Medea; Questions And Answers That Can Create A Better Understanding Of The Character Medea And How The Sympathy Of The Audience Shifts Thoughout The Play

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The Opening Scene1. Find quotes form this opening section to show that Medea isVengeful"Death take you, with your father, and perish his whole house!" (Medea, pg20)"Oh, may I see Jason and his bride ground to pieces in their shattered palace" (Medea, pg22)Proud"A queen of is used to giving commands, not obeying them;" (Nurse, pg21)"Do you see how I am used- in spite of these great oaths I bound him with-" (Medea, pg22)Devastated by Jason's betrayal"She will not eat; she lies collapsed in agony, dissolving the long hours I tears" (Nurse, pg18)"Come, flame of the sky, pierce through my head! What do I gain from living any longer?" (Medea, pg21)Calculating"I am afraid some dreadful purpose is forming in her mind." (Nurse, pg18)"There's something that she means to do; and I know this: she'll not relax her rage till it has found its victim." (Nurse, pg20)Grief Stricken"Since first she heard of Jason's wickedness, she has not raised her eyes, or moved her cheek from the hard ground;" (Nurse, pg18)"Do I not suffer? Am I not wronged? Should I not weep?" (Medea, pg20)Angry"By my accursed husband?" (Medea, pg22)"For the wrong they have dared to do to me, unprovoked!" (Medea, pg22)Add TWO qualities of your own to the above list and support them with quotes or examples from the opening section.Remorseful"And wails aloud for her dear father, her own land and home, which she has betrayed and left," (Nurse, pg18)"O my father, my city, you I deserted; my brother I shamefully murdered!" (Medea, pg22)Suicidal"Oh, oh! What misery, what wretchedness! What shall I do? If only I were dead!" (Medea, pg20)"Oh, how I hate living! I want to end my life, leave it behind, and die." (Medea, pg22)2. Find a quote or example to show that the Nurse, the Tutor and the Chorus feel sympathy with Medea.The Nurse feels sympathy for Medea, and shows that in the opening speech, where she tells the tale of Medea, and wishes that it had never happened, so that Medea would not be hurting. "Poor Medea!" (Nurse, pg18). The Nurse feels that Jason has betrayed her mistress, and Medea suffers greatly because of this. "All the same, he is guilty: he has betrayed those near and dear to him." (Nurse, pg19). Although she knows that Medea is a powerful woman, and seems to be worried about what Medea may do, the Nurse's sympathy stays with Medea throughout the opening scene,Although the Tutor does not understand why Medea is so upset, her sympathy is also with Medea (the Tutor being presumably female). "Poor woman! Has she not stopped crying yet?" (Tutor, pg19). The Tutor has obviously seen many men leave their wives, and take new ones, or at least betray their wives; "What man's not guilty? It's taken you a long time to learn that everybody loves himself more than his neighbour. These boys are nothing to their father: he's in love." (Tutor, pg19-20). Nevertheless, the Tutor feels sympathy with Medea.The Chorus, though stating that their loyalty lies with Jason's house (pg21), feels sympathy with Medea when they find out what has happened. "Go, nurse, persuade her to come out to us. Tell her we are all on her side." (Chorus, pg23). At the same time, the Chorus knows, or perhaps can sense, that Medea will do something drastic in her impaired and angry state. "Hurry, before she does harm- to those in there; this passion of hers is an irresistible flood." (Chorus, pg23). The Chorus do have sympathy with Medea and her situation, yet at the same time know that there may be trouble because of her temper, and are apprehensive of Medea.3. Fill out the Sympathy Shifts sheet.Where does the audience's sympathy lie?The audience's sympathy lies with Medea, as she has been discarded by husband, who has taken another wife, and may even be banished from the city, along with her two sons. Audience's, especially of our time, find this despicable, even more so because Jason, Medea's husband, is willing to let not only his first wife, but his own two sons, to be exiled and banished form the city, which can mean death. The audience feels sorry for Medea, particularly after it is found that Medea is miserable and distraught. The audience does not really listen to the Chorus' warning.Where does the Chorus' sympathy lie?The Chorus' sympathy also lies with Medea, although they stating that their loyalty lies with Jason's house (pg21). "Go, nurse, persuade her to come out to us. Tell her we are all on her side." (Chorus, pg23). At the same time, the Chorus knows, or perhaps can sense, that Medea will do something drastic in