I don't "know my Medea," I just re-read the damn play. :p

alexusjonesfan
Oct 23rd, 2003, 01:19 AM
And Medea acts like the man is this case. :eek:


not necessarily though...stereotypically, she'd care more about her kids than the guy so she's killing her 'own' in that sense. If the guy had been the jealous one, he would've killed his wife's lover (or whomever else) or even his wife.

CC
Oct 23rd, 2003, 01:21 AM
She killed his lover too ... and his lover's daddy.

Carolina Girl
Oct 23rd, 2003, 01:23 AM
but his lover's daddy wasn't in the plan..it just happened

alexusjonesfan
Oct 23rd, 2003, 01:25 AM
She killed his lover too ... and his lover's daddy.

lol, I should read the play first then :p

Medea...u da man :cool:

CC
Oct 23rd, 2003, 01:32 AM
but his lover's daddy wasn't in the plan..it just happened

One has to read carefully into her crafty comments ... I don't know about that for sure. (I left my book in the car, and it's cold outside :p )

Carolina Girl
Oct 23rd, 2003, 01:34 AM
lol

~ The Leopard ~
Oct 23rd, 2003, 01:37 AM
Medea rocks! That's a great post, CC. It's a long time since I've read it, but everything you said sounded right to me.

Yeah, it's a case where the woman does not commit suicide, not like all those 19th century novels. Still, it's also not a case where the woman has any urges to have a lover outside outside of her marriage. Patriarchal society can't let a woman like that live; it's too much of a threat to male pride and power.

alexusjonesfan
Oct 23rd, 2003, 02:08 AM
One has to read carefully into her crafty comments ... I don't know about that for sure. (I left my book in the car, and it's cold outside :p )

wtf, does the word 'cold' exist in the Carribbean?

CC
Oct 23rd, 2003, 02:23 PM
wtf, does the word 'cold' exist in the Carribbean?

If New Jersey counts as part of the caribbean, then yes. :)

alexusjonesfan
Oct 23rd, 2003, 05:09 PM
If New Jersey counts as part of the caribbean, then yes. :)

Great, I mistook a Joisy gal for someone from the Caribbean :woohoo:

now I know we live in driving distance of each other :p

:o

CC
Oct 23rd, 2003, 05:55 PM
Great, I mistook a Joisy gal for someone from the Caribbean :woohoo:

now I know we live in driving distance of each other :p

:o

She IS someone from the caribbean.

Perhaps telling you where I am was a mistake. It's ok, I'll just put a curse on your car. Pffff. :cool:

CC
Oct 23rd, 2003, 05:59 PM
Thanks, Medea brings out the feminist in me.

alexusjonesfan
Oct 23rd, 2003, 07:20 PM
She IS someone from the caribbean.

Perhaps telling you where I am was a mistake. It's ok, I'll just put a curse on your car. Pffff. :cool:

*Looks indignantly at the screen at the suggestion that I could be a stalker* :eek:

btw CC=http://goldrush.com/~herd/as-witch.gif

CC
Oct 23rd, 2003, 09:11 PM
I have implied no such thing. Nah uh. :cuckoo:

This guy looks like he could be one though. :hatoff:

alexusjonesfan
Oct 23rd, 2003, 10:54 PM
Dunno about :hatoff: but :hehehe: is more than just a stalker.

Just ask becca :hehehe: