The third of the three great ancient Greek tragedians, Euripides is known for creating interesting women, and his portrayal of the demigoddess Medea is both horrifying and revealing. At the opening of the play, Medea’s husband Jason, for whom she has made many sacrifices, has abandoned her and their two children, having decided to marry the local princess. This sets the tragedy in motion.
What is Medea’s background, what has she done for Jason, how does she view her rival, what is her relationship to her two children—and then, what does she decide to do? We’ll discuss these questions and more. No homework on the first night, when I’ll present an introduction to Euripides and his time. We’ll read one third of the play on each of the remaining three nights.
Students are urged to use the same translation that the instructor will be using, by Oliver Taplin. It’s available in two places. Please check the ISBN numbers, as many titles are similar:
Medea by Euripides, translated by Oliver Taplin
Euripides I: Alcestis, Medea, The Children of Heracles, Hippolytus (The Complete Greek Tragedies) Third Edition
by Euripides (Author), Mark Griffith (Editor, Translator), etc.
Cammy Thomas has a PhD in English literature from the University of California, Berkeley, where she wrote her dissertation on the poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson. She has published two books of poems, Cathedral of Wish, and Inscriptions. A third book, Tremors, is forthcoming in 2021, all from Four Way Books. She has taught literature and creative writing for many years, and lives in Lexington.