her impaired and angry state. "Hurry, before she does harm- to those in there; this passion of hers is an irresistible flood." (Chorus, pg23). The Chorus do have sympathy with Medea and her situation, yet at the same time know that there may be trouble because of her temper. They are apprehensive of Medea because of this, and are worried that she may do something devastating in order to cause harm to Jason, his new bride, and even Medea's own two sons.Medea's Opening Speech4. Make a list of the injustices Medea believes women in this culture experience.Medea believes that women in this culture experience many injustices; including the fact that women are not equal to men, and that "For women, divorce is not respectable; to repel the man, not possible." (Medea, pg24). Medea believes that women have no choice in life, they are married, and then they stay with their husband, no matter how he treats his wife. "We wives are forced to look to one man only." (Medea, pg24). Women are also often pushed into marriage, and cannot find out what their husband is like before marriage. "They will not wait to learn a man's true character;" (Medea, pg24). Medea believes that women are seen as the 'weaker' sex. "And, they tell us, we at home live free from danger, they go out to battle: fools!" (Medea, pg24-25). She thinks that men do not know what women go through, but are discriminated against just for being women. Medea believes that men see women as week creatures, and will show Jason her own strength, because he has betrayed her.5. When Medea says -"I am alone; I have no city; now my husband/Insults me. I was taken as a plunder from a land/At the earth's edge. I have no mother, brother, nor any/Of my own blood to turn to in this extremity" (p 25) - what does she appear to be forgetting? What do you think this shows about her character?When Medea makes this comment, she appears to be forgetting that she killed her brother, and not only willingly betrayed and left her father and country, but begged Jason to let her come with him and the Argonauts. She acts like Jason forced her into these acts, but in actuality, she was very able and willing to do so. This shows the Medea is not only very selfish and self-centred, but forgets what she has done, and only concentrates on what wrongs have been done against her. Medea is very self-absorbed, and does not worry about anyone else's problems, worrying only of her own only.6. Find the quote which shows Medea's plans to take revenge on Jason.The quote "So, I make one request. If I can find a way to work revenge on Jason for his wrongs to me, say nothing." (Medea, pg25) shows Medea's plans to take revenge on Jason.7. What do the following quotes show about Medea's character and/or how she is feeling?I'd rather stand three times in the front line then bear/One child."This quote shows that Medea sees her children as a burden, rather than as a blessing. She does not care what will happen to her children, instead only concentrating on her own pain and how men, and even other women, do not have to go through the same pain that she does."Life has no pleasure left, dear friends. I want to die. /Jason was my whole life..."This quote shows Medea to be hypocritical; she says that women are forced into marriage, and can only ever have their husband to look to, yet says that Jason is her whole life, and that she cannot live without him. The fact that she wants to die because of Jason's betrayal, and thinks that there is nothing left to live for shows that Medea is overly dramatic.A woman's week and timid in most matters...But touch her right in marriage, and there's no bloodier spirit."This passage shows Medea's view on woman, and how she sees that her plans for revenge against Jason are what any woman would do if they were in the same situation. She is almost justifying her future actions against Jason and his family by telling herself that although women are weak, a scorned wife has all the power in the world. This passage shows all of Medea's anger, jealousy and rage come through.I am alone; I have no city; now my husband/Insults me."This quote shows that Medea feels like she has nothing left. She has no friends; she has left and betrayed her father and his city. Her husband has left her and taken another wife, and Medea finds her children worthless in her distraught state. Medea thinks that there is nothing left in life, showing that Jason was the focus of her life, and Medea believed that he gave her life meaning.8. Fill out the Sympathy Shifts sheet.Where does the audience's sympathy lie?The audience's sympathy still lies with Medea, who has let out all her feeling of pain, anger and rejection in her speech, so the audience will feel