Medea is another ancient Greek play by Euripides, and yet, it is completely different from the other play I read last year. I read the Rex Warner translation in The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces (seventh edition). As I haven’t read any other translations, all I can say is that this one was refreshingly easy to read. I loved it!
Part of what I loved was the character of Medea. She was a wronged woman, but ultimately a strong one. Medea had left her home to come to a foreign land, and now she was being cast aside. Her husband Jason had not only cheated on her but had cast her away and married another, younger woman.
Medea’s reaction to the situation and her subsequent actions are extreme. Like Lady Macbeth, she casts aside her instincts of kindness and, particularly, her motherly love. She murders her own children. But unlike when I read about Lady Macbeth, I felt Medea was in the right. She is acting out of revenge, while Lady Macbeth had acted out of selfish desire for power. I was cheering for Medea as I read her story.Continue Reading