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Medea and Witchcraft in Ancient Greek Art

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Questions and Answers about Medea

Question: Why is it symbolic for Medea to compare herself to that of a lioness after she murders her children?

Answer: A lioness is a female animal known for her ferocity that will kill her offspring in times of stress. Jason had used Medea for sex and bearing children and now was going to cast her off in favor of a younger, beautiful woman who could give him more status. Jason showed no consideration or gratitude to Medea. Medea's anger was justified, but her response was extreme, and in the end her behavior was just as bad as Jason's.

Question: Is there a playwright for Medea?

Answer: The third century poet Apollonius of Rhodes wrote a very long poem titled Argonautica or "The Quest of the Golden Fleece" which contains much about Medea. Pindar wrote an ode in the first half of the fifth century which talks about Medea, and The fifth-century tragic poet Euripides wrote a tragedy about Medea.

Question: I studied a sculpture of Medea by William Wetmore Story at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and wanted to find out if you had a picture of it or any other information that cannot be obtained by reading the story by Euripides.

Answer: There is a copy of this statue at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, but the picture is not available on the web. You should realize that Medea was probably originally a goddess who was deprived of her divinity by being turned into a witch. This is common practice for one religious cult to do to another that they are trying to defeat. Material on Medea is indexed at: Click here.

Question: What is a witch's teat?

Answer: A witch is a woman who pratices the black arts. Black arts are arts which gain their power from sources that are not Christian. A Christian woman today who prays to Athena and receives an answer to her prayer would be strictly a witch. Christians reject any of the ancient greek gods as pagan and believe that any power that comes from them comes from the Devil. If Medea, Circe, or Calypso were alive today, they would be considered a witch. But these ancient Greek Ladies do not fit our image of a witch. We usually think of an old hag on a broom stick. Those ancient Greek ladies were beautiful and young and acted more like a princess. A witches' sabath involves naked old hags dancing around a bonfire. Men who saw these ancient Greek ladies dance naked were stunned by their beauty and incapacitated by their sexual power. An ancient Greek lady did not have to worry about the Devil. Greek religion had no Devil as such. Christianity would not come into existance for another 500 years and it did not come to Greece until several hundred years after that. This did not mean that the ancient Greeks were immoral. Their religion provided a high standard of morality as is evident in their literature.

During the ancient Greek period women who acted like witches were powerful interesting people. They were good or bad depending on what they did with their power. Later people felt that powerful women were all bad. Many thousands of women have been persecuted and killed for being witches in Christian societies.

A witches' teat was a mark of the devil on a woman that was used after 1484 to identify women who were witches. These women were often tortured and sometimes burned at the stake. Over 100,000 women in Europe met this fate. It is shameful and sad that Christians should be so hateful of women and religiously intolerant. I would think that true Christians would be so loving that they would oppose such actions. The ancient Greeks did not look for marks of the Devil on women because they had no knowledge of the Devil. There are any number of skin disorders that could be identified as a witches teat including a mosquito bite.

During the ancient Greek period women who acted like witches were powerful interesting people. They were good or bad depending on what they did with their power. Plato in his Laws deals with the prosecution of crimes committed by witchcraft(11.933a): "Distinct from this is the type which, by means of sorceries and incantations and spells (as they are called), not only convinces those who attempt to cause injury that they really can do so, but convinces also their victims that they certainly are being injured by those who possess the power of bewitchment. In respect of all such matters it is neither easy to perceive what is the real truth, nor, if one does perceive it, is it easy to convince others." And he also states,(11.933d) "And if it be held that a man is acting like an injurer by the use of spells, incantations,or any such mode of poisoning, if he be a prophet or diviner, he shall be put to death; but if he be ignorant of the prophetic art, he shall be dealt with in the same way as a layman convicted of poisoning,—that is to say, the court shall assess in his case also what shall seem to them right for him to suffer or pay."

Later people felt that powerful women were all bad. Many thousands of women have been persecuted and killed for being witches in Christian societies.

Question: Do Medea's words and deeds in the play shake up the audience's trad itional idea of women?

Answer: Men want women that are easy to control and easy to fit into their fantasies. Medea does not fit this picture. But men do not have to be stupid either. Jason is being selfish and stupid. The neat thing about the play is that you get these extreme conflicts. This provides lots of action and interests. I do not think any real woman was ever like Medea, she is too extreme, but it is this extremity that makes her an interesting character and it adds to the interest of the plays she is in. Most of the choices that we have to make in our lives are nowhere near the magnitude of the choices Medea makes. But sometimes in these small choices we drift into evil. In Medea the process is more obvious because her choices are bigger and more obvious. If you can see how Medea got into trouble you might be able to see how you are getting into trouble. If Medea does not shake you up you probably do not benefit.

Question: What did Medea's costume look like?

Answer: Images of Medea on the web:

It should be obvious that these pictures represent costumes more contempory to the artist than Medea's own time. Medea's costume would be more like the ones the Minoan Ladies wore.

Question: Could you give a complete characteristics of Medea: How is she an opposite to the traditional idea of an ancient Greek woman?.

Answer: Medea is not described by how she looks, but by what she can do. She does not depend upon Aphrodite's charms but rather upon potions and incantations. She does not follow men and live upon what they gather, she does for them what they cannot do themselves. And if the men do not behave, she does them in..

Question: Was Medea a tragic hero or not according to Aristotle's definition?.

Answer: From Click here "According to Aristotle the tragic hero evokes our pity and terror if he is neit her thoroughly good nor thoroughly evil but a mixture of both. The tragic effect is stronger if the hero is more moral than we are. The tragic hero suffers a change in fortune from happiness to misery because of a mistaken act which he performs due to his hamartia-'error of judgement'- one form of hamartia is hubris-'pride' which leads the tragic hero to ignore or violate a divine warning or moral law. The tragic hero evokes our pity because he is not evil and his misfortune is greater than he deserves, and he evokes our fear because we realize we are fallible and could make the same error." so Medea is a tragic hero. Of course Medea is a heroine because she is a lady. Of course there is a complication. How many women can use Medea as a model of their lives? She intimidates men with her power. And are her powers within the grasp of ordinary women? Christian women would have to take their power from the Devil. Is this desirable?.

Question: How does Medea show vengefullness to Jason?.

Answer: She kills his bride and his two sons..

Question: Does medea actually kill Creon? The version of the play that I studied say she did, but I have seen others that say otherwise..

Answer: There is no historical answer to this question. Copyists and translators do, sometimes, make minor modifications, which this might be. You would have to compare the various Greek originals to see which is the best and go by that..


Answer: The kind of woman that makes good theater. She seems to have been a beautiful witch. She probably began her literary life as a goddess but she was transformed into a witch. All indications are that she was a real person but the stories about her have been retold so many times that it is impossible to determine any real truth. Information about her is available at: Click here.

Question: Witches in art?.

Answer: Strictly, there are no witches in ancient Greece. Witches are a Christian belief. But there are a number of Greek characters that act like witches. Medea is the most important. Circe, Calypso, and even Athena act like witches. But these last are all goddesses, so they come by their power honestly. All of these characters have been the subject of art.

Question: Can you describe the estrangement of the characters Medea and Electra in terms of nature and function?

Answer: A good character in a play is usually a pretty extreme personality and this in itself is a form of estrangement. People who need to get along with people need to modify their behavior to meet the expectations of others. Usually this is a matter of being polite, but it also a matter of being helpful an serving the needs of others. Not many people get along by controlling what others do. Medea was a controlling person. She had her powers that would allow her to negotiate what she wanted. In order to deal with Medea you had to have something that Medea wanted. And if you crossed her you would be burned. The net result is that she was difficult to get along with and estranged from everybody. Medea is estranged because she depends only upon her powers to get along and does not depend on social graces.

Electra is estranged because her determination for vengence has robbed her of the ability to function in any normal way. She spent all her energy repressing her feelings for vengence and could do nothing else. She could not maintain any friends or relations and so could not socialize and get married like a normal woman would.

Question: How does the play, Medea, deal with the topic of revenge?

Answer: Powerfully. Jason does some stupid evil stuff. But instead of letting him learn from the experience and understand the consequences, Medea does something just as evil to get back at him. In the end you have a number of innocent people dead, literaly because of a desire for revenge. You can see the evils of revenge because Medea was right in condemning Jason, but becuse of how she dealt with this injustice, she is forever seen as evil and unjust herself. She could have come out of that mess looking like a saint, but she chose a bad path. She had the power for revenge and she used it and now she has to suffer the consequences. Power is sometimes associated with social status. To not use the power would have demonstrated that she did not have the power. Perhaps she had to use the power to prove her status. In order to come out of the situation on the moral side she would have had to use some restraint.

Question: Why did people choose to act this

Answer: Of course there is no reason to act in this violent, retributive way, because it is an emotional act. We do not act that way during important events, but we may in minor events. A drama about important events is more entertaining, but it speaks to the less important events that our lives are full of.

Question: what is witchcraft

Answer: Witchcraft is considered a power that natural but is rather supernatural, that is brought about by a witch, who is a woman knowleageable about these powers. Witchcraft might involve a potion, a charm, a prayer, an incantation, or a medium such as a cat. It is what witches do, such as black magic, sorcery, or intercourse with evil spirits. A man with these powers is called a warlock, a sorcerer, or a wizard. The concept of witchcraft seems to have begun in the ancient Indo-European religion with the idea that there were deities like friends that you could trade favors with. Later in ancient Greece physical substances were associated with various deities. The fact that some substances were associated with dramatic effects seemed to give rise to the ideas of charms, potions, ets. The ancient Greeks actually came to the idea that these substance could cure diseases. They might have gotten this idea from the Egyptians. But when Hellenism came into contact with Judaism the jews were very suspicious of the herbs. When Christianity was formed the hermal medicine of the Greeks was rejected as being pagan and un-Christian. Any power associated with the Greek herbs was assigned to the Devil. So witchcraft became the worship of the Devil with the practice of hebal medicine from the ancient Greeks.

Christians believe that any power from the Bible is good, while any other power is bad, and comes from the Devil. Therefore witchcraft to a Christian is a great evil. Many women were tortured and burned at the stake for practicing witchcraft during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries in Europe. Fortunately, Christians have taken a more enlightened view of witches and no longer burn them and confiscate their property, but they are still persecuted. It is generally believed that those women were persecuted just because they were easy to take advantage of, they could be tortured to satisfy the lust of the torturers, and the money confiscated made the whole affair profitable. It is doubtful that any were really witches.

The ancient Greeks had no knowledge of Christianity and no knowledge of the Devil. In fact many of the practices of witchcraft are similar to standard practice of the Greek religion. Part of this is due to the fact that when Christianity took over the Greek religion in Greece in the first few centuries after the time of Jesus, they demonized the old religion and declared that continued practice of the Greek religion was evil and consorting with the Devil. Devotees of the old Greek Religion were called pagans and Christians persecuted pagans in the same way that pagans had earlier persecuted Christians. Today, in the United States of America we have laws protecting freedom of religion, so we no longer allow one religion to persecute another, but ignorant people still do it.

The ancient Greeks could not practice witchcraft though the power of the Devil, because they had no knowledge of the Devil, but there were supernatural powers. The Greeks used the power of prayer and the power of sacrifice to request favors from the deities. These were seen as natural to the Greeks. But Medea had powers that went beyond this, and they seemed more certain. She had potions, charms, and incatations. These were exceptional even to the Ancient Greeks. The truth may have been that she was just a brilliant woman and had a tremendous store of knowledge. But, to us she looks like a witch. You just have to remember that this is not the same meaning that the Christian uses.

Question: how is the role of women in culture portrayed in the Greek play, "Medea"?

Answer: Euripedes, the author of Medea, lived from 484 to 408 BCE. But the story is not necessarily fiction and is based on what might have been a real person who lived about 1300 BCE. You can study the role of women in culture, but there are two cultures involved, the culture of the author, and the culture of the subject. Euripedes used two type of material in writing the play. He used stories that had been handed down by word of mouth from the time of Medea and he used his own observations about women from the culture around him. Some effort must be used to distinguish these sources when drawing conclusions about culture. For example, one cannot conclude that women of Medea's type were at all common in the Greece of Euripedes' time. But it is fairly easy to find statements that are more likely to apply to the later period. For example when, at the beginning of the play, the nurse states: "And this is the greatest safeguard of the home--a woman not divided from her husband." Euripedes is making a point that should be verified by the experience of the audience. Later Medea seems to be describing the state of women in the author's time when she says:

"The most unhappy creature is a woman;
Who first must buy a husband with her wealth
And so acquire a master for her body,
For not to accept a man is even worse.
And her the greatest indecision lies,
Whether the one she takes is good or bad.
An admirable woman cannot flee,
Nor can she afterwards reject her husband."

Question: who did spells

Answer: Medea, Circe, and Athena did spells.

Question: harpies

Answer: Harpies are disgusting creatures that are half woman and half bird. They would steal food right off the table and leave what was left so disgusting that no one could eat it. Both Jason and Aeneas encountered harpies. A picture link follows: Click here.

Question: is witchcraft possible

Answer: You need to understand that witchcraft normally means power that a woman acquires through a compact with the Devil. The Devil is a Christian concept that had no meaning to the ancient Greeks. Unfortunately, some Christians believe that any power that does not come directly from the Bible is also witchcraft. This definition seems too restrictive since that would make many things around us into witchcraft, since the Bible is so old that many modern conviences were not anticipated. But the intent of this thinking was to demonize the old so-called pagan religions such as the religion of the Greeks. If you are a Christian and you pray to Athena and your prayers are answered, then you could be convicted of witchcraft and the Bible says that you shall not suffer a witch to live. This seems to be a form of religious intolerance. But women have been killed in the past for this. And because of what the Bible says there are still people who believe that witches should be killed even though the law says no.

There are today men and women who think they can get power from the Devil. Society generally classifies these people as mentally ill and they are treated in mental hospitals instead of killing them. But there are also men and women who claim to be able to get power from the old pagan religions. These are called witches but they are not witches in the Christian sense. They have given up any claim to Christianity. The Christian would call any woman practicing the ancient Greek form of religion a witch but this is an extreme form of religious intolerance and a disrespect for the dead.

Consider the Bible quote Exodus 22:18 in the King James Bible. "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." The Latin version is "You shall not allow a sorceress to live." In the Hebrew version The translation is more like "Punish the poisoner with death" with emphasizes the fear that the ancient Jews felt about poisons. In the Greek Septuagint the quote is Exodus 22:17 "φαρμακους ου περιποιησετε" Which translates "Medication with care" The problem is that the Greek word "pharmakon" means poisoner, druggist, and witch. It seems that the later English translation of the Bible emphasizes the association of herbs with the Devil and ignores the possible medical uses.

In the context of a person like Medea, the notion of witchcraft is useful, but it must be separated from the Christian ideas. Medea has acquired power over her surroundings that is well beyond normal capabilities. The source of her power is not clear. Sometimes mythical persons received such powers from the gods, such as Cassandra and Achilles. Others just use what they have well, such as Odysseus. Medea could have acquired these powers by observation, or she could have learned them from her mother or some other woman. It is common in life that you have to deal with another person who has powers you do not have. These powers may even seem magical to you. But you still have to deal with them. Medea represents just such a powerful person and her witchcraft seems very realistic in this context.

In ancient Greece the probem of the reality of witchcraft is compounded by the difficulty of separating potions and spells from what we know to be drugs. It seems as though herbs were used to cure sickness because the herb had some association with a deity. The application of the herb to a wound would then be a non-verbal spell. Potions were made of herbal ingrediants in a liquid. The question would be whether the herb had some chemical effect on the disease. Such an effect would indeed be seen as a power. Some useful herbs in ancient Greece are listed at click here.

Question: What kind of spells did Medea do?

Answer: She used:

Question: is witchcraft real

Answer: The answer to this question is not simple. The first point is that the ancient Greeks had no knowledge of witchcraft as we know it because strictly a witch is a woman who achieves her power through commerce with the Devil. Your belief in witchcraft depends upon your belief in the Devil. The Greeks had no knowledge of the Devil, and many other peoples have lived without any knowledge of the Devil. The second point is that many Christians have demonized belief in other gods and goddesses and they say that any power that is gotten in this way is witchcraft. This is, of course, religious intolerance, on the part of Christians. A person should be free to choose the religion that is most meaningful to them. The third point is that what seems to be witchcraft is sometimes a person's superior knowledge. In the case of women, who are traditionally uneducated, superior knowledge seems especially mysterious. Medea is most positively in the last situation. She represents a powerful woman who tries to manipulate the male dominated society. Her character is most meaningful in interpreting the consequences of this. The fact that she is called a witch is unfortunate if it raises those issues about the Devil which are not relevant.

Question: Is it real

Answer: For some reason the ancient Greeks were not happy to write works of fiction. Rather they chose to write modifications of stories from the past which had been handed down by word of mouth. The story of Medea is of this sort. There was very likely a real person named Medea who lived in Asia Minor about 1500 BCE. It is very likely that parts of her story are true and parts have been modified for dramatic effect. But there is no way of knowing which is which.

Question: What is it

Answer: Medea is a woman who lived about 3500 years ago. She was born, loved, and died. The play Medea tells her story, but we really do not know what parts are true and which false. The author thought the story had a moral importance, which is why he wrote it down.

Question: How do you do it?

Answer: The play Medea is easily presented. The staging is simple. The costumes are simple. But the message is powerful and dramatic.

witchcraft is fairly easy too. Find a friendly deity whom you can exchange favors. Do a favor for the deity and expect a favor in return. The incantation tells the deity where when and how to replace the favor.

Question: Who does it?

Answer: People who want to be educated and cultured become involved with the play Medea

In ancient Greece witchcraft was done by priestesses. In the Laws Plato distinguishes between acts taken by a priest or priestesses who are knowleagable about spells and such and others who are ignorant. So many different people could have been involved in what is called witchcraft. The ancient literature even describes deities participating.

Question: Are witches real?

Answer: See above.

Question: are potions real

Answer: A drug is a real potion. A potion could be a bottle of water that is blessed.

Question: I need some help on a character analysis on Medea

Answer: I can help here.

Question: i have seen ancient greek pottery showing the escape of medea in a chariot drawn by dragons. In this picture she is wearing chinese or oriental clothing. I was wondering what is the significance of this?

Answer: Medea is pictured on the following:

I do not think that a kimono is that much different form what you see in the previous. Even back then Chinese silk was available to aristocrats like Medea.

Toward the end of the play Jason seeks vengeance on Medea, but she has escaped. The description is translated as "Medea appears above the house is a chariot drawn by dragons. She has the dead children with her." This statement symbolizes her power. Jason was crazy to spurn her, but he must have thought she was just a silly women without any power. Of course, few women are silly, and least of all Medea. An he had ample evidence of her power in the past. The reference to dragons is a fluke of translation that really did not refer to Chinese dragons. The ancient Greeks were very imaginative and came up with all kinds of weird creatures. What follows is an image described as a dragon: Click here but as you can see it looks more like a snake. The picture that you saw probably represents a more recent interpretation of what is translated.

Question: How does Euripides portray Medea compared to women portrayed in theIliad?

Answer: Medea can be compare to Circe and Calypso in the Odyssey. Medea is a mortal while Circe and Calypso are immortal goddesses. But the powers that Medea wields are similar to these other goddesses. To men women can be pretty scary creatures. They are easier to handle when they are cute and agreeable. But when they are powerful they are a nightmare. So all these women are nightmares meant to challenge in the extreme.

Question: Was infanticide common practise in ancient Greece?

Answer: Yes, it was.

Question: What do you see the role of the chorus to be? How does it differ to Aristotals definition of a chorus?

Answer: Often the chorus is the divine view of things.

Aristotle says: "The Chorus too should be regarded as one of the actors; it should be an integral part of the whole, and share in the action, in the manner not of Euripides but of Sophocles. As for the later poets, their choral songs pertain as little to the subject of the piece as to that of any other tragedy. They are, therefore, sung as mere interludes- a practice first begun by Agathon. Yet what difference is there between introducing such choral interludes, and transferring a speech, or even a whole act, from one play to another."

Question: Is Medea's outburst on the lonliness of interlectuals a reflection of that felt by Euripides?

Answer: Most likely.

Question: How many gods/goddesses are in the Greek religion?

Answer: Many thousands.

Question: I need more information on the powers of black magic? I need this information for a major speech that I have to do. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

Answer: Black magic is an interesting concept. It is not clear that the power that Medea wields is black magic. It may be science. The Greeks believed that some things were caused by the gods but even the gods were limited. First, they were limited to a specific realm to which they were responsible, and second they were limited by what they could do by right, Dike, and by fate, Moira. This notion has turned into our notion of divine and natural. If we bring about some act by natural law then it is natural. Strictly, we cannot bring something about by divine law. To accomplish this we must pray to some divine power. The Greeks had many divine powers to pray to. Christians have only two, one is God, and the other is the Devil. The ancient Greeks had no notion of the Devil, but their faith was effective and produced many miracles or cures. To counter this the converting Christians demonized the ancient religion. Any prayers to the ancient gods were condemned as prayers to the Devil, which is Black magic. To get white, good, magic you must pray to the true Christian God.

Notice that in this scheme of things Athena is not a magician. Athena obtains her power by being a goddess. As such she is capable of bringing about miracles, as long as they relate to her realm, wisdom, and do not violate Dike and Moira. To be a magician, one would have to know how to communicate with Athena and convince her or appease her so she will bring about the desired result. A Christian would then view this as black magic because, since the magician did not appeal to God, he, or she must have appealed to the Devil. Neither Circe not Calypso are magicians, or witches for that matter. They may act like witches, but they are goddesses.

Medea is another matter. She is not a goddess but a mortal. She does not get her power by prayers or sacrifice. She used deceit, potions, and charms. More than likely the witnesses did not understand what they saw. What she used was her knowledge of humans and nature to bring things about. She was a very intelligent woman who used the power of her intelligence to control nature. To the ignorant person this looks like black magic. And the fact that she is a woman makes her even scarier. Nor is she a witch. To be a witch she would have to be in league with the devil. A real witch would not pray to Athena, or Artemis, or Demeter. A real witch would pray to the Devil. Medea could not be a real witch because she had no knowledge of the Devil. The Devil is a Christian concept of which the Ancient Greeks had no knowledge.

The case of Circe is so interesting because she seems so witch-like. Homer says: (Book X) "So she led them in and set them upon the chairs and high seats, and made them a mess of cheese and barley-meal and yellow honey with Pramnian wine, and mixed harmful drugs with the food to make them utterly forget their own country. Now when she had given them the cup and they had drunk it off, presently she smote them with a wand, and in the styes of the swine she penned them." This is confusing, because a goddess has no need for drugs or wand. An illusionist needs drugs to carry out the effect and the wand to distract your attention for the true cause. This seems to hark back to an earlier time when a priestess would act out what she hoped the goddess would do. What is described here is the goddess actually doing what the people saw the priestess act out.

As Odysseus goes to rescue his men from Circe he meets "Hermes, of the golden wand". Hermes gives Odysseus a "herb of virtue" to counteract the "magic sleight" of Circe. Then Homer says "Therewith the slayer of Argos gave me the plant that he had plucked from the ground, and he showed me the growth thereof. It was black at the root, but the flower was like to milk. Moly the gods call it, but it is hard for mortal men to dig; howbeit with the gods all things are possible." Odysseus is actually more of a witch than Circe because he is not a god, but he gets a god to provide him with a counter to Circe's magic. And Hermes is more like the Devil than any other Greek deity. But Odysseus is never accused of being a witch.

In the Christian Bible Jesus proves his divine nature by performing miracles. This is consistent with the Greek notion that divinities are capable of miracles. If you pray to Jesus and a miracle results, this is white magic. If you pray to the Devil and something supernatural results it is black magic. Christians have no restrictions on Jesus or the Devil such as the Dike or Moira of the Greeks.

Hopefully by now the nature of black magic is clear. Now the question is why the activities of Circe and Medea look like black magic, even though there is no possibility that they are in fact black magic. Circe is a goddess and so all things are possible for her. Medea does not call upon the gods for anything and just uses her knowledge to accomplish her ends. Yet both women act like a witch is expected to act. The reason for this is probably that like Christianity, the Greek religion has demonized an older religion. And as far as we know the main deities of that religion were women. What we witness are descriptions by men that correspond to the activities of the priestesses of that older religion.

The fact that the old religion was a goddess based religions helps us to understand why women are so commonly associated with black magic. Originally women were the most important aspect of the religion. The Greek religion took them from the top and put them lower down. The Christian religion went even farther in instituting a patriarchial system. It would seem logical that women would value the religion more were they had a higher place. So they tend to cling to the practices of the older religion. To the men this looks like black magic. Perhaps, if the men were to provide better for the needs of women, then the women would no longer look like they need to be involved in black magic.

Question: why would medea be considered a heroine?

Answer: A woman is a heroine if she plays an admirable part in a remarkable action. Medea repeatedly performs admirable actions for the Greek heroes during the remarkable voyage of the Argo. Later in her life she seems to be less heroic, even vengeful, but that is another matter.

Question: in what ways are media and lysistrata similar and opposite?

Answer: Both are scheming women, by in the Medea Medea schemes for herself and Lysistrata schemes for the whole community. Medea uses her knowledge to achieve murder and mayhem, while Lysistrata tries to eliminate this. Medea is very hard to understand, while Lysistrata operates at a very basic level. Medea creates a tragedy, while Lysistrata creates a comedy.

Answer: A thesis is a statement that you propose to support by argument. How would you prove that Medea and Lysistrata are scheming women? You would determine the meaning of 'scheming' and then find illustrations in the two works to show that both women fit this meaning. Such proofs are syllogistic in nature. A scheme involes a plan that is carried out. If a person makes a plan and she carries out the plan then she is a schemer. Are there instances of planning and carrying out in these works? How many are there? What are their similarities and differences? How does the notion of scheming help with an understanding of the two plays? Does the scheming of Medea make the play more tragic? Does the scheming of Lysistrata make the play more comic? A sample thesis might be "Scheming enhances the theatrical effect of the plays Medea and Lysystrata" You can use the other statements that I sent you in the same way.

Question: Is there any arguments to support what Medea did (ie vengance on jason)? i realize her actions were extreme, but did the role of women back then change the circumstances?

Answer: What Medea did was a very powerful comment on the role of women in ancient Greece. What we know of the political status of women suggested that they could be treated as an oject or possession. Medea presents a stern warning not to take advantage of this possibility. In fact the Greek society was somewhat to blame for Medea's excesses. Women should receive the full protection of the law, so that when they are wronged they can obtain redress from the courts. A good legal system will eliminate the need for vengenace.

Question: Do you think Jason was right to leave Medea for better status or whatever, if he didnt really love her?

Answer: Jason really owed a lot to Medea. He really was just using her. This is not very good. In Medea he says:

"You women have convinced yourselves that all 
Will come to you if you do well in bed,
But once you are unfortunate in that,
You find the fairest hopes inimical.
How good it would have been if mortal men
Begot their children in some other way!
There would have been no race of women then,
And men would not be subject to this curse."

This is not a very sympathetic view of women. Jason was not a lover of women. He was a lover of power. For most people sexual love gets them together, but their love grows to caring for one another. If this does not work then perhaps they should separate. But the hope is that some respect allows them to live a respectable later life. It does not seem that Jason is going to provide this. What happens with too many separations is that the partners continue to battle. There is no real question but that Jason treats Medea badly. Her response is to treat Jason badly. By the end of the play the situation is horrible and hopeless. But by studying the choices that led to this mess you can learn to avoid it.

Question: Do you think Medea had any other choices other then vengance or acceptance? How exactly did her role as a women limit her? thanks.

Answer: Medea had other choices, but It is had to think of any that would have had more of a dramatic theatrical effect. Medea details her plight in no uncertain terms as follows:

"The most unhappy creature is a woman;
Who first must buy a husband with her wealth
And so acquire a master for her body,
For not to accept a man is even worse.
And her the greatest indecision lies,
Whether the one she takes is good or bad.
An admirable woman cannot flee,
Nor can she afterwards reject her husband.
To usages and customs that are new
She comes, and since she never learned at home,
She has to be a prophet to divine
How best to deal with him who shares his bed.
Then, if we work things out successfully
And have our husbands living with us, not
Rebelling at the yoke they wear, or lives
Are enviable--if not, we have to die.
A man, when burdened by his household, goes
Outside to end his boredom, and can turn
To comrades he grew up with and to friends,
But we must keep our eyes on one alone.
They say we lead a life devoid of danger
At home while they do battle with the spear,
But they are wrong. I'd three times rather stand
And face a line of shields than once give birth.
But what pertains to you is not for me:
You have a city and paternal home,
Delight of life and fellowship of friends;
But I, without a city, am alone,
Ill-treated as the property of a man
Who took me from a foreign land as spoil.
No mother, brother, kinsman do I have
With whom to find a haven in distress.
This much I am content to get from you--
Your silence if I light upon the means
Of paying back my husband for the wrongs
He did to me. Althought in other ways
A woman may be full of fears and shrink
From violence and from the sight of steel
When wrongs are done her in her marriage bed,
No soul can be as bloody as her own"

Question: Not taking theatrical drama into account, what choices would a women have nowadays that Medea didnt?... (ok sorry to keep asking anoying questions, its just the women in society bit im confused about) also which version are you taking the quotes from? My Euripidies version is different.

Answer: My translation of Medea is by Simon Goldfield in a Dell edition of 1965. Medea had several options that modern women do not: spells, potions, wands, and incantations. Modern women have several options that Medea did not have: Our legal system gives women rights such as the right to vote and the right to sue, and it protects them with laws against rape and abuse. Marriage is more of a contract which allows women to divorce and be compensated. Women are now better educated and can make intelligent choices. Wmoen now have the choice of working outside the home so they are not so dependent on the income of their husband. Hand guns are a great leveler, so men rarely have an advantage of power.

Question: In some accounts, Medea's love for Jason was cast on her by a Godess... Which one was it Aphrodite? I cant remember... Also was this becuase this goddess favoured him for some reason?

Apollodorus(1.9.23) states: "Medea conceived a passion for him; now she was a witch, daughter of Aeetes and Idyia, daughter of Ocean."

Apollonius of Rhodes in his "The Voyage of the Argo" has Here and Athena plotting 'We must have a word with Aphrodite. Let us go together and ask her to persuade her boy, it that is possible , to loose an arrow at Aeetes' daughter, Medea, of the many spells, and make her fall in love with Jason....'

Question: Do you have some kind of spells you can hand out over email?

Answer: I will share with you any spells which Medea used, but I doubt that they will work for you. Medea's mother was the Oceanid Idyia and therefore was an immortal goddess. A spell will work directly for a goddess but a mortal needs the favor of a goddess for it to work. Medea had the favor of her mother and aunt's to get her spells to work. In order for a spell to work for you, you must get the favor of a goddess. This is not easy because no one believes in goddesses any more.

Here is a record of a spell from Hesiod: " For it was Hermes who first made the tortoise a singer. The creature fell in his way at the courtyard gate, where it was feeding on the rich grass before the dwelling, waddling along. When be saw it, the luck- bringing son of Zeus laughed and said:

(ll. 30-38) `An omen of great luck for me so soon! I do not slight it. Hail, comrade of the feast, lovely in shape, sounding at the dance! With joy I meet you! Where got you that rich gaud for covering, that spangled shell -- a tortoise living in the mountains? But I will take and carry you within: you shall help me and I will do you no disgrace, though first of all you must profit me. It is better to be at home: harm may come out of doors. Living, you shall be a spell against mischievous witchcraft (13); but if you die, then you shall make sweetest song."

In the Iliad Hera went to Aphrodite and said: "I want you to endow me with some of those fascinating charms, the spells of which bring all things mortal and immortal to your feet." And Aphrodite responded, "As she spoke she loosed from her bosom the curiously embroidered girdle into which all her charms had been wrought- love, desire, and that sweet flattery which steals the judgement even of the most prudent. She gave the girdle to Hera and said, "Take this girdle wherein all my charms reside and lay it in your bosom. If you will wear it I promise you that your errand, be it what it may, will not be bootless."

In Apollodorus(1.9.26) there is the report of one of Medea's spells: "Putting to sea from there, they were hindered from touching at Crete by Talos.2 Some say that he was a man of the Brazen Race, others that he was given to Minos by Hephaestus; he was a brazen man, but some say that he was a bull. He had a single vein extending from his neck to his ankles, and a bronze nail was rammed home at the end of the vein. This Talos kept guard, running round the island thrice every day; wherefore, when he saw the Argo standing inshore, he pelted it as usual with stones. His death was brought about by the wiles of Medea, whether, as some say, she drove him mad by drugs, or, as others say, she promised to make him immortal and then drew out the nail, so that all the ichor gushed out and he died."


Answer: Click on the Menu Directory below and Choose the subject of your choice.

Question: How does Medea show the role of women in her timeperiod, or go against the usual role of women?

Answer: Medea is outside of time and does not show the role of women in any time period. Women are usually nurturing, passive people that are very much involved with community. Medea strove against men and defeated them. Women are usually more emotional and leave the rationality to the men. Medea was intelligent and rational, and she used her reason to further herself and her friends. Medea is the symbol of the intelligent woman who has no place in the social life of the community. Everyone wants to avoid her because they do not wish to be damaged by her power, but they turn to her when they are in trouble.

Question: Your page is actually really really helpful... I have to do a big paper on Medea, and comparing the role of women shown in the play to the role of women shown in Madame Bovary.. If you have any info that you think could help me that would be very much appreciated.

The comparison may involve the comparison between a goddess and a mortal. The women of Madame Bovary's time were not as passive as some would want. Yet they were women. There is a question of whether Medea was a mortal woman. It is not sufficient to write her off as a witch. A witch is a woman who obtains her power through some divinity, usually the Devil. But the Greeks had no concept of the Devil. Athena, Circe, and Calypso, who performed some of the same acts as Medea, were goddesses.

From the Homeric poems: "(ll. 956-962) And Perseis, the daughter of Ocean, bare to unwearying Helios Circe and Aeetes the king. And Aeetes, the son of Helios who shows light to men, took to wife fair-cheeked Idyia, daughter of Ocean the perfect stream, by the will of the gods: and she was subject to him in love through golden Aphrodite and bare him neat-ankled Medea."

Apollodorus, Library and Epitome (ed. Sir James George Frazer) states: Click here If Medea is a goddess then she takes on an idea of woman which is quite old, the idea of a woman who is worthy of worship. This idea is suggested by mythology, but is not stated in written form. The idea seems to be supported by archeological artifacts from a time before the written record. This idea was overthrown by the Greeks and rejected by the Christian fathers so by the time of Madam Bovary it is mostly forgotten except in reference to Medieval witchcraft. This is a subject which could involve much study.

Question: how ,and may i cite your page?

Answer: Yes you may. For an article on the web the link is: You may not copy the article in its entirety but you can link to it. You may copy portions but the material should be quoted and annotated with the link. If you paraphase into your own words, then you include the link in your bibliography as a source. My homepage is

Question: know any good stress,and sleep spells?

Answer: In the Phaedo by Plato Socrates says: "There is one way, then, in which a man can be free from all anxiety about the fate of his soul--if in life he has abandoned bodily pleasures and adornments, as foreign to his purpose and likely to do more harm than good, and has devoted himself to the pleasures of acquiring knowledge, and so by decking his soul not with a borrowed beauty but with its own--with self control, and goodness, and courage, and liberality, and truth--has fitted himself to await his journey into the next world." It would be nice if this spell were really easy to use, but like so many really good spells, it is not. But, on the other hand, it really works.

Question: character analysis on Medea

Answer: See above.

Question: please give me everything you've got on cassandra - who is Cassandra?

Answer: Click on the Menu Directory below and click on Cassandra.

Question: When was Medea written?

Answer: Medea was written by Euripides in 431 BCE.

Question: If Medea is a tragic heroine how does she satistfy the requirements for Airistotle characteristics of a tragic hero especially the last three?

Answer: In the Poetics 1453a:12 Aristotle states: "The perfect Plot, accordingly, must have a single, and not (as some tell us) a double issue; the change in the hero's fortunes must be not from misery to happiness, but on the contrary from happiness to misery; and the cause of it must lie not in any depravity, but in some great error on his part; the man himself being either such as we have described, or better, not worse, than that."

The issue for Medea is the committment between a man and his wife. Medea was happy in her marriage to Jason, but turned miserable when he arranged to marry the daughter of the king. The error that Medea made was not to realize how faithless Jason really was.

Question: How does Medea make a change for the better correcting her hamartia?

Answer: Medea misjudged Jason's faithfulness. When she recognized that he was faithless, then she took vengeance on him.

Question: I am writing an essay about the strengths of the women in Medea and Lysistrata what are some of your points on this subject.

Answer: Medea is strong because of her ability to bring about spells. It is not clear that other women can participate in this strength. If this ability comes from a keen observation of nature, then Medea is a scientist and other women can participate in this power. If Medea is a goddess then other women cannot participate. If Medea is a witch then perhaps women can learn to become witches, if they can commune with Hecate, or some other deity of the dark side of life.

The power of the women of Lysistra is their power to organize and control their emotions.

Question: I will be directing a production of Medea next spring and I am beginning my research. I am searching for an interesting way to present the play for today's audience. Do you have information regarding recent stagings of this great play. Do you have info about some of the most successfull production? Thanks.

Answer: I do not have information about recent stagings of this play but I have been wondering if I should produce the play just to get photographs. I do have a weaver interested in researching the garments. I would stage the play with women wearing authentic costumes. But would it be better presented in Greek with subtitles? I do not know. Should you use costumes from the Mycenean period or Classical period? There is quite a difference. Traditional staging is sparce, but that might stifle education about Greek culture.

Question: I am doing a character study of Medea, specificaly on how and why she was an outsider in Corinth. Do you have any more background information on why she was not accepted into Greek society, and how she was excluded?

Answer: Euripides wrote the play Medea in which Medea has a major role. Medea was also important in the Quest for the Golden Fleece. Apollonius of Rhodes wrote a poem during the classical period which describes this. Pindar also wrote some material about Medea. You might need to read all of this material. Medea was an outsider in Corinth because she was a princess of Cholchis and a foreigner. She also brought about the death of several people so her behavior was suspicious.

Question: I would like to stage Medea with authentic costumes, but should I use costumes from the Mycenean period or Classical period?

Answer: I have arranged for the staging of either Medea or Antigone and I am dealing with the same debate. The classical costumes are easier to make and will be more acceptable to the audience so we are tending in that direction. But getting a costume that actually hangs like the ones pictured in Greek art is no small challenge. I currently am debating this subject with a weaver who is supposed to make a chiton for me.

Question: How is Medea considered to be an "outsider" or a woman at odds with her society?

Answer: In the ancient times it was much harder to live outside of your family than it is now. In those days you were dependent upon your family for welfare and social security, medical care, perhaps food, social life, perhaps legal protection, and your citizenship. Medea was a princess in Cholchis, but she chose to leave her family and go with Jason. This was an enormous step in those days. Her family was horrified my her 'insult' and sent an army to recover her. She and Jason had to kill her brother to prevent her capture at his hands. This was a powerful act against her family that few in ancient times could identify with. Not only was she a foreigner, but one who had murdered her brother. She would be an alien in any ancient society.

Question: Could you send me a diary of a medieval witch please or someone who was acussed of a witch. Please as I need it for school work. Thank-you.

Answer: The following is a list of women who were persecuted during the witchcraft trials of the 13th to the 17th century:

Writings by witches in diary form:

Question: What was the anagnorisis in the play?

Answer: When Medea says:

Great Themis and husband of Themis,
Behold what I suffer in spite
Of the oaths that I bound him with,
That accursed husband of mine.
May I see him, along with his bride
And the house that they live in destroyed,
For they dared without cause to do me this wrong.
O father, O city, I murdered my brother
And shamefully left you behind.

Question: Does Medea's revenge in the end make her far more guilty than Jason?

Answer: No. One could argue that Jason drove Medea crazy and so bore the entire responsibility.

Question: what is the relationship between Medea and the chorus? Did they help or hinder her revenge

Answer: The chorus seems best viewed as what the deities passively witness. It never does anything.

Question: Is Medea the only heroic character in the Argonautica?

Answer: No. All the Argonauts are heroes.

Question: What physical characteristics did Medea possess for example what did she look like and what external traits did she possess.

Answer: Medea had neat ankles. She was beautiful with streaming hair, also.

Question: What was Medea like socially for example her family relationships or religion.

Answer: Medea did not get along with her family. But she was a priestess of Hecate. This gave her a lot of power, physically and socially. She had the social status of a powerful woman; she was respected and feared.

Question: What was Medea like Morally and ethically?

Answer: She was just like any normal person.

Question: What psychological characteristics does Medea possess? For example her habitual responses, attitudes, desires, motivations, likes and dilikes.

Answer: Medea is a character in The Voyage of the Argo by Apollonius of Rhodes. Here are some quotes which may be useful"

III, 1-27 "...Medea of the many spells..."

III, 246-282 "...Medea...was busy all day in the temple of Hecate, of whom she was a priestess." III, 805-844 "She herself,...,gathered up the golden locks that were floating round her shoulders in disorder, washed the stains from her cheeks and cleansed her skin with an oitment clear as nectar; then she put on a beautiful robe equipped with cunning brooches, and threw a silvery veil over her lovely head."

"This salve was named after Prometheus. A man had only to smear it on his body, after peopitiating the only-begotten Maiden with a midnight offering, to become invulnerable by sword or fire and for that day to surpass himself in strength and daring. It first appeared in a plant that sprang from the blood-like ichor of Prometheus in his torment, which the flesh-eating eagle had dropped on the spurs of Caucasus. The flowers, which grew on twin stalks a cubit high, were of the colour of Corycian saffron, while the root looked like flesh that has just been cut, and the juice like the dark sap of a mountain oak. To make the ointment, Medea, clothed in black, in the gloom of night, had drawn off this juice in a Caspian shell after bathing in seven perenial streams and calling seven times on Brimo, nurse of youth, Brimo, night-wanderer of the underworld, Queen of the dead. The dark earth shook and rumbled underneath the Titan root when it was cut, and Prometheus himself groaned in the anguish of his soul."

Question: what is electra's character like in the story " Electra"

Answer: Click on the Menu Directory below then click on Electra.

Question: Are witches real?

Answer: It is a little late to think they are not. During the 13th through the 17th century over 300,000 women were exterminated as witches. These were very real people who died. And the people that killed them really thought they were witches. Today many people do not believe in witches and they think these people should not have died. Other people believe that as an act of religious toleration witches should live. Still others believe in the truth of the Bible when it says that witches should be killed, but fortunately they do not find any.

Question: can people do witchcraft, and if so how??

Answer: Women through their dress, behavior, and makeup often have a bewitching effect on some men which is popularly documented in songs. But can they accomplish anything by using incatations, potions, or charms through their association with evil spirits? Many things happen outside the realm of science so the efficasy of such things is difficult to prove or deny. Many believe in the Devil and believe that he causes such things. But this is a religious belief that cannot be applied to everyone. The things that Medea did are easy to understand. When you know a suject well then you can do things which another person will find mysterious because of their ignorance.

Question: is hecate a goddess of the underworld? then what was the animal that follwed her every were

Answer: My guess is a hound.

Question: what costumes did the actors wear in antigone??? thank you so much!

Answer: In ancient Greece most wore chitons or pelops, or a pelop over a chiton. Some wor himations alone but most wore himations as an outer wrap for warmth. Any of these garments would be acceptable for Antigone.

Question: What is an analysis of the theme to the play Medea?

Medea is a symbol of abandonment and betrayal. In addition Medea displayss the furious revenge of a woman scorned. As for her two sons by Jason, whom Medea murdered, we see the heart-rending motif of the slaughter of beauty and innocence, an especially poignant example of which is only too evident in the sacrifice of Iphigenia. It was common in ancient Greece for a woman to be identified with nature and there is the additional theme of what happens when nature is mistreated.

Literary Criticism in Euripides' Medea

Question: Could we have a summary of the play Medea?

Answer: Outline of Medea

Question: Why is the play "Medea" more tragic than the play "Oedipus"?

Answer: There is more death and destruction in Medea.


Answer: Greek societies' demands are met by a passive woman where Medea was active and did much to advance her husband. And when he spurned her she punished him.

Question: What did Medea do to Jason?

Answer: She loved him. And when he spurned her she punished him.

Question: In Euripides' Medea do you know what the masks looked like or if they had the use of any costumes?

Answer: For costumes they just wore chitons. Mask images from ancient Greece:

Question: I just want to tell you that you website is very good!

Answer: Thanks.

Question: what is Medea's emotional make up?

Answer: The reason Medea's emotions are extreme is that the situations that she is placed in are extreme.

Question: What was witchcraft in Ancient Greek society?

Answer: Potions, charms, and incantations were all gifts of the deities that would be received if the favor of a deity was achieved. There were lots of possibilities for this since there were thousands of deities. Some favors were bright as would be the case with Athena or Aphrodite. Some were dark as in the case of Hecate. But deities could be either as in the case of Artemis or Persephone. Trickier was avoiding the disfavor of a deity. It was impossible to be familiar with them all, so you could not be sure of doing everything they all required.

Question: what is Medea's role in the plot?

Answer: Because of her intelligence and power, she was usually the agent, but Jason drove her crazy with his behavior, so she was not truely responsible.


Answer: "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." -- anonymous

Question: Was revenge justified or only rationalized?

Answer: Revenge can hardly ever be justified. Jason was bad but the social system provided medea with no recourse. But when she took matters into her own hands she responded with excess.

Question: What kind of a woman medea was and why she chose to kill her sons?

Answer: Medea was a priestess of Hecate, and an intelligent, beautiful woman. It is not clear that she chose to kill her sons, but this was the result of her husband Jason's choice of a new wife.

Question: If a person gives you a reason to use black magic on them is it wrong to do it.

Answer: This is the same as asking if you can do good by doing evil? Of course you cannot. Well suppose something just looks evil but is good. Here most people will condemn you for what they see. Only a few will study beyond appearances.

Black magic is evil because it comes from the devil. But you do not have to believe in the Devil if you do not want to. But you must then resolve your maorality in some no-Christian system. This is what Medea had to do. She did not use black magic because she knew nothing of the Devil. What she used was magic of Hecate, a goddess of darkness and death. But she was judged by what she did, and she was condemned to eternal punishment if she did evil.

Question: What do the Greek Theatre Masks look least 5 of them?

Answer: some are illustrated in the page on drama at: Click here while others are illustrated: Click here

Question: Why is Medea considered a hero for women? Also, was it unusual for Medea to tamper with witchcraft during that particular time frame?

Answer: When a man crossed her, she did him in. Medea did not tamper with witchcraft. She was a priestess of Hecate and had goddesses for relatives. These powers came naturally to her.

Question: What is the Greek translation of Medea?

Answer: My best guess is that it relates to the Sanskrit 'madati' meaning it bubbles, it rejoices. It may mean delightful, or joyful.

Question: Medea's family tree?

Question: what symbolism does the torch at a wedding ceremony

Answer: In the Iliad (Book XVIII) Hephaetus forges the armor of Achilles. On the shield he places many scenes: "He wrought also two cities, fair to see and busy with the hum of men. In the one were weddings and wedding-feasts, and they were going about the city with brides whom they were escorting by torchlight from their chambers. Loud rose the cry of Hymen, and the youths danced to the music of flute and lyre, while the women stood each at her house door to see them."

In the Odyssey (Book VII): "Yea, and there were youths fashioned in gold, standing on firm-set bases, with flaming torches in their hands, giving light through the night to the feasters in the palace."

It would seem that festivals often were held long into the night and torches were needed to see in this situation. But a passage in the Odyssey (Book XIX) with Athena seems the most informative: "...and before them Pallas Athene bare a golden cresset and cast a most lovely light. Thereon Telemachus spake to his father suddenly:

'Father, surely a great marvel is this that I behold with mine eyes; meseems, at least, that the walls of the hall and the fair main-beams of the roof and the cross-beams of pine, and the pillars that run aloft, are bright as it were with flaming fire. Verily some god is within, of those that hold the wide heaven.'"

If anything, a torch is a symbol of wisdom.

Question: How did Medea, in your opinion, look, act, what was her religous beliefs

Answer: She was beautiful, with long blond hair. Because she was a princess she was generally well-mannered with a decorous appearance. But she was willful and very confident in her powers, which were many. She was a priestess of Hecate and very knowledgeable of the ways of the deities. She had numerous close relatives as deities, and may have been a deity herself.

Question: can we sympathise with Jason?

Answer: Jason was trying to bring a better situation for himself and his family. His family would have been better off, except for Medea. He was trying to do what a normal man tries to do. His mistake was not his intention but the means he chose to do it.

Question: Vengence in Medea?

Answer: Medea was quite right to seek vengence for the wrong she received. The tragedy is the extremes she used. She would have been better to seek justice, but the society did not support her.

Question: Can you recommend a n abridged version of Medea for my *th grade class ?

Answer: The latest version from cambridge seems very good. Medea, John Harrison (Editor), Format: Paperback, 128pp. ISBN: 0521644798, Publisher: Cambridge University Press Pub. Date: July 2000. You can order this book from Barnes and Noble in the shopping village above.

Question: Where can i find Pindar's Fourth Pythian Ode?

Answer: This includes information about Jason and Medea. These can be ordered from Barnes and Noble using the shopping village above.

Question: why was JOan of arc accused of heracy and witch craft?

Answer: Joan and Medea have much in common. They are powerful women who can force men to be humiliated. This is contrary to the Christian view of women and hense for many an immorality. But it is also a waste of important talent. Today it is realized that it is also a form of deep prejudice.

Question: In Medea, Jason mourns the murder of his sons and reveals underlying resentment towards non-Greeks. Can u describe how this perspective reflects on the relationshipof women and immigrants in ancient Greek society?

Answer: Medea's situation was extreme. She was a foreign princess. To be with Jaso she had given up both her country and her family. In ancient times your family was almost everything. They were your connections and security. In most cases they were your law, an your support if you were sick. Your country helped only in larger matters. Often you were taxed within your family.

Question: How does Medea compare to other women of that time period?

Answer: Medea would be an exceptional woman in any time period.

Question: What was the authors purpose for writing Medea?

Answer: Euripides attemped to explain the spiritual nature of mankind.

Question: Would you please tell me how medea exemplifies Aristotle's requirements for tragedy w/ support from the text?

Answer: This question is problematic because the details of Aristotle's requirements are not specified. In the Poetics he has much to say about tragedy, for example Aristotle says: " Two parts of the Plot, then Peripety and Discovery, are on matters of this sort. A third part is Suffering; Which we may define as an action of a destructive and painful nature, such as murders on the stage, tortures, woundings, and the like." Suffering in Medea is demonstrated in the early line of Medea's: "Oh, miserable me, I am lost in my torment. I wish I were dead."

Question: what did the original characters wear in the play medea??

Answer: Normal clothes of the time.

Question: what is medea about?

Answer: When the feminine nature is abused the world goes crazily destructive.

Question: I have to write an essay comparing the role of women in Medea to women in The Odyssey. What points can I use? Help?!?

Answer: This is interesting. The main insight is that Medea is more like a goddess and needs to be compared to Athena. The nurse of Medea can be compared to Eurycleia, the nurse of Odysseus.

Question: how can I have my revenge to a person who insulted me much? please give me some tips for my revenge

Answer: Medea's mistake was focusing on revenge and you should avoid making that mistake. You should focus on people who will trade you favors and avoid people who insult you. If you develop your skills then some day the insulter may need your help and your ignoring them will be their loss.

Question: What happened to Medea and Jason after the play?

Answer: Jason is heard from no more, while Medea travels to Athens and becomes part of the tales of Theseus.

Question: Can you show a picture of the kind of costumes worn in the play Medea?

Answer: The ancient Greeks did not use costumes for tragedies. They wore their ordinary clothes. The actors wore masks so the characters could be identified.

Question: Was Medea justified in punishing Jason' crime?

Answer: Yes she was. But her passion drove her to a punishment that was excessive.

Question: relating to Medea 'hell hath no fury like a women scorned'

Answer: Yes, Medea was scorned.

Question: contrast the characters of medea and clytemnestra

Answer: Medea uses potions and spells. Clytmenestra uses knives and daggers. Medea loves her husband who spurned her and kills her children. Clytemnestra hates her husband who killed her daughter and her previous husband. Both women were princesses but Medea was a foreigner who had given up her right to title.

Question: what happens to medea in the end?

Answer: Many of Medea's close relatives were immortal and she may have been too. If she is she is still around.

Question: How was Jason hypocritical in his treatment of Medea?

Answer: Medea saved Jason's life many times and no one else could have done it.

Question: Is Meadea more terifying as a witch or as a woman?

Answer: As a woman. Medea is an example of a woman who becomes powerful through education and experience.

Question: Is euripids' portrayal of women in his tragedies intended as an ideology?

Answer: Some message is intended as an ideology, but not necessarily an individual character.

Question: what was medea's dominant character trait?

Answer: Psychic control of spells.

Question: To what extent is Euripides' Medea an enactment of male fantasies of the devouring woman.

Answer: There is no doubt that Medea is a male nightmare, but surely one bought on by poor judgement. The devouring woman is more like Charybdis, Scylla, or even Calypso.

Question: what do brooches look like?

Answer: Click here

Here is one from ancient Greece. The ancients called a brooch a fibula: Click here

Question: the role of medea in euripides

Answer: Euripides was one of the great playwrights of ancient Greece and Medea was one of the great tragedies that he wrote.

Question: how can we compare Medea with Penelope, their lives and attitudes?

Answer: Both women used their intellect, but Penelope was a princess who became a queen. Medea was a princess who renounced her claim and became an exile. Medea was also a priestess, while Penelope did not have a close relation to religion. Whether Medea obtained power by being a priestess or was actually a goddess is not clear, but she did have remarkable spiritual powers which Penelope lacked. Penelope resorted to more feminine schemes while Medea was much more direct.

Question: can medea be considered a strong woman or just crazy

Answer: In the play Medea by Euripides we find Medea to be a strong and powerful women driven crazy by the injustice of her husband's behavior.

Question: Do you know any quotes by Tituba in the play the Crucible?

Answer: The Crucible was not written by an ancient Greek, but rather by Arthur Miller, in 1952.

Question: How is Medea a Anti-Heroine?

Answer: Some people think Medea is an anti-heroine because she was so violent and destructive, but it is better to think of her as a powerful person gone mad.

Question: what did the bible say about witchcraft

Answer: The ancient Greeks knew nothing about the Bible.

Question: What is everything Medea could do powers wise

Answer: To answer this question you would need to know how her powers arise. She might actually be a goddess. She might be able to communicate with a goddess such as Hecate, so she would get her powers from Hecate. But she might also just be a wise person and the powers would come from her wisdom.

Question: is there a spell to put on the principal so that i won't be expelled?

Answer: Certainly. Students do not get expelled for doing good things. They get expelled for doing bad things. The spell for not getting expelled involves convincing the principal that you are doing much more good than bad. Hopefully you know good things to do. Medea was powerful because she was wise. You need to become wise too. Then you have more capability of doing good things.

Question: how is medeas behaviour oposed to the law

Answer: Medea made her own law.

Question: Is Medea a tragic figure or muderess

Answer: Madea was a tragic figure.

Question: Is Medea mad?

Answer: Possibly to some extent. But she also might be considered an angry goddess.

Question: What kind of witchcraft did Medea and Circe Practised

Answer: Both Medea and Circe seemed to use potions to achieve their results. But the potion may derive its power from nature or from some divine source. Natural powers are available to anyone with the knowledge of the property, but divine powers are restricted to the realm of the goddess. Circe is referred to as a goddess by Homer, who does not define her realm. She is not a major goddess like Athena, but she rules over many lesser goddesses. These goddesses are the many nymphs who serve in her palace. These nymphs have as their realm the streams of Aeaea, the island where Circe lived. Medea is the niece of Circe, so she may be a goddess, but this is nowhere admitted. If she is not a goddess, it may be that her powers come from the study of herbs in nature. She may also have some relationship with another divinity, such as Hecate, who would do her favors.

Question: Great web page! How would you support the idea of a female protagonist in a male dominate society using Medea and Antigone? How could I relate this to "tensions between city and family"?

Answer: Find quotes in Medea and Antigone. The issue about the tensions is more complex because the notions of city an family have changed. The contrast between divine law and human law is easier to grasp. Divine law is personal while human law is intended to organize the state. Antigone has quotes about this.

Question: Medea and Antigone are women who suffer tragically due to their own actions as well as those of others. Both are strong and determined but Medea triumphs in the end. Does Medea really triumph? Please address the issues of Medea and make some comparisons with Antigone and other Greek tragic heroes. Please include specific references from the plays to emphasize the points. Thank you :)

Answer: Antigone triumphs better than Medea. Medea has killed her children and Creon and his daughter quite unjustly. She gets away with it because the system of laws is too weak. Antigone victimizes herself while Medea victimizes others. Medea's only consolation is that Jason is to blame. If she were brought to trial she would plead insanity.

Question: Although Medea had great powers and used them to get back at Jason, do you think Euripides portrayed her as the victim?

Answer: Yes, but notice that her powers were not enough to keep Jason's love.

Question: Was there some psychological reason why Medea did what she did?

Answer: Yes, probably. But you have to look at her whole life. The play Medea does have clues to this psychology if you study it carefully.

Question: Can all the powers of nature be acquired by having control over mana?

Answer: It sounds like you have been submitted to a silly sales gimic. Someone always falls for a schpeal about and easy solution to all your problems (with debt, weight, beauty, etc.). Mana is a concept that comes to us from the South Pacific, and was not known to Medea. A discussion of man in the context of African religion is found at: Click here. A perhaps more interesting article relating mana to the concept of magic in history is found at: Click here.

Question: is there any character in literature you can please compare medea with in great detail? thank you

Answer: In ancient Greece she can be compared to Circe. She can be compared to many of the witches. She can even be compared to Joan of Arc who was accused of being a witch. Lucrezia Borgia would make an interesting comparison because of her involvement with poison. You could even argue for a comparison with Sacajawea because they both saved many lives, but received little credit.

Question: why was medea a bad wife?

Answer: Medea was a bad wife because she did not submit herself to her husbands wishes. The fact that her husband was rediculous in his requests does not seem to enter in this question.

Question: Can you show me a piture or give me some information on the greek god Hecate

Answer: Poseidon and Hecate. Hecate is identical to the dark side of Artemis.

Does Medea really triumph in the end of the play?

Answer: She just triumphs over Jason.

Question: what is the theme or themes in medea?

Answer: Betrayal and vengeance.

Question: What is important information to know about Jason and the Arganons?

Answer: If you can tell me what you are going to do with your life I can tell you, but otherwise you will have to read it all, perhaps two or three times.

Question: What is the golden fleece?