sorry for her. Although there may be some feelings of worry and apprehension about what Medea plans to do in order to have her revenge on Jason, the audience still sympathises and perhaps empathises with Medea.Where does the Chorus' sympathy lie?Although the Chorus only has two lines in this section of Medea, their sympathy too has stayed with Medea. They agree with Medea in that she needs to impart revenge on Jason, and support her, so they still have sympathy for her.Medea's Exchange with Creon9. For what reasons does Creon fear Medea? (p 26)Creon fears Medea because he knows what kind of power she wields, and is worried that she will hurt his daughter, Jason's new wife. "I learn too from reports, that you have uttered threats of revenge on Jason and his bride and his bride's father." (Creon, pg26). Creon fears that Medea may try to harm, or even kill his daughter, and wants to make sure that Medea doesn't get the chance to, by banishing her.10. Why does Medea feel that he should not be frightened? (p 26)Medea feels that Creon should not be frightened of her because he has done nothing to harm her. "You have done me no wrong. You've given your daughter to the man you choose. I hate my husband - true; but you had every right to do as you have done." (Medea, pg26). Medea says that she, a lowly women, is no match for a king, and in either case, she is not mad at Creon, so he has no reason to fear her.11. Copy out the quote in which Medea appeals to Creon as a father.The quote "Show some pity: you are a father too, you should feel kindly towards them. For myself, exile is nothing. I weep for them; their fate is very hard." (Medea, pg27) is the quote in which Medea appeals to Creon as a father.Medea's Plan12a. Medea described Creon as a "fool", saying "Do you think I would ever have fawned so on this man, /Except to gain my purpose, carry out my schemes?" What does this quote show about Medea's character?This quote shows that Medea is very manipulative and scheming, and that she will do anything and everything to take out her revenge on Jason. She is very self-absorbed, and does not worry about what she has to do, believing that the means justify the ends.12b. List the "paths of death" Medea has "in mind" for her victims. (p 28) What do you think this (and the way she delivers these lines) shows about her character?Medea has many "paths of death" "in mind" for her victims, including setting fire to the house and bridal chamber, stabbing them at night while they are sleeping, but ultimately decides to poison them. These lines, and the way in which she delivers them, shows that Medea is a cold and unfeeling person, who will do anything to make her dream of revenge on her husband, and his new wife and her father.13. What is Medea's "one fear" and what does she plan to do about it? (p 28-9)Medea's "one fear" is that she will be caught while in the acts of murder, and be killed, giving her enemies the "last laugh", not making them pay for what they did to her. To avoid this, Medea is going to murder by poison, as she does not have to be near the victim to kill them, and although everyone will know it was her, she would have sufficient time to make her escape.14. What will she do if "Fate/Banishes (her) without resource"? (p 29)If "Fate/Banishes (her) without resource", Medea will go "take sword in hand" (Medea, pg29) and kill them, even if she is caught, and then must die for what she has done.15. Find some evidence on p 29 to suggest that Medea is motivated by pride.The quote "Lay your plan, Medea; scheme with all your skill. On to the deadly moment that shall test your nerve! Your father was a king, his father was the Sun-god: you must not invite laughter from Jason and his new allies," (Medea, pg29) suggests that Medea is motivated by pride.16. Now fill out the Sympathy shifts sheet and discuss with a partner. Has your response to Medea begun to change?Where does the audience's sympathy lie?The audience's sympathy no longer lies with Medea, but with her "enemies", whom Medea plans to brutally murder. Medea says that she will go to any lengths to murder Jason and "his new allies" (pg29), so feeling of coming doom and destruction are arising. Some sympathy for Medea may still exist for her situation, but the ways in which she is dealing with her feelings of rage and jealousy are over-the-top and overdramatic.Where does the Chorus' sympathy lie?The Chorus' sympathy still lies with Medea, who feel that she is justified in taking any and all forms of revenge out of Jason and his new family. The Chorus sees poor Medea, who sacrificed everything for Jason, only to be turned away from her, and exiled, along with her two sons, for having done nothing but be a good