Medea

October 16, 2009

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CC 303 Intro to Classical Mythology - Fall 2009
Department of Classics, University of Texas at Austin, Prof. Lawrence Kim

Medea, Corinth, Aegeus, Creon, Aeson, Pelias
Euripides, Talos
  1. Medea in Love: Colchis and the Journey Home
    • Deflation of Jason
    • Medea Dominates the Action
      • Talos, the Bronze Giant protecting Crete
      • Medea defeats him (ankle)
  2. Medea the Sorceress: Iolcos
    • The Rejuvenation of Aeson
    • The Murder of Pelias
    • A Different Ending: Not Happily Ever After
    • Magical Powers
  3. Interpreting the Jason Story
    1. Story Pattern of Initiation and Rite of passage (see chart here)
      • Quest
      • Success in challenges
      • Return, Claiming inheritance
      • Gain knowledge of the female
    2. Folktale motifs
      • Recognition (Sandal)
      • Disposal by quest (Fleece)
      • Accidental killing of friend (Cyzicus)
      • Magic, Love Charms (Medea)
      • Delay pursuit by sprinkling things (Apsyrtus)
    3. Expedition as a Team Effort
      • Each hero does his part (Orpheus, Zetes and Calaïs, Pollux, etc.)
      • Heracles must be left behind; too powerful
      • Jason more like a manager or coach than star player
    4. Jason: an untraditional hero
      • The lover: Hypsipyle, Medea
      • Kills a friend and a young boy
      • Fails to gain the throne upon his completion of the quest
      • Succeeds by the assistance of others, esp. Medea
      • Dies ignominiously
  4. Medea, A Woman Scorned: Corinth
    1. Medea as Other = Everything NOT Greek
      1. Foreigner; Woman; Sorceress
    2. Transgressive Medea
      1. Strikes at Family
      2. Deceives, Kills, Escapes
    3. Euripides' Medea
      1. A Woman Wronged
      2. A Powerless Stranger in a Strange Land
    4. Medea as Hero
      1. Passionate Angry Spirit; Courage; Resourcefulness
      2. Overwhelmingly powerful sense of honor
      3. Desire for Glory and Vengeance
  5. Medea: A Woman Scorned: Corinth
    1. Goes to Athens and taken in by Aegeus, Theseus' Dad
    2. The Magic Chariot
    3. Symbol of Power for the Disempowered
  1. Medea. Frederick Sandys, 1866-1868. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
  2. Talos Dying. Attic red-figure volute krater, c. 400-390 BCE, Talos Painter. Ruvo, Jatta Collection.
  3. Medea and the Daughters of Pelias. c. 420-410 BCE. Frieze.
  4. Creon's daughter receives Medea's gifts. Roman marble sarcophagus, mid-2nd c. CE. Pergamon Museum, Berlin.
  5. *Medea about to Kill her Children. Eugène Delacroix, 1838. Musée du Louvre, Paris.
  6. Medea Killing Child. Campanian red-figure neck-amphora, c. 330 BCE, Ixion Painter. Musée du Louvre, Paris.
  7. Medea. 1st c. CE Roman copy of a 1st c. BCE Greek wall painting. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples.
  8. Medea and Chariot. Lucanian calyx krater, c. 400 BCE. Cleveland Museum of Art.