Answer: The skin of a golden lamb. It was akin the the Grail in that it was the goal of an ancient quest, The Voyage of the Argonauts. No doubt the fleece had some magical power because it was guarded by a fearsome dragon, but the nature of the magic is never revealed in the stories that have come down to us.

Question: Is it significant that both Circe and Medea are both foreign women?

Answer: I do not think so. Even though Medea and Circe are relatives, Circe is a goddess and Medea is treated as mortal. Being a foreigner is more important to a mortal than a goddess. More important is the question of why Circe lives so isolated.

Question: how is medea a tragic hero?

Answer: Medea is a heroine who saved many lives with her wisdom and spells but in the context tof the play Medea one sees little of this. What one sees is the tragedy of her life. One sees how she loses the love of Jason and her two children. But the killing of Jason's betrothed and her father is not a heroic act; it is revenge.

Question: Is Medea a Tragic Hero? If so, the what are her flaws which bring about her downfall?

Answer: Her flaw is insane jealousy, but it does not bring about her downfall. She just fies off into the sunset.

Question: Does Medea's pride take part in that she is a tragic hero? Why?

Answer: It is hard for a woman to have pride when her husband abandons her.

Question: Where is it shown that Medea has an inability to control her passions?

Answer: When she murders her children she proves that.

Question: was Medea pathologically insane?

Answer: Yes. Any jury would declare her innocent by reason of insanity of killing her children.

Question: Considering the patriarchial system that has dominated the classical civilizations and most modern societies, why has Themis endured as a symbol of justice?


  1. She has always done a good job.
  2. Women make more interesting statues than men.
  3. Wome thrive better with justice than men.

Question: What is Medea's symbol?

Answer: Many images of Medea incorporate a cauldron on a tripod. The color black is also appropriate.

Question: Who are the characters of Medea

Answer: The characters are listed in the play book. They are: nurse, children of medea, tutor, Medea, Chorus, Creon, Jason, Aegeus, messenger. Since the cast is small the play is easy to produce.

Question: how is Medea seen as a barbarian and not a greek by the greeks

Answer: Medea was born in Colchis on the eastern end of the Black Sea.

Question: Is what Medea did justice or revenge?Why?

Answer: Revenge. Justice would not have hurt so many people.


Answer: Jason's betrothal to the princess was hubris.

Question: Where is Medea going when she leaves in thhe chariot of the sun?

Answer: She goes to Athens where she receives sanctuary from Aegeus, the father of Theseus.

Question: How do the conflicts in Antigone relate to present society?

Answer: Antigone continues to inspire people who have to deal with the problems of society.

Question: How can I relate Euripedes quote" Happiness is a thing no man possesses. Fortune may come now to one man, happiness never" to Medea and Jason's lives.

Answer: Medea thought she was happy when she married Jason, but it was only an illusion. Jason thought he was happy when he was betrothed to the princess but it was only an illusion.

Question: ²s medea from a noble rank?

Answer: Yes. Medea was a princess of Colchis and a priestess of Hecate, but she abdicated both positions when she ran off with Jason.

Question: does medea undergo reversal?

Answer: During the play Medea she has already reversed.

Question: do people still fear witches

Answer: Yes they do. Many Christians believe in the reality of the Devil and they feel witches are instruments of this reality.

Question: what are the themes both Medea and Lysistrata share in common?

Answer: Women can get things done.

Question: what seirous issue are being explored beneath the ribald surface of Lysistrata, and how are they expressed?

Answer: Familial, Domestic, and world peace is at issue. But world peace is presented as a piece of ass to be shared by the male participants as they should share the world peace. Lysistrata will be presented in Kent, OH in April 2000.

Question: How did Medea die?

Answer: The end of Medea's story: Apollodorus, Library and Epitome, 1.9.28 "Medea came to Athens, and being there married to Aegeus bore him a son Medus. Afterwards, however, plotting against Theseus, she was driven a fugitive from Athens with her son. But he conquered many barbarians and called the whole country under him Media, and marching against the Indians he met his death. And Medea came unknown to Colchis, and finding that Aeetes had been deposed by his brother Perses, she killed Perses and restored the kingdom to her father." There is no record of her death.

Question: Do you believe in Greek gods? I heard that some still worshipped them!

Answer: What is important is that the Greeks believed in them, and they were not deceived by the Devil as some claim, for they had no knowledge of the Devil or any Christian religion. Some regard the Greek myths as fiction, but this is not true either. The Greek myths were stories retold by the ancient Greeks because they thought they were true. And contemporary archeology has confirmed a surprising amount of these stories. Of course there are parts which are hard to believe, but all religions have these stories. If you study Greek religion you can learn much about religion in general. The contemporary people that worship the ancient Greek gods are called Neo-pagans or just pagans.

Question: Medea's tragedy and the eternal problems of love adultery and jealosy

Answer: It was not adultery but betrayal. Medea saved Jason's life many times, but he said that it was really Aphrodite that did it. What Aphrodite really did was to blind Medea to Jason's real nature. This real nature was revealed when he wanted to advance himself by marrying a princess and dumping Medea. Medea had been a princess but had renounced her rights when she fell in love with Jason and left Cholchis with him. Now she was a foreigner in a strange land. Jason said she was better off because Greece had just laws, but where were the laws to protect Medea in her marriage. In the end she had to make her own law.


Answer: Medea did have sexual intercourse with Jason because she had two children by him. But did the fact that she had only two children mean she was having trouble with intercourse. Perhaps Medea rejected sex with Jason and he looked elsewhere for sex.

Question: Explain how the scenes of violence in Medea, contribute to the meaning of the complete work. What are the main themes? and How does violence play a role in this play. Please respond ASAP.

Answer: The play is really about nature and her laws, and culture and its laws. The is pressure for a person to act according to impulse and his own short-term needs and gratifications. At least you feel good at the time you do it. But in the long term you are better off considering others and even considering the laws of nature. When you ignore the long term consequences of your acts and ignore the feelings of others, you life can really run amuck. The violence of Medea is nature running amuck. Jason only considers himself and for this reason he starts a chain of disasterous events. The magnitude of his suffering helps you to learn your lesson of considering others when you act.

Question: is Medea completly evil

Answer: It is a great mistake to interpret Medea as completely evil. In fact she is no more evil that the ordinary person. What makes her tragedy so meaningful is that her mistakes could have been made by anyone. What you must do is learn from her mistakes so you do not make them yourself.

Question: Role of women in Medea

Answer: The nurse in the play Medea says of Medea:

"She's dangerous: no man engaged with her
in a struggle of hate will triumph easily."
While the Greek men would definitely prefer a woman who was passive and obedient.

Earlier the nurse references the ideal:

"(Medea) soon found favor with the people there
and worked with Jason in complete accord;
And this is the greatest safeguard of the home--
A woman not divided from her husband."

Later Medea states the reality for women in ancient Greece:

"Of all things that are living and aware,
The most unhappy creature is a woman;
Who first must buy a husband with her wealth
And so acquire a master for her body,
For not to accept a man is even worse.
And here the greatest indecision lies,
Whether the one she takes is good or bad.
An admirable woman cannot flee,
Nor can she afterwards reject her husband,
To usages and customs that are new
She comes, and since she never learned at home,
She has to be a phrophet to divine
How best to deal with him who shares her bed.
Then, if we work things out successfully
And have our husbands living with us, not
Rebelling at the yoke they wear, out lives
Are enviable--if not, we have to die,
A man, when burdened by his household, goes
Outside, to end his boredom, and can turn
To comrades he grew up with and to friends,
But we must keep our eyes on one alone.
They say we live a life devoid of danger
At home while they do battle with the spear,
But they are wrong.  I'd three time rather stand
And face a line fo shields than once give birth."

Later she gives the challenge of the intelligent woman: "Not for the first time, Creon, is it said That I am clever; many a time before This reputation has been bad for me. No man of intelligence should have His children brought up wiser than the rest. They have no profit from it; all they get Is envy from their hostile townsmen. To bring new wisdom to the ignorant Will make you seem to them a futile fool; Add then, if you are recognized as better Than those whose learning is considered deep, They'll hate you for your presence in the city."

Medea is an extreme woman, which makes for gripping drama. But she also presents truths that women must live with. The role of the women in Medea may be to investigate those truths, and help men to understand what they are up against.

Question: why was medea a greek myth?

Answer: All the information that we have about Medea is a result of the retelling of poems by world of mouth and memory over a period of almost 800 years before the stories were written down. None of the stories have been confirmed by archeological evidence.

Question: Explain why medea was a greek myth and its relevancy on greek life

Answer: Euripides meant Medea as a moral lesson for Greek Men and it was probably taken. To acieve this he cast the ancient Medea in a more contemporary situation. The details of the play describe the playwright's situation, while the force of the play is carried by a women who the Greek men would have considered a monster.

Question: does medea follow the elements of greek drama?

Answer: Medea is one of the plays that sets the sstandard for Greek plays.

Question: does medicine derived from medeas name

Answer: Not likely. The word "Medea" is most related to the root "men-" in the word mental. The Medes thought their country was named after Medea but this is unlikely too, since their country was once called Mada, which means mountain. The word "mountain" in derived from a different word which has the root "men-" that means to project. Medicine is related to the root "med-" which means to take appropriate measures. It is possible that Medea was once a goddess of mental ability similar to Metis the Greek goddess of Prudence.

Question: What did the Greeks think about the art of witchcraft?

Answer: Though the Greeks believed in spells, potions, and magic wands they knew nothing of witchcraft. They believed these things were the way the gods and goddesses worked. Adherants of the old Greek religion became witches when the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece were demonized by the Christian religion.

Question: What are some examples of Medea influencing ancient greek art

Answer: Medea was illustrated on vases, and she was the subject of the work "The Voyage of the Argo" by Apollonius of Rhodes published in the middle of the third century BCE. Euripides wrote his work Medea about 431 BCE.

Question: My niece is designing costumes for a musical version of the play Medea. We saw on your site that you were producing a version in Kent on Dec 1,2&3 and that photos would be available after that production. Would it be possible to see those photos, or get them E-mailed? My niece is particularly interested in costume for Medea from Colchis. We would greatly appreciate any help you can offer.


Avideo of the production is available for
$15.00 + $5.00 handling+ postage.

Your order should be sent to:

North Water Street Gallery
257 North Water Street
Kent OH 44240

The following web site will also be helpful: Click Here

Question: what is medea's hamartia

Answer: In the play Medea Medea acts in so irrational way that it might be said that she lacks judgement because she was driven crazy by Jason. In this case she displays no hamartia. Her most dramatic decision is to seek vengence on Jason. In the most dramatic act of the play she kills Jason's betrothed, his father-in-law, and their two children. She has found a way to punish Jason, but she has also punished four other human beings. It is doubtfull that their punishment fit their crimes. It is possible that her hamartia was that she sought a just vengence in an unjust way, killing four people who did not deserve to die.

Question: which characteristics of a tragic hero does medea fit and why?

Answer: This is a good topic for a short student research paper because you can find the answer easily by reading the play Medea.

Question: what kind of looking to women when we take medea as an example?

Question: how does greek culture see women according to Medea?

Answer: Medea is best taken as an example of an unusually powerful woman. She is not a good example of an ordinary woman. The women she can be compared to are fairly rare. To the ancient Greeks she was very problematic.

Question: rebellous

Answer: No. She was very loyal to those she loved. But when Jason spurned her she took revenge.

Question: civil

Answer: No. There was no indication she was community minded. She looked out for herself and her friends.

Question: is there any modern defense for Medea's crime, and did the society cause her to murder her sons?

Answer: Today she would have been innocent by reason of insanity. Jason caused the crime but her society was a fault because it should protect wives against Jason's behavior. A wife should be able to bring her husband to court if he behaves like Jason. If she can obtain satisfaction from the court then she would not have to seek revenge.

Question: How did society betray Medea and females in general in Ancient Greece?

Answer: See above. Also the Greek legal system worked fine if husbands were honest and responsible. But if the husband was dead, sick, or irresponsible the wife had little legal protection. Non-citizen wives were worse off because they had to have a citizen friend besides their husband. Slaves were the worst off because their master could do with them as they would without recourse. Women slaves could be raped, beaten, maimed, or even killed by their master without any recourse.

Question: Did medea present more of a male figure and if so how was she able to conceal it long enough to attract Jason, a shovinist?

Answer: Medea was a beautiful princess, but Jason was an opportunist. Jason was not attracted by Medea's charm. He needed her ability. Later he married her after she had demonstrated her powers many times. He threw her away when her powers were no longer useful. His chauvanism meant he miscalculated her abilities for revenge.

Question: what is the theme in medea?

Answer: Betrayal and revenge. But this is an over-simplification.

Question: On what terms can medea be related to lysistrata?

Answer: Both were women. Medea acted alone while Lysistrata was an organizer. Medea was historical, while Lysistrata was probably fictional.

Question: as a woman do u think that Medea should be blamed totally for all that she did?

Answer: A normal woman would be driven crazy by Jason's behavior so Medea can be assumed to have been driven crazy and would be innocent by reason of insanity.

Question: how do the gender stereotypes manifest themselves in Medea versus Jason?

Answer: Medea talks about them at length.

Question: what notion of women and sexuality does Medea's escape on a chariot of dragons represent?

Answer: Medea has made a number of sacrifices for Jason including bearing his children. Jason calculates that he can advance himself by abandoning Medea for another woman. What he finds is that scorned women are vicious foe and, worse yet, they have the deities on their side. Her escape is symbolic of the dominant role that woman play in the fertility process. Men have to realize they are not going to get what they want any other way. Women have to be carefully considered. The dragon snakes symbolize fertility while the flying is the symbol of dominance.

Question: where can evidence that medea was worshipped as a cult godess be found please?

Answer: "Nothing is known of Medea?s death, if indeed she died at all. According to one tradition, she became the consort of Achilles in the Elysian Fields. Some say that she was worshipped as a goddess, but there is disagreement about the truth of this claim." --Edward Tripp, The Meridian Handbook of Classical Mythology

Apollodorus, Library and Epitome, E 5.5: "It is said that after death Achilles consorts with Medea in the Isles of the Blest." Note: compare Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.810ff.; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 174. According to the Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. iv.815, the first to affirm that Achilles married Medea in the Elysian Fields was the poet Ibycus, and the tale was afterwards repeated by Simonides. The story is unknown to Homer, who describes the shade of Achilles repining at his lot and striding alone in the Asphodel Meadow (Hom. Od. 11.471-540).

Question: Hoe can the theme of revenge in Medea be compared to that of the Odyssey by homer

Answer: In both cases revenge is necessitated by the fact that there is no recourse through the rule of law to address the wrongs. But in the course exacting her revenge Medea hurts innocent bystanders. But the wooers represent a potent adversary should they unite. Odysseus must dispatch them before they unite or be defeated by them as a unit.

Question: jason an Aristotelian protagonist?

Answer: This type of reading requires a close reading of Aristotles definition of a protaginist and a close reading of Medea. The following article may be helpful: Click Here

Question: how did Circe's get her powers?