wife to Jason. The Chorus sympathises with Medea completely.Although the Chorus' response to Medea has not changes, the audiences' has. The audience is apprehensive, and almost scared, of what Medea will do in order to feel like she has revenged against Jason and his act of betrayal.Choral Ode17. Find some evidence from this choral ode of their increasing sympathy for Medea - and their increasing criticism of Jason.The quote "So you, Medea, wild with love, set sail from your father's house...and here, living in a strange country, your marriage lost, your bed solitary, you are driven beyond the borders, an exile with no redress." (Chorus, pg30) shows that the Chorus has growing sympathy for Medea. On the other hand, the quotes "Deceit is men's device now, Men's oaths are gods' dishonour." (Chorus, pg29) and "The grace of sworn oaths is gone; honour remains no more..." (Chorus, pg30) show the Chorus' increasing criticism of men in general, and indeed Jason in particular, by saying that what they say, and the oaths they swear to, mean nothing when they should mean the most,Medea's Exchange with Jason18. According to Jason, Medea "could have stayed in Corinth" if she "had quietly accepted the decisions/ Of those in power". Would you agree with Jason... should Medea have "quietly accepted" those decisions?Medea probably should have "quietly accepted" the decision of Jason marring someone else, but it is not in her character to do so. Medea is jealous in nature, and would have never agreed to this decision, even though she probably should have in order to keep living in Corinth.19. List all the ways Medea feels she has helped Jason. (p 31)Medea feels that she helped Jason by saving his life when he had to yoke the fire-breathing bulls and faced the serpent that guards the Golden Fleece. Medea also claims that she helped Jason by willingly betraying and leaving her father and her home for Jason, and tricking Pelias' daughters into killing their own father. Medea feels that Jason and the Argonauts only survived and succeeded because she helped them.20. What does she mean when she says "If you had still/Been childless I could have..."? (p 31)By this statement, Medea means that she cannot understand why Jason is not leaving not only her, but also their two sons. She is saying that if she had not had any children, she could understand Jason leaving her and taking another wife, but Medea does not understand why Jason would leave his only two sons. Medea seems to be trying to manipulate Jason to give him a guilty conscience, by appealing to him not as a husband, but as the father of her tow sons.21. What, according to Jason, did Medea have to gain by coming to live in Greece? (p 33)According to Jason, Medea gained fame and recognition by coming to Greece. Jason states that he took Medea from a "barbarous land" (Jason, pg33) and brought her to the more civilised Greece where there is law and justice. Coming to Greece also made her, and her skills are famous and widely recognised, which, according to Jason, make her life better then living in Colchis, her place of birth.22. Jason claims that his actions were wise. What reasons does he give to support this claim? (33-34)Jason claims that his actions were wise by arguing that they were made in the best interests of his family, especially for their two sons. Since they had no home, and e wanted their family, including Medea, to be wealthy, he thought that a union between his family and the King's would be best. "First- and the most important- that we should live well and not be poor;" (Jason, pg33). Jason also says that his marriage into the King's family will be beneficial to his and Medea's two sons. "Next, that I could bring up my sons in a manner worthy of my descent;" (Jason, pg34). Jason claims that his actions were done for the good of the family, and not to harm, them in any way.23. Make a note of the criticisms Jason makes of the female sex on p 34. Do you think these comments suggest that Jason is a misogynist?Jason says that women have "reached a state where, if all's well with your sex-life, you've everything you wish for; but when that goes wrong, at once all that is best and noblest turns to gall." (Jason, pg34), showing that he thinks that women are simple creatures where all they need is a man to keep them happy. Jason also states that he wishes that "children could be got some other way, without the female sex! If women didn't exist, human life would be rid of all its miseries." (Jason, pg34). These comments could suggest that Jason is a misogynist, or one who hates women; however it is more likely that he does not hate them, but rather thinks them to be inferior to men, and useless in everything except producing children.24. Now fill out the Sympathy Shifts Sheet.Where does the audience's sympathy lie?The audience's sympathy has shifted back to Medea. In her conversation with Jason, he seems to make many excuses about why he has abandoned Medea and his children, and the audience once again feels sympathy for Medea, who has had everything taken away from her through her own fault. A female audience will especially feel sorry for Medea, showing that this play is perhaps a battle of the sexes.Where does the Chorus' sympathy lie?The Chorus' sympathy once again lies with Medea, and although some of their comments are impartial, they still find that Jason was wrong in his actions. "Jason, you have set your case forth very plausibly, but to my mind - though you may be surprised at this - you are acting wrongly in thus abandoning your wife." (Chorus, pg34). The Chorus is still very much on Medea's side, and are still sympathising with her.Medea's Meeting with Aegeus25. Why did Aegeus go to the ancient oracle of Apollo at Delphi? (p 37)Aegeus went to the ancient oracle of Apollo at Delphi to ask the gods for children.26. What does Medea ask of Aegeus and what does she promise him in return? (p 39)Medea asks that Aegeus let her live in Athens after she is exiled, as she has no where else to go, and also to protect her from any enemies that may be after her. Medea promises Aegeus that she has powerful drugs that will guarantee him children.27. Aegeus agrees to help Medea but makes her promise something first. What does he ask her to do?Aegeus agrees to help Medea, but only if she can get to Athens without his assistance. Aegeus will not take her away with him from Corinth, so she must make it to Athens before he will protect her.28. Why does Medea ask Aegeus to swear an oath - and what is the oath she asks him to swear?(pp 39-40)Medea asks Aegeus to swear an oath so that he will protect her from her enemies, no matter what she has done. If/when he finds out that Medea has committed all of the acts of murder she plans to commit, he will not want her in his city, but if he swears to it, then he cannot back down out of it, for fear of the gods' wrath. Medea asks him to swear by the "Earth under your feet, by the Sun, my father's father, and the whole race of gods" (Medea, pg40) that he will never banish Medea from Athens, and to protect her from any enemies that may come to take her away.29. What new qualities does this scene reveal about Medea's character?This scene reveals no new qualities about Medea, but rather enforces her skill at manipulating other's to feel sorry for her and to do what she wants. She even manipulated Aegeus into making an oath on the gods to take her in, because if he ever found out what she plans to do, or what she had done, then he would not let her in the city, or let her remain in the city. Medea shows no new qualities, but again shows the power and skill that she wields.30. Fill out the Sympathy Shifts sheet for this scene.Where does the audience's sympathy lie?The audience's sympathy lies with Aegeus, King of Athens. Not only is he without his only wish for children, but he was tricked and manipulated by Medea into giving her a safe home in Athens, and must protect her if anyone comes after her, even if he found out that she murdered her own sons. The audience feels sorry that Medea deceived Aegeus, one of her only friends, in such a way.Where does the Chorus' sympathy lie?Whether the Chorus' sympathy still lies with Medea is unknown, but they do show sympathy for Aegeus, who he cannot have children. While they do not show their sympathy for Medea, it is most likely that they still feel sympathy for her. They do show outright sympathy for Aegeus, wishing him a safe trip back to Athens, and hope that his wish for children becomes a reality.Medea's Plan31. Pride seems to motivate Medea most strongly at this point. Find some quotes/examples in this above scene to show this.Medea seems to be strongly motivated by pride at this point. "Yes, I can endure guilt, however horrible; the laughter of my enemies I will not endure." (Medea, pg41). Medea refuses to let anyone get the better of her, and is determined to get the 'last laugh'. "Let no one think of me as humble or weak or passive; let them understand I am of a different kind: dangerous to my enemies, loyal to my friends. To such a life glory belongs." (Medea, pg42). Medea's pride refuses to let her leave her husband and his new family quietly, but forces her to act, doing the unthinkable act of killing her children. Medea's pride is one of the leading qualities that motivates her to get revenge on Jason.32. Note down your impressions of Medea at this point - then use them to fill out