Answer: She was born a goddess and that gave her most of her powers. She also had knowledge of potions and antidotes.

Question: will i marry a supermodel

Answer: In ancient Greece the modeling was done by the hetaerae. Some of the hetaerae actually became wives.

Question: Do you have any diaries regarding the people who were in the Salem Witchcraft Trials?


Question: How does barbarianism and Greek function in the Medea?

Answer: Almost as sarcasm. Jason brags that Medea is much better off in Greece than in Colchis, because Greece has civilized laws. But in Colchis Medea was a princess and did not have to worry about laws, and he is leaving her to fend forherself without recourse to law. If Greece had had such wonderful laws then Jason would have treated Medea much better. In fact the Greek laws are so poor for women that Medea has to take the law into her own hands.

Question: what was the herb "moly"?

Answer: Click here. However Homer says: 'Therewith the slayer of Argos gave me the plant that he had plucked from the ground, and he showed me the growth thereof. It was black at the root, but the flower was like to milk. Moly the gods call it, but it is hard for mortal men to dig; howbeit with the gods all things are possible.'

Question: Is Medea's revenge justified?

Answer: There is no justice in revenge.

Question: looking at Antigone, Medea and Lysistrata from the national pattern of their behavior from their race, are they true to their philosophy or spiritual thought of their country? Would they be cultural deviance or contributary to the wealth of their country?

Answer: All were cultural deviants, but all were very productive contributors to their culture.

Question: Medea, Antigone and Lysistrata were 3 Greek women who sort of did what they think is best for them. What do you think is the psychology of women as a whole?

Answer: I think you miss the point. These three women did not act for themselves, but for their ideals. Only a few women get that far. But women often make sacrifices for their family. Women are bound up with their family and culture more than men and so act in accordance with their culture more often. But they can also be petty in this way, while the independence of men avoids this. The neat aspect of Greek tragedy is that the women rise up to acting on their ideals and are not just sex objects for the men. Most women entertainers, even today, are mere sex objects, whose sexy appearance is everything and whose ideals mean very little.

Question: What is Medea's costume like?

Answer: Medea would have dressed like a Minoan Princess (founced skirt, girdle, and revealing vest.

Question: what did medea do for fun

Answer: She could go to a religious festival. There were a number of festivals each month. The ladies of the house could play ball or bathe in a clear stream. A bard might recite an epic or sing songs. A party might be prepared with special foods where dancing was done. Jugglers, acrobats or dancers might perform. In the evening often stories were told.

Question: Whi did Medea do what she did in the story? and is she a part of the general behavior of women?

Answer: Medea was a powerful woman but she was driven crazy and used her power in an evil way. Most women lack the power of Medea so when they are driven crazy they respond differently. The behavior of the Maenads is more typical of crazed women.

Question: What bad things did Medea do to Jason and other people during her time with Jason

Answer: Whether Medea did bad things depends on your point of view. To Jason they seemed good except when Jason tried to dump her.

Violent acts committed by Medea:

Question: Is there a question about Medea's sexuality/gender? As i have found Medea to portray herself as a strong feminist, however she appears to thrive on being the centre of a male dominated society...

Answer: Many women thrive on being the center of a male dominated society. She was a beautiful women and could use feminine charms as well. But many peaple ar suspicious and threatened by a powerful woman.


Answer: Most of the time she was a hero. For the following incidents her status is noted

Question: I came upon your wonderful web site while trying to track down some very specific information about Medea legends. I have been unable to find what I'm looking for (admittedly, I have not read a lot of original sources), and was hoping you could provide some guidance.

Specifically - I am looking for original sources what mention the ingredients in the potion of youth ( I found some in Bullfinch, but don't know if they reflect earlier sources), and which authors wrote detailed descriptions of this scene. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

The story of the death of Pelias comes from Pindar.

> Thanks for your prompt reply. But I'm somewhat puzzled. I wasn't looking for anything about the death of Pelias. It was asking about the incident in which Medea restores Aeson's youth with a potion. I am trying to find details on the recipe for the potion given in ancient sources, and where that scene is described in detail. If you can help with that, it would be much appreciated.

Answer: The story of Pelias involves a potion of youth as well. The following fragment is from Hesiod: "Fragment #2 -- Argument to Euripides Medea: `Forthwith Medea made Aeson a sweet young boy and stripped his old age from him by her cunning skill, when she had made a brew of many herbs in her golden cauldrons.'"

Question: are all the characters in euripidies' elecra all equally victious and contemptable?

Answer: Click on the Menu directory below an click on Electra.

Question: how did men get divorced

Answer: They showed them the front door and sent them out. Often they were kind enough to return them to their family.

Question: In Line 386 Medea says "So - say they are dead: what city will receive me then? What friend will guarantee my safety, offer land and home as sanctuary?" Is this a rhetorical question on Medea's part, or is she talking to someone (like the chorus) and it i

Answer: She is really talking to herself but her comments are directed to her friends in the chorus (and to the audience, of course).

Question: What line in Medea best sums up the rÂle of women in Greek Society at the time of Medea?

Answer: One of the following sentences puports this: "[230] Of all creatures that have breath and sensation, we women are the most unfortunate. First at an exorbitant price we must buy a husband and master of our bodies. [This misfortune is more painful than misfortune.] [235] And the outcome of our life's striving hangs on this, whether we take a bad or a good husband. For divorce is discreditable for women and it is not possible to refuse wedlock. And when a woman comes into the new customs and practices of her husband's house, she must somehow divine, since she has not learned it at home, [240] how she shall best deal with her husband. If after we have spent great efforts on these tasks our husbands live with us without resenting the marriage-yoke, our life is enviable. Otherwise, death is preferable. A man, whenever he is annoyed with the company of those in the house, [245] goes elsewhere and thus rids his soul of its boredom [turning to some male friend or age-mate]. But we must fix our gaze on one person only. Men say that we live a life free from danger at home while they fight with the spear. [250] How wrong they are! I would rather stand three times with a shield in battle than give birth once." but I would rather hear a woman, but none speaks.

Question: Is Medea a victim of the God`s will?

Answer: No. She is a victim of her own emotions in a very difficult situation. Revenge is an easy idea to hit upon. Justice is considerably harder.

Question: Medea is a revenge tragedy.Discuss

Answer: This is easy if you read the play.

Question: why is medea so strong in plays when women had very little power in real society

Answer: Women had a great deal of power in the ancient Greek society. But Medea went beyond this into an area of anxiety that made good drama.

Question: How are gender roles depicted in this play? What do these depictions suggest about Eurpipides' beliefs about gender roles?

Answer: This question is best answered by reading the play.

Question: Should we feel more sympathetic to Jason or Medea

Answer: You should read the play and sympathize with both, but the play is named after Medea.

Question: what was Medea's sons names

Answer: Mermerus and Pheres

Question: what is the golden fleese

Answer: This was the goal of Jason's quest, but not much detail about the fleece is contained in the myth. The golden fleece is the skin of a magic sheep. Some idea of its magical nature is contained in the following article: Click here

Question: how does medea relate in today's society? does she influence things that we are around daily?

Answer: Women are bound up with their family and culture more than men and so act in accordance with their culture more often. But they can also be petty in this way, while the independence of men avoids this. The neat aspect of Greek tragedy is that the women rise up to acting on their ideals and are not just sex objects for the men. Most women entertainers, even today, are mere sex objects, whose sexy appearance is everything and whose ideals mean very little. Medea is a very unique woman who tries a different approach to a problem that many women have to face. There is much in her struggel that the woman of today can learn from.

Question: What modern human would you compare to Medea?

Answer: Medea is hard to compare to a human. She is not listed as a notable woman by Judy Chicago who even lists Cleopatra. The feats of Medea exceed any other woman in power and scope. The achievement of her evil may exceed them too. Lucretia Borgia comes to mind, but she seems weak by comparison. Joan of Arc had the strength, but she has purity which Medea lacks. She may have been treated as evil in the same way as Medea. Both Joan and Medea are thought of unfairly as witches.

Question: Is medea used in any modern literary works as examples?

Answer: Click Here. A painting: Click here. Drama: Click here

Question: Who was Hera Acraea

Answer: "XVII. Fifteen stades distant from Mycenae is on the left the Heraeum. Beside the road flows the brook called Water of Freedom. The priestesses use it in purifications and for such sacrifices as are secret. The sanctuary itself is on a lower part of Euboea. Euboea is the name they give to the hill here, saying that Asterion the river had three daughters, Euboea, Prosymna, and Acraea, and that they were nurses of Hera. [2] The hill opposite the Heraeum they name after Acraea, the environs of the sanctuary they name after Euboea, and the land beneath the Heraeum after Prosymna. This Asterion flows above the Heraeum, and falling into a cleft disappears. On its banks grows a plant, which also is called asterion. They offer the plant itself to Hera, and from its leaves weave her garlands. [3]" Pausanias, Description of Greece, 2.17.1

Question: what oaths did jason break

Answer: From the Argonautica by Apollonius Rhodius: "(ll. 1029-1030) Thus did she implore Arete, shedding tears, and thus each of the chieftains in turn: (ll. 1031-1052) "On your account, ye men of peerless might, and on account of my toils in your ventures am I sorely afflicted; even I, by whose help ye yoked the bulls, and reaped the deadly harvest of the earthborn men; even I, through whom on your homeward path ye shall bear to Haemonia the golden fleece. Lo, here am I, who have lost my country and my parents, who have lost my home and all the delights of life; to you have I restored your country and your homes; with eyes of gladness ye will see again your parents; but from me a heavy-handed god has raft all joy; and with strangers I wander, an accursed thing. Fear your covenant and your oaths, fear the Fury that avenges suppliants and the retribution of heaven, if I fall into Aeetes' hands and am slain with grievous outrage. To no shrines, no tower of defence, no other refuge do I pay heed, but only to you. Hard and pitiless in your cruelty! No reverence have ye for me in your heart though ye see me helpless, stretching my hands towards the knees of a stranger queen; yet, when ye longed to seize the fleece, ye would have met all the Colchians face to thee and haughty Aeetes himself; but now ye have forgotten your courage, now that they are all alone and cut off." (ll. 1053-1067) Thus she spake, beseeching; and to whomsoever she bowed in prayer, that man tried to give her heart and to check her anguish. And in their hands they shook their sharp pointed spears, and drew the swords from their sheaths; and they swore they would not hold back from giving succour, if she should meet with an unrighteous judgement.

Question: I am writing a paper that interprets the myth of Medea and I have come up with the following Thesis: That Euripidies' message was that women were wrongfully repressed and Euripidies was reminding the Men of Athens of how powerfull women can be when they assert their power. What do you think? Does it stand up as a thesis and if so do you know of any supporting points/arguements? Thank you for your time!

Answer: Most wives got their way and were not repressed. But some were mistreated. Medea is an example of what can happen if they are mistreated.

Question: how it aws written, produced and received

Answer: Euripides wrote the play for the Dionysian festival of 431 BCE. He may have modeled the play on a previous play by Neophron but he made the subject thorougly his own. The play was popular throughout antiquity.

Question: Who were the gods who had anything to do with Medea in her life?

Answer: Hera was fond of Jason and got Aphrodite to attract Medea to Jason. Circe was Medea's aunt who obsolved the couple of the murder of Medea's brother. Medea was a priestess of Hecate and it seems this position gave her the control over spells and potions.

Question: Is Jason a more sympathetic figure than Medea?

Answer: No. After he dumps Medea he becomes pathetic.

Question: hades piture

Answer: Click here

Question: what type of person is medea

Answer: Medea was a beautiful, intelligent, and extremely powerful woman.

Question: felicie Jacobe

Answer: All I have is the material from Judy Chicago above.

Question: I really like your page. However....when you answer questions of Witchcraft are you speaking of "mythological" type or the "modern" type. Because the modern witchcraft really has nothing to do with the "mythological" type. (*understand these are very general terms just to eplain the difference) Maybe you could let the readers know the Witchcraft you speak of is not of true foundation or form if it is the same Witchcraft still practiced today. Thanks for your time! (try checking out some witchcraft web sites if you would wish to do so: or a FAQ at or a fun link @: this might help you when you get those girl/guys breathing down your throat for spells and magick! ...thanks again!

Answer: Yes. This page is really only about the beliefs of the ancient Greeks. These would have to be considered the antecedents of modern withccraft.

Question: How are gender roles depicted in Medea? What do these depictions suggest about Euripides' beliefs about gender roles?

Answer: In Medea gender roles are weakly presented. The leading woman speaks about these roles but does not present them well herself. Jason is a weak example as well. Euripides seem to tolerate a wider variety or gender roles than we seem to find in everyday society.

Question: Do you think Euripides supported traditional roles of women or used Medea as a positive role model for women?

Answer: Euripides was trying to communicate something to men and did not really consider the effect on women.

Question: What is the concept and function of fate in Medea?

Answer: Fate involves the concept that the events of the past determine the events of the future. Medea involes a certain determinedness but there are also many choices Medea makes. The play does raise the question whether Medea should be absolved for the events of the past or condemned for the choices of the present.

Question: When does Medea meet Aegeus?

Answer: In the play Medea Aegeus meets Medea just after he had gone to consult the Oracle about getting an heir. She indicates that she has known him for some time, but where she first met him is not indicated.

Question: Where can i find character analysis of Medea, Jason and Creon?

Answer: Read this page.

Question: What is th relation betwwen Medea and Oedipus the King?

Answer: They are both Ancient Greek tragedies which you should read. Both deal with mythical content and the Greek concept of fate.

Question: I need to understand the use of animals to decribe Medea and her chariot as she leaves the palace with her sons. Also do you think the sons were really dead since she would let Jason touch them, maybe it was a trick? Tanks for any information of course I need it yesterday I sure hope you are still there!

Answer: It is never clear whether Medea is a goddess or not. Euripides tends toward the goddess classification toward the end of Medea. The creatures pulling her chariot are dragons which at that time were believed to look like very large snakes. They are there, no doubt, for dramatic impact. The ancient Greeks would have taken these to be manifestation of divine creatures of a sort they were familiar with. There are possibly some truthful statements in the Medea but the play was written 800 years after the events. Other sources indicate her sons were killed by other hands. We cannot verify that they lived or died as we have no archeolgical evidence for them. Medea could have tricked Jason for all we know. But there is no record of them later. Oddly enough, the validity of Medea is questionable, but so is the validity of its denial.

Question: Do you think Medea had a good role model for motherhood? What do you think her childhood was like?

Answer: Little is known about Medea's mother, Idyia, who may have been a goddess. Medea herself may have been a goddess. If she was her childhood was perhaps only a few days long. If she was not a goddess her childhood would have been quite remarkable. She would have been a child prodigy, reading and writing at an early age. Someone probably got her started on the study of herbal medicine but she quickly eclipsed her master. She was so smart that she could not find a student to follow her. She probably spent her youth in a temple curing peope who came with problems. When she got older and worked with really dangerous drugs people were afraid of her.