the Sympathy Shifts Sheet.Medea is a manipulative and cold woman, who will do anything and everything, including killing her own children, to get the revenge on Jason that she believes is her right. She is a tremendous actress, and will try to get others to pity her in order to get them to do what she wishes. She is passionate, and is overdramatic, always taking her emotions and thoughts to the extreme, assuming, and doing, the worst.Where does the audience's sympathy lie?The audience's sympathy is definitely not with Medea anymore, but with Jason, who will feel devastated at the loss of all of his loved ones. We have seen through her heartfelt devastation to what Medea essentially is; a cold, calculating woman, who is willing to kill her only children just to spite her husband. Medea is shown as what she really is; an unfeeling and manipulative shrew.Where does the Chorus' sympathy lie?The Chorus' sympathy no longer lies with Medea, but with her children, whom she plans to cruelly murder. The Chorus begs Medea not to do this, but she will not listen. Although they do not say it, the Chorus likely still feels some sympathy for Medea because of Jason, but mainly feel sympathy for her two sons.Medea and Jason's Exchange33. What new qualities of Jason's character are revealed in this scene - and how?In this scene, Jason is shown to be a forgiving, yet arrogant. He forgives Medea for her accusations against him and his new family, but thinks that it is the weakness of all women. He is also arrogant, because he thinks that women are inferior to men, and thinks that Medea's actions and apologies prove his point. He thinks that he is better than Medea, which makes him arrogant.34. What new qualities of Medea's character are revealed- and how?Medea is revealed to be a very proud and conceited in this scene, as well as reinforcing her manipulative and deceptive skills. Medea uses other women's weaknesses to get Jason to forgive and pity her, as she knows that Jason believes that women are weak. Medea herself also thinks that women are weak creatures, but thinks of herself as the uniquely strong and powerful woman. Although she may draw parallels between herself and other women, Medea really thinks of herself as above the other women, as a person stronger and more skilled than them. This makes her not only manipulative and deceptive, which she has shown before, but proud and conceited about her own abilities.35. Fill out the Sympathy Sheet for this scene.Where does the audience's sympathy lie?The audience's sympathy lies with Jason; because he is being tricked and manipulated by Medea into actually helping Medea kill his new bride and his new father-in-law. Although the audience does not like Jason for betraying Medea, the way in which she has taken advantage of Jason, where he will bear some responsibility for their deaths, is despicable.Where does the Chorus' sympathy lie?The Chorus' are still sympathetic towards Medea and her betrayal, but are accepting her actions, as they express their sorrow for her situation in front of Jason. "I too feel fresh tears fill my eyes. May the course of evil be checked, go no further!" (Chorus, pg44). The Chorus may be accepting what Medea will do, knowing that they will not change her mind, so they decided to support her. The Chorus' sympathy still lies with Medea because of Jason's betrayalThe Tutor's Account36. Carefully read Medea's speech beginning "My misery is my own heart...sphere of life". What does Medea seem to be focused on at this point - and what does this show about her character?Medea says how on she will never see her sons grow up, how they will never be able to look after her when she grows old. Instead of focusing on the fact that her sons will grow up without her, she is only worried about her own pain. She even goes so far to say that her going through the pains of giving birth, and raising them until now, was all in 'vain', because she will have nothing to show for it. This shows that Medea is a very self-absorbed person, who only cares about herself, and what others can do for her.37. Draw up two columns - one headed "Reasons against killing the children" and the other "Reasons for..." Write down the arguments Medea puts forward in the appropriate column.Reasons against killing the childrenIf Medea were to kill the children...Her life would be "all pain and anguish" without them.She would suffer more than Jason, and she is only doing this to make him suffer.The children would no longer be there to keep her happy.Reasons for killing the childrenIf Medea were to kill the children...She would not completely revenge against Jason.Others would see her as a coward.Her enemies would win.Other, crueller people, "her enemies", would kill her sons.38. Fill out the Sympathy Shifts sheet for this scene.Where does the audience's sympathy lie?The audience's sympathy lies with Medea's children, who blindly trust her, even as she contemplates their deaths by her own hand. Medea's children have no idea about what is going to happen to them, what their own mother plans to do with them, they just know that their mother is upset because they will stay in Corinth and she will not. They try to comfort her, even while she is plotting their murders.Where does the Chorus' sympathy lie?Exactly where the Chorus' sympathy lies is unknown, although it is likely that it too lies with Medea's two sons. They do, however, seem to accept what Medea is about to do, they may not like it, but they know that there is no way for them to per sway Medea to change her mind. Nonetheless, the Chorus' sympathy is no doubt with Medea's sons, who are about to die by their mother's hand.The Messenger's Account39. What insights do we gain into Glauce's character in the brief description the Messenger provides of her accepting Medea's gifts? (p 53)Through the brief description the Messenger provides of Glauce accepting Medea's gifts, it is found that Glauce is a very young, beautiful woman, who is immature and sulky, with a "girlish temper" (Messenger, pg52). She is infatuated with Jason, and thinks that she loves him, but most likely has not known him long enough to really love him. Glauce is very materialistic, which would be expected from a princess, and accepted Medea's beautiful gifts right away. She is also vain, as she watches herself in the dress and coronet at every angle in the mirror. Glauce is a self-involved woman, who is immature and young.40. Carefully read the description of Creon's death on p 54. What are your feelings for Creon at this point?The description of Creon's death shows that Creon really cared for his daughter, and was devastated by her death. This, in turn, shows that Creon meant what he said when he banished Medea; he really was concerned for his daughter's safety above all. And while he wasn't selfless, Creon obviously cared more for his daughter Glauce's well- being and safety than for his own. His daughter is the most important thing in his life, other than his kingdom, and he loves her.41. After the Messenger's speech, the Chorus say "Today we see the will of Heaven, blow after blow, /Bring down on Jason justice and calamity." Comment on this...what do you think this comment shows about their attitude to Medea at this point?This comment shows that the Chorus are still on Medea's side, and that they still think that Jason was wrong in betraying Medea and taking a new wife. They believe that Medea is right in taking her revenge against Jason, and although they do not want her to kill her children, believe her other deaths were justified. Although they do not approve of Medea killing her sons, they are still supporting Medea in her quest to get revenge against Jason for his betrayal.42. When Medea goes into the house to carry out the remainder of her plan, does she seem to you to be...Totally evil?Courageous?Calm and dignified?Resigned?Resolved?Try to describe your impressions of her in the speech beginning "Friends, now my course is clear"... "Life has been cruel to me" (p 55)When Medea goes into the house to carry out the remainder of her plan, she seems to be resigned. She knows that her sons will eventually be killed, and believes that she, who made them, should be the one to kill them. In her mind, Medea believes that she is doing the right thing, saving them from someone else that will kill them, causing much more cruelty and suffering than if Medea herself killed them. The last line of her speech, however, shows how self obsessed she is. Life has been cruel to her, making her kill her children. She is not worried about how the children will feel about their mother killing them, only about how it will affect her. Medea only ever thinks about how a situation can affect her, but never about how other's will be affected, showing all of Medea's selfishness.43. Fill out the Sympathy shifts sheet for this scene.Where does the audience's sympathy lie?The audience's sympathy lies with Medea's two children, as they are being brutally murdered at the end of this scene, and also with Creon and Glauce, who have already been murdered by Medea. Glauce and Creon were both murdered in a malicious and excruciating way, having died together by 'melting'. There is also some sympathy for Jason, as it is he who experiences all of these feelings of grief.Where does the Chorus' sympathy lie?The Chorus' sympathy is still with Medea, and they are still on Medea's side. The Chorus say