Question: how big were the masks and what did they look like

Answer: Click here

Question: how did medusa die?

Answer: There is no record of Medea's death. She did fianally return home to the foreign land Colchis so the record may be there. But she may be a goddess and she is immortal.

Question: I am very suprised to see that the Gods have not been mentioned more often, seeing that they played such important roles during the Greek era. Can you discuss the role of the Gods in Medea?

Answer: Many of the actions that Medea takes are divine in nature. So the gods are implicit in those actions. The question of whether Medea is a goddess or not is never resolved. Both spells and potions get their effect from the divine. Somehow a person who casts a spell is able to tap into a divine power. If the person is a goddess, then the power is inborn. If the person is mortal then the power must come from a divine. The divinity may wish to return a favor or the divinity may be favorably inclined to what the person is doing. Athena, for example, might provide a bright idea to someone who studies a subject, because she wants to encourage study. In return for anointing the soil with the blood of a sacrifice, Demeter may provide you with a good crop.

A question comes with actions such as Medea takes, where one person is favored while another is harmed. In a number of cases Medea helped Jason by hurting someone else. How is Medea so favored that she is able to do this? One explanation is that she is a priestess of Hecate. In this capacity she may have provided Hecate many things which she liked. Hecate knew she was paying back Medea when Medea was able to hurt other people. One would think the divine would favor moral actions, but this thought came very late to the Greeks. They thought evil was a result of the whims of the gods. The gods would cause you evil if they wanted to punish you, or even if they just felt badly that day. The fact is that any of the deities were capable of good or evil. Hecate, because whe was a goddess of night, was more inclided to evil that some others.

Question: I am studying MEDEA at school, and I was wondering what Creon's daughter's name is. The book I have says it is Glauce, but other information I have says that it is Cruesa.

Answer: Apollodorus, Library and Epitome, 1.9.28 calls her Glauce. Most references call her Glauce, but Creusa is also correct.

Question: I have an essay topic which is "Jason ma bot excite the sympathy of the audience as a character but it is he, rather than medea who sufferes the greatest of injustices..." if you could give me a couple of starters would appreciate it...thanks...

Answer: The character Jason in the play must be separated from Jason in the other myths. Jason's role as a patriarch is slighted, but it is not clear that this is worse than the slight he provides Medea by abandoning her. He wants to advance himself but it is clear he wishes to do this at Medea's expense. Another woman would have had to accept his slight. Jason clearly underestimates Medea's power. Medea emasculates Jason with her power. Perhaps the reason Jason tried to elevate himself in this way is that he had heard of other people doing this. He expected that he should be able to do it too. But just because you ought to be able to get away with it should you still do it? Should you push women around because you can get away with it? If the big man pushes women around and has his way with them, does it mean you are less masculine if you do not? Or do you have to have your way with women just to prove you are a man? And if you cannot have your way are you then emasculated?


Answer: Circe was a full goddess. Both Medea and Circe mastered potions.

Question: medea's role

Answer: Initially her role was to ensure the success of the voyage of the Argo. When Jason failed to recognize her for her role then her role became to punish him.

Question: What is Medea's biggest downfall?

Answer: She should not have given in to her emotions and sought vengence.

Question: where was medea's home land before she met jason?

Answer: Colchis was a land on the eastern edge of the Black Sea.

Question: I need alot of info on the greek god Hephaestus for a school report thanks.

Answer: Click Here

Question: What is the relationship between the deliberation of Medea and Aristotle's ideas on deliberation

Answer: Medea's arguments lack the force of logic which Aristotle would require but they are sufficient for an understanding of her action. There is quite a difference between explaining ones action and giving and argument that causes action in someone else.

Question: Medea has become so obsessed by grief and vengeance that she selfishly puts innocent people to death. Is Medea justified for killing her sons?

Answer: There are a number of possibilities:

Question: is it you my twin. i need you something went wrong i am diieng i need the grail once more to heal me so i might continue to be immortal as you are

Answer: Medea did not have a twin and knew nothing of the grail, which was a Christian symbol. Medea might be an immortal, but maybe not.

Question: Does the fear of public humiliation/pride drive Medea (MEDEA, Euripides) and Jocasta (OEDIPUS REX, Sophocles) to their plans of actions?

Answer: Pride is involved, but the concept is probably too simple. Jocasta disobeyed her first husband and kept Oedipus alive, and she realized this brought about her husband's death. She also was guilty of breaking the divine law of not marrying your own children. She would have to face divine retribution for this. Finally her son passed a law indicating that the murderer of her first husband would be banished, and she would have to endure this too. All she could see was a life of torment and this was too much.

Medea was a princess in Colchis and if pride was an important issue she would not have left Colchis. Pride might have kept her from murdering her brother too. But what really hurt was that after making all these sacrifices for Jason he should dump her. Banishment was a slap at her, but she was so powerful, it was not a real problem. The real problem was that Jason did not love her. Of course all he knew was how to use women and could not love anyone but himself, and that was the moral of the story.

Question: what did medea have in her hair

Answer: Medusa had snakes for hair. Medea liked to wear various kinds of hats.

Question: We can forgive Medea her rage but not her calculation. Why? Thanx

Answer: Rage is a sign of irrationality and irresponsibility while calculation is a sign of rationality and responsibility. We cannot forgive her responsibility for the brutal acts she caused.

Question: medea and prejudice

Answer: Predudice involves making a judgment before the facts are known. A number of judgements are often made about Medea in this regard. She is often called a murderer in spite of the fact that in a trial she would probably be declared inocent. She is often called a witch in spite of the fact that she has no commerce with the devil. She also suffers because she is a woman with power because men want women to be compliant.

Question: Do you know if the location of MEDEA is important in constructing meaning in the play? Thank you.

Answer: The location of the play Medea is Corinth. This is significant because it is not Athens, but it is in Greece. Colchis, her home is on the eastern shore of the Black sea. In Corinth she was a foreigner. Only in Athens was her power understood and appreciated.

Question: Plays are ultimately a spectacle, dependant on its performance rather than simply dialouge. Discuss the ways this is true for Medea?

Answer: Read the play to answer this question.

Question: Discuss how the values of a viewer determines different meanings in Medea?

Answer: Read the play to answer this question.

Question: I am doing an oral presentation on Euripeides' medea the topic is "the greek audience believed in moderation in all things" we have to present a point of view showing how this idea is still relevant today any information or quotes would be appreciated. im really stuck!thanks

Answer: A lot of people think the ancient Greeks believed in moderation. Some references include:

Question: What animal/beastly qualities does Medea portray?

Answer: Passion.

Question: What philosophical principals are represented in her personality?


Question: Medea's image in visual art

Answer: Medea is not a popular art subject. Her powerful nature makes her hard to deal with. She has associations with witchcraft but she does not come across as a witch. She is often portrayed as a middle-aged woman with a hat.

Question: Is the play misogynistic or feminist?

Answer: Superficially it is misogynist, while it is materially feminist.

Question: Female characters such as Clytamenestra and Antigone portray the idea that women must in a sense take up shields and become men in order to fight men, yet Medea goes against this. She seems to be a revolutionary woman. Does this make sense? If so, can you help me find some good supportive passages? Everything I come up with doesn't seem to be strong enough. Thanks

Answer: I think you may be working in the wrong direction. Sophocles has Ismene in Antigone say: "We must remember that we two are women so not to fight with men. And that since we are subject to strong power we must hear these orders, or any that may be worse. So I will ask of them beneath the earth forgiveness, for in these things I am forced, and shall obey the men in power." As Hera demonstrates in the Iliad the power of women comes from Aphrodite. And in Lysistrata CAlonice says: "And if they beat us?" ans Lysistrata says "Give in with a bad grace. There's no pleasure in it for them when thy have to use vilence. And you must torment them in every possible way. They'll give up soon enough; a man gets no joy if he doesn't get along with his wife."

Clytemnestra and Medea are literally monsters who are included in the plays for dramatic impact. They are not meant to be models for the behavior of women.

Question: How many people did Medea kill?

Answer: The following list includes those she is accused of killing. As a ruler of two countries she could have had many more put to death.

Question: What were the five issues in Medea?

Answer: Some themes:

Question: what behavior is punished in Medea?

Answer: Infidelity.

Study questions:

Answer: These are good questions for student involvement.

Question: Did religion influence Medeas actions?

Answer: Yes. Medea was a priestess of Hecate if not a goddess herself.

Question: Was Medea a powerful sorcress?

Answer: No. A sorceress uses evil powers to achieve her goals. Medea used spiritual powers to achieve her goals. These powers can be considered dark because she was a priestess of Hecate, a goddess of Hades. But they are not of the devil, because the ancient Greeks had no concept of the devil. A narrow-minded Christian might say that Medea is a soceress but this is because the Christian believes that the worship of any non-Christian God is Devil worship. This is an example of religious intolerance.

Question: I am the prosecution in a mock trial to prove how Euripides was a mysoginist. Can you give me some ideas on why he was considered a mysoginist based on text and his personal life?

Answer: This claim is based on an an analysis of the women characters in his plays. Aristophanes included Euripides as a character in some of his plays in which he emphasized this claim.

Question: Is it perhaps too easy to gloss over the deaths of the children? Do you think that their being killed off-stage in any way allows us to focus too much and too sympathetically on Medea?

Answer: If you produce the play, as I did, you will find sympathy for Medea only results from a deeper insight into the play. Superficially the deaths of the children are dominant and Medea is condemned.

Question: Towards the end of the play, the chorus refers to Medea as " this pitiable bloody-handed fiend of vengeance". Is this how you see Medea?

Answer: The Medea of the play fits this description. But the historical Medea differs.

Question: to what extent has euripides' medea met the convetion of attic tragedy? and what conventions of drama style is it?

Answer: These are thesis topics to be addressed by a student of ancient Greek literature. They are limited by the fact that much of the literature has been lost.

Question: when medea commited homicde, was it her intendtion to do so, or was it a thing to fullfill herself?

Answer: Medea cannot be convicted of homicide based on the available evidence. Within the play Medea her motives can be determined by reading the play. But the play conflicts with other historical records.

Question: Who bends their knee in supplication in this play?

Answer: Read the play to answer this one.

Question: how does medea figuratively change her gender and species in the play?

Answer: Read the play to answer this one.

Question: what is Euripides trying to say about the sanctity of oath in this play.

Answer: Oaths were much more important then than now. You are going to have to look beyond Euripides to study this. Euripides only reflected current attitudes here.

Question: I think I recall seeing a version of Medea in which simply killing Jason's children was not enough. Medea butchered, cooked, and served them to Jason for a meal. Is my recollection wrong or is/was there such a version?

Answer: Some like to think of Medea in those terms so it is possible you saw such a version but it seems a confusion between Jason and Pelias, although Medea let others do the butchering. In general Medea was not an evil woman, just a very powerful one. But men especially and even women are very jealous of this power and like to treat her as evil.

Question: How would the playwright Euripidies use the stage as a way of challenging the audienceabout social and political issues within the text? If you could give me a few ideas that would be very helpful. thanks

Answer: The Greek playwrights were concerned primarily with religious issues rather than social or political ones. Yet within the myths there were topics which did challenge the audience socially and politically. The choice of Medea, a strong woman, as a play subject is an example. Within the play Medea complains about the status of women. This complaint was more likely to have applied to the time of Euripides than to the time of Medea in fact. This complaint was probably a social statement by the playwright.

Question: Is Medea born evil or is she a victim or circumstance?

Answer: Medea was not born evil, but is styled as evil because many persons are jealous of a powerful woman. She was a victim of Jason's self-aggrandisement, but rather than be victimized she chose to punish Jason. The zeal that she pursued this just cause was excessive and others suffered unfairly.

Question: In your opinion, do you think Medea's greatest problem is the fact that she is an outsider (in Corinth, from her family...)Or are there any other greater factors which contribute to the ultimate tragedy at the conclusion of this play (i.e. the fact that she has a semi- divine status, that she is a woman...)?

Answer: Medea's greatest problem was that she was a woman.

Question: To what extent was Jason to blame for Medea's actions? thanking you, please send as email ASAP.

Answer: In modern systems of law he would be entirely to blame.

Question: I have a gotten a lot of ideas from your site for my report! But noone really asked you about conventions and Medea's acceptance for them or the weakness of the conventions.(Because of her passions she broke the conventions) Can you maybe tell me what some of the conventions were

Answer: Medea broke conventions: 1. To be married to the man your father choses. 2. To live in the country of your birth. 3. To honor and protect your family.

Question: to what extent was jason o blame for medea's actions? In the law at that time?

Answer: Jason was not responsible according to the law at his time. Euripides' Medea may have been an attempt to change the law.

Question: What kind of acid was impregnated into the King's daughter's robe?

Answer: This was a contact poison. You must consult a toxicologist for more details. Unfortunately such poisons do exist but they are extremely dangerous.

Question: OK ... you answered someone that a witch is a women into the black arts, evil... Since only Christians believe in the devil, all devil worshippers were first and still to some degree, Christians. They have to believe in Christ to believe in his opposite.

Answer: Your logic is moving you in a difficult direction. Ancient Greeks were neither Christians nor Devil worshippers and it is not proper to refer to Circe as a witch even though she acted as we believe witches behave. Suppose now that a woman today believed that Circe was effective and wanted to emulate her powers. She would call upon the same powers who aided Circe, perhaps the Greek gods and goddesses. Christians demonized the Greek religion and styled their deities as demons or devils. Hermes, in fact, has many qualities assigned to the devil. Early Christians would call this Devil worship as a result. But this would be intolerance on their part. True Devil worshippers would get their information from another source, perhaps the Bible. You must be careful to distinguish persons who have been demonized because of their beliefs, and persons who actually worship the power of the Devil. The bible specificly condemns worship of the devil; It does not condemn persons who act like witches because they believe in a religion other than Christianity.

Question: Would you consider Medea to be a witch or a heroine?

Answer: The term 'witch' cannot apply to any ancient Greek woman including Medea. The fact that she looks and acts like a witch is not relevant. The question is the source of her power. She may be a goddess and that would allow her to perform many powerful deeds. Or she may be a priestess of Hecate and it is Hecate that does the deeds. But it is not clear what she has done for Hecate in return. Sometimes Medea was a heroine, but not when she killed her children.

Question: In your opinion, do you think Medea's greatest problem is the fact that she is an outsider (in Corinth, from her family...)Or are there any other greater factors which contribute to the ultimate tragedy at the conclusion of this play (i.e. the fact that she has a semi- divine status, that she is a woman...)?

Answer: The greatest problem for Medea is that she chose Jason as a husband. Hera got Aphrodite to make Medea fall in love with Jason so Herra could be blamed for this problem. But not only did Jason forget Medea and the fact that she saved his life several times, but he also forgot Hera. As the goddess of marriage she required that Jason should have given Medea more respect.