that they think that Jason was wrong in betraying Medea and taking a new wife, and believe that Medea is right in taking her revenge against Jason. Although they do not want her to kill her children, the Chorus believe that the other deaths Medea brought about were justified. The Chorus don't approve of Medea killing her sons; but are still supporting Medea in her quest to get revenge against Jason for his betrayal.Jason and Medea's Final Exchange43. Jason claims that Medea has carried out her crimes "out of mere sexual jealousy". Try to write down what you would see as the reasons/motivation for Medea's revenge. Is "mere sexually jealousy" an adequate explanation?Medea sought revenge because she felt angry at the fact that Jason had left her and taken a new, young bride. She felt that Jason had betrayed her, and was jealous. Medea felt that she had nothing to live for because Jason had left, and he was her whole life. Medea thought that Jason betraying her and taking a new wife was the ultimate betrayal, that nothing could be worse than Jason leaving her for another. Medea wanted retribution against those that put her in this position, but found death to be too easy for Jason. Medea wanted to make Jason suffer, so she committed the acts that she did. "Mere sexually jealousy" is probably an adequate explanation, as Medea hates the idea of someone taking her place is Jason's life, and in his bed.44. Medea responds by saying I've reached your heart; and that is right" and by answering his astounded "-and you murdered them?" with "Yes, Jason, to break your heart." How do these comments show how the essential difference between Medea and Jason?These comments show the essential difference between Medea and Jason in that it shows how Medea is focused on how she succeeded in hurting Jason, therefore defeating her enemies and 'winning'. The fact that she concentrates on her own power and skills that won her her revenge, shows Medea's selfish and self-absorbed nature. On the other hand, Jason, while being just as selfish and conceited as Medea, is not so self-absorbed, knowing that he is not the important one in this situation, his murdered sons are. Jason is shown to be a more caring person than Medea, although they are both selfish and conceited.45. "Oath-breaker, guest-deceivers, liar" says Medea"Unclean, abhorrent, child destroyer" responds JasonWhere is the truth??Both Medea and Jason are right in what they say about the other, Jason is a liar, and broke the oath of marriage by marring another, and Medea did commit many murders, including those of her own two children. They are both in the wrong, but Medea much more so, because of how she acted, and because of the fact that she took Jason's betrayal and tuned it into something much, much worse. The truth is, Jason betrayed Medea, and Medea took her revenge for it. Where the blame lies is unclear, but both play some part in it.46. Fill out the Sympathy Shifts sheet for the last section and look closely at the points where your sympathy for Medea began to change.Where does the audience's sympathy lie?The audience's sympathy lies with Jason, who has been left alone, with no children, no wife, and the people of the land ready to blame him for the deaths of the King and Princess. Jason did betray Medea, it's true, but she overreacted with her feeling of hate, anger and jealousy, and in the end, she has needlessly killed Creon and Glauce, and unnecessarily killed her two sons.Where does the Chorus' sympathy lie?The Chorus' sympathy still lies with Medea, who has been 'pushed' into killing her children because of Jason's betrayal. The Chorus think that Jason was wrong in betraying Medea and taking a new wife, and believe that Medea is right in taking her revenge against Jason. They did not want Medea to kill her only children, but accept those actions as the Chorus believe that they were the actions of the gods. The act of the gods' 'help' by way of chariot supports the Chorus' decision to sympathise with and support Medea, as the gods', and the Chorus, believe her to be justified.While the audiences' sympathy has shifted to and from Medea throughout the play, the Chorus' has not. The Chorus has stayed faithful to Medea right through the play, and still, until the very end; believe her to be justified in her acts of revenge. Alternatively, the audience's sympathy shift from Medea, to her victims, and to Jason, who she has finally revenged against, and who will suffer for a long time. The Chorus stayed truthful to Medea, even through the act of killing her children, whereas the audience felt sorry for the victims of Medea's attacks, rather than Medea herself.


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