Question: Both Medea and the bibles Eve are famous or infamous for their disobedience. The differences in their narratives suggest differences in their cultures. What are these differences and use explamples from the texts to support answer please!

Answer: Shouldn't Pandora be included? In addition to Medea the Voyage of The Argonauts needs to be consulted.

Question: I was under the impression that Medea(this is supported in more than a few myths I have read) did not kill her children, but rather, that they were slain by Kreon after she took revenge on her husband. Not only this, but she did not get away with the support of the Gods. There is a dichotomy between this and your history. Where did you get your interpretation, and did it ever cross your mind that theatre might also have been a political avenue persued...thus making it in Euripides' best interest to misconstrue facts?

Answer: There is serious doubt about the validity of the stories of the ancient Greeks from the historic age. Even Homer was over 500 years removed from the events. And the stories had to be preserved by word of mouth through those 500 years. What is more suprising is the quantity of material that has come down to us. There is no physical evidence to support the stories with the result that many have cast them as figments made up for the sake of entertainment. But this is clearly not the attitude that the ancient Greeks took. It was their opinion that these stories contained the morality of their culture and their truth was important. But they were aware of inconsistencies and seemed just to ignore them. They then focused on the moral value of the story and reinforced the versions supporting the moral value.

But, just as it is wrong to assert that the stories were intentionally changed for political reason, it is wrong to assert their valitity. One can really not condemn Medea for any crime. Yet one can interepret the play Medea as a consistent whole. This interpretation bears more on a moral implication for the ancient Greek society than any factual interpretaion of Medea. It is educational to speculate on the truth of the story, but the truth has no bearing on the value of the material.

Question: how is medea's intense passion portrayed physically?

Answer: Medea was a beautiful woman but her dress an makeup can take a wild direction. This is one reason she is portrayed as a witch, even though there were no witches in ancient Greece. In the context of the play the performer can carry this passion though wild action.

Question: what is the relationship between Medea and the chorus, does Medea influence them?

Answer: Read the play to find out.

Question: is medea justified in her actions of killing her chidren

Answer: Can Euripides be trusted to present the facts of Medea. If so then the answer can be found by reading the play. But other authors do not agree with Euripides and even state that she did not kill her children.

Question: i have a question, what would be a good thesis for this play. WOuld you consider that medea's insanity should be society's fault of Jason's fault? Or mayb a good thesis would be that..........

Answer: In the Mourning Bride, by English playwright William Congreve 1670-1729) he states "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned."

Question: What social themes occur in Medea?

Answer: Read the play.

Question: How did Medea challenge the view that women were "weak and timid"?

Answer: Medea, on a number of occaisions, accomplished what a whole army of men could not do.

Question: Is medea a tragic heroine by the standards of Aristotle?

Answer: To answer this question you need to read Aristotle and the play 'Medea'.

Question: Could you please help me with this question....."It is easy to see Medea as a betrayed wife and forget she is a powerful magician?"

Answer: Medea's ability as a magician is played down in the play 'Medea'. Jason made the mistake of treating Medea as a powerless women when she in fact is quite powerful. But one of the messages of the play is that women are not powerless as the seem and can be quite powerful. The fact that Medea is a sorceress pushes this idea a little too hard.

Question: what do you think may have happened to Medea, after she killed her kids?Do u believe she may had been trialed for murder. Or do you believe she hide?

Answer: After Medea's kids by Jason were killed she went to live in Athens with the king there. We do not know if she killed her kids, but they were killed. I do not think she would have received a fair trial in Corinth because the people there were too much against her power. She was wise to have sought amnesty in Athens from the king there. There are too many conflicting stories about her life to know the truth.

Question: who would you put medea and carmilla in female monsters catagory

Answer: Medea was no monster. Camilla probably was not either.

Question: could you please tell me what you think is the significance of Medea's alien status to the play, what would be a good thesis question to investigate this further?

Answer: The alien status of Medea is very important. Medea has violated two sacred family rules by following Jason. She did not allow her father to give her away in marriage, and she killed her brother. Both these acts are uncivilized according to the Greeks. But then she was able to save Jason's life and help him complete his quest. Did she really bring about more good or must she be condemned. Jason said Medea is lucky to live in Greece because Greece is more civilized, but is this really true for Medea? In her own country she would have been a princess married to some prince. What is she in Greece? What about her powers as a priestess of Hecate? Could she have achieved this in Greece? Is the play a warning to men against women with power, or is it advice to women to gain more power?

Question: Could you tell me about who is blamed for the death of children, Madea or Jason? And what's your point of view about this topic? Then, thanks lot....!

Answer: One has to separate fact from story. Yet as with many other facts regarding ancient Greece, there is no hard evidence. Archeologists have not found any bodies with wounds evident. The play "Medea" is just one witness to the story of murder, and that was written some 700 years after the events. The play is hardly an eye witness account. In the play Medea is plainly deranged by mental torment caused by Jason's behavior. The debate relates to whether she is responsible in that state. Other stories relate to other murderers. One blames her husband's enemies.

Question: Do the magical practices in Ancient literary portrayals of Medea have any basis in the actual occult practices in Ancient Greece and Rome

Answer: Yes. Medea derives her power by being a priestess of Hecate.

Question: what was withcraft like in the odyssey?

Answer: This is, of course, a trick question. There is no witchcraft in the Odyssey. Circe acts, not by witchcraft, but rather because of her status as a goddess. Her acts are spiritual rather than demonic. Witchcraft derives its power from the devil and the lower regions in attempt to assert evil over good. But goddesses have powers that are independent from this and are capable of both good and evil. To the Greeks this is a relative situation. What a goddess does is good for them and errorless, but it can be bad for man. Thus turning men into pigs seems bad to us but it is, no doubt, part of a divine plan which is good for Circe. Her ability to transform may seem to be magic, but this is a power that a goddess regularly exercises. It is the nature of reality for man to be transformed as he moves through time. But a goddess is not so restricted. So when a goddess provides a transformation to a man she just reroutes his path through time. Many of the miracles that a goddess can perform are just a rerouting of reality because she has determined that her realm needs a revision. This is how she normally answers prayers.

Question: origin of the name Guillemine

Answer: I have no information on this.

Question: How does Medea compare and contrat with Clytemnestra?

Answer: Medea was a foreign princess while Clytemnestra was a Greek queen. Medea was a priestess of Hecate with considerable personal power because of her training. Clytemnestra depended upon her husband for her power. Medea murdered her children because her husband was unfaithful. Clytemnestra murdered her husband because he was unfaithful. She also murdered his lover and her children. But she did not murder her own children.

Comment: I wanted to let you know that the subject of Medea came up at the church service in Huntington on Sunday. It was mentioned in the context of the war with Iraq, suggesting that rather than fighting, an elixir of contentment might work better, as Medea fed to the dragon. I don't know if I have the myth right, but I understood the point that was being made during the service.

Question: Do you know anything about the "yellow flower named after Prometheus" (from M. Grant I think) that Medea used to make the ointment for Jason's armor? And do you know anything about the specific ingredients in the potion that put the serpent to sleep? Are there any interpretations of the Jason/Medea/Golden Fleece myth that emphasize the fact that drugs/potions/magic was involved as opposed to favor of the gods or heroic bravery or cunning? Perhaps some relation to mystery religions or tantric yoga?

Answer: There are peonies named after both Medea and Prometheus. An opiate c ould have been used to put the serpent to sleep. The ancient Greeks were the first to distinguish science and magic but at the time of Medea this distinction is quite blurred. But it is clear that Medea possessed much knowledge of drugs and potions. But it is also clear that not all of her powers came from this source. The other powers seem to arise from her being a priestess of Hecate. The main reason for referring to Medea as a witch is this connection because Hecate was relegated to the position of helper of Persephone in Hades. This means that her powers are what are referred to as dark arts. Witches, of course, obtain their power from the Christian Devil, who has no place in the Greek Pantheon. Hermes is sometimes associated with the Devil, but Medea is not associated with Hermes.

It remains to determine how Medea gets her power from Hecate. The easiest to uderstand is that as a priestess Medea was given a recipe book of herbs that she uses to bring about her results. Spells and incantations are more difficult to understand. There is no doubt that Hecate could cause a spell to work, but why would Hecate want to make it work for Medea? Is it possible that the spell is just a distraiction and the herbs do all the work?

The whole issue of herbal powers is difficult. We know today that there are herbs that are very powerful. But we also know that many of the stories of herbs relate to powers which are absent. The ancients talk of herbal cures but in most cases there is no real possibility of this. It is likely though that the few real cases made the others more plausible to the ancients.

Question: How would you compare and contrast the murder comitted by Media and the murder comitted by Clytemnestra? Is any of them justifyied from your point of view?

Answer: In both cases the causes of the murderous behavior can be investigated but both cases are difficult to justify. Medea fell in love with Jason to such an extreme extent that she was willing to sacrifice her brother and follow Jason to a foreign land. When she did this she gave up all her rights as a princess in her homeland. She saved his life a number of times and won some battles for him. But Janson was not very thankful. When he had a chance to marry a local princess he wanted to set Medea aside and send her on her way. This was no way to treat a woman. This was such violent blow to her life that Medea lost her senses and committed murder. Not only did she kill the princess, and her father, but also her two children by Jason. Jason was wrong, but Medea's response was extreme. In the end both parties look very bad.

Clytemnestra did not love Agamemnon. Agamemnon won her by defeating her husband. Then he tricked her into giving her daughter Iphigenia up for sacrifice. Finally he regarded the Trojan war as a wonderful opportunity to associate with other women. First he tried to obtain Chryseis, then Breisies, and finally he obtained Cassandra. Clytemnestra must have heard of these affairs. Cassandra bore hid twins before he left Troy for home. Meanwhile Clytemnestra had found love with Aegisthus. But when Agamemnon arrived home Clytemnestra killed not only her husband, but also his soldiers, Cassandra, and her twin sons. Clytemnestra also had justification for what she did, but she went too far and killed innocents as well. Both Medea and Clytemnestra had this in common: Their excessive response to their immoral husband brought them down to the husband's horrible level and they all look very bad.

Question: I'm doing research on the neck amphora of Medea at Harvard (I recall seeing a link to it on the webpage of questions and answers), and I was wondering if you could provide any insight on the public opinion of the story of Medea at the time (520 bce). Since the vase predates Euripides' telling of the myth, are there differences in the attitudes and opinions toward Medea?

Answer: The image in question is: Harvard 1960.315 Click here

Answer: The best resource on this question is the book by Timothy Gantz, Early Greek Myth where he discusses it in some detail (p 365-369). This part of the myth seems to originate about 530 BCE since there is no information about it before that. The early stories of Medea present her as a suitable prize, a beautiful foreign damsel, while Athena does the magic. Later stories confound Medea and Athena and make her a damsel with Athena's powers. Attaching the powers of the goddess to a mortal woman seems appealing to ancient audiences as a story line. The same type of reasonig seem to have made the Amazons appealing.

The earliest reference to Medea seems to be: Hesiod, Theogony 956-62 And Perseis, the daughter of Ocean, bore to unwearying Helios Circe and Aeetes the king. And Aeetes, the son of Helios who shows light to men, [960] took to wife fair-cheeked Idyia, daughter of Ocean the perfect stream, by the will of the gods: and she was subject to him in love through golden Aphrodite and bore him neat-ankled Medea. Question: Hi, I'm studying A level theatre studies and I was wondering what the significance was of us hearing Medea before we actually see her. Answer: When Medea was first presented there was no sets and no costumes. The audience must imagine these. Having Medea offstage first helps to form a more vivid mental picture of her in the mind of the audience.

Question: i'ld like to ask about medea (euripides) : she was a queen, but a foreigner as well, so would she wear a different style? or anything to suggest she was not of greek origin? (oh, you did mention that you did a production in 2000,and u would put the photos uP?) ..and um..wat greek period did she exist in? i'm kind of getting confused with all the periods..sorry!

oh, what do you call the usual white toga dresses that everybody think ALL ancient greeks wear? ( you know, the white dresses secured at one shoulder ..usually accompanied with a leafy crown around the head ...=)

Answer: Medea was not a queen but rather a princess. Jason was a mycenaean prince. The women in his culture wore the flounced skirt and vest that exposed the breast and not the peplos or chiton of classical Greece. Medea would have worn the garments of her culture but there is no information about that culture. After Medea was driven from Greece she went home and became involved in politics. The Median culture takes her name in her honor.

Comment: i wanted to inform you that there is a play called the idiot and the oddity in which Medea is mentioned, along with most of the legends. I think you should look it up. It is beyond funny and includes so many legends in such an unexpected environment. The Idiot and the Oddity by Doug Rand

Question: how is medea connected with elemental nature and how is she opposed to civilization?

Answer: Medea is connected with elemental nature by her control over potions and spells which she uses to achieve her goals. This control relates to her nature. If she is a divinity then her control of spells and potions may be a part of her nature. Yet the realm of her divinity is not clear. It may be luck or good fortune. Some have assigned her to the role as priestess of Hecate and this may be a clue as Hecate is closely connected to luck. The mechanism may be that spells and potions control luck. It should also be noted that Hecate is a Titan and a representative of an older religion, probably that of the Indo-Europeans. The words related to Medea's powers, 'magic', 'potion', 'spell' all have Indo-European roots. So it is also possible that the power that Medea has is related to the nature of an older religion that was formed before the realms of the Olympians. It should be noted that if the realm of Medea as a goddess can be identified then some of her power could be achieved by negotiation with other divinities, though it is hard to see how potions and spells involve a negotiation.

If Medea is not a divinity then her situation is more complex. Perhaps her power came from knowing the laws of nature. Perhaps her power came from being able to please the divinities. Typically neither of these are mentioned in her stories. The power of prayer may be at work. This is also an Indo-European concept. A prayer may be considered a petition or a negotiation with a deity. Some people are obviously more successful with prayers but there is no explanation as to why this is true for Medea. Consider the close relation between drugs and potions. Drugs are used when there are knowledge of their effects. The best explanation of her behavior in many cases is that she has studied the effects of drugs in nature and she knew how to use them. In this case her power was her knowledge.

The argument that Medea is opposed to civilization arises mostly because she is a powerful women who defeats men and their systems to get things done. But the question of whether the system that is defeated is the best for the people is not answered. In the ancient Greek culture it was the men that established the political states and their laws. The women were assigned to the home and more domestic issues. When women acted in the realm of men it was considered opposed to civilzation. Medea was like an Amazon in this respect. The only differance was that Amazons resorted to military power while Medea resorted to knowledge as power.

Question: How old would you say Medea is at the beginning of the play by Euripides and how old would you say she is at the play's end?

Answer: Medea was likely 18 -20 when she left Colchis. She lived with Jason in Corinth for about 10 years. I do not think the events of the play "Medea" by Euripides lasted more than a few days. So she was about thirty before and after she killed Glauce. She was still young enough to bear another child by Aegeus, her next husband.

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