Medea (Gods and Heroes of the Ancient World)
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Giving access to the latest critical thinking on the subject, Medea is a comprehensive guide to sources that paints a vivid portrait of the Greek sorceress Medea, famed in myth for the murder of her children after she is banished from her own home and replaced by a new wife. Emma Griffiths brings into focus previously unexplored themes of the Medea myth, and provides an incisive introduction to the story and its history.
Studying Medea’s ‘everywoman’ status – one that has caused many intricacies of her tale to be overlooked – Griffiths places the story in ancient and modern context and reveals fascinating insights into ancient Greece and its ideology, the importance of life, the role of women and the position of the outsider.
In clear, user-friendly terms, the book situates the myth within analytical frameworks such as psychoanalysis, and Griffiths highlights Medea’s position in current classical study as well as her lasting appeal.
central idea behind Sophocles’ Rhizotomoi, and in Ovid’s account of her involvement in the death of Pelias (Metamorphoses Book 7), it is the crucial omission of the magical herbs from the cauldron which causes the rejuvenation to fail. In the Greek tradition, this associates her strongly with the erotic use of magic, and with eastern traditions, for such abilities were generally believed to be strongest in Asiatic lands. The use of herbs was not the only aspect of magic which could be accessed by
threat to them. Infant mortality was high in ancient societies, so this was an appropriate focus of worship. Greek traditions involved a number of figures who were used to talk about threats to children, such as the bogeyman creatures Mormo, Gello or Lamia. In other mythological traditions there are far more stories involving children than we see in the Graeco-Roman mythology. In Celtic and Nordic traditions there are stories of the spirits of unborn children haunting their mothers, and there are
Jason, standing on the left of the scene, is unable to engage at any level. There has been much debate about the relationship between this image (and those like it) and Euripides’ play, with many suggestions about iconographic conventions which tie this to a production of the play. However, we should also remember that plays other than Euripides’ may have been produced, and that vases such as the one shown in figure 3 need not be seen as illustrations of drama. It is for our purposes a good
raise different issues from those we confront in literary sources. OVID It is from the early republican period that we get our best surviving literary sources about Roman views of Medea. Ovid returned to her story several times, and may well have produced a tragedy on the subject. There are only two extant verses which, it is argued, come from this Medea, but there are three ancient comments (Tacitus Dialogus 12, Quintilian Institutio oratoria 8.5.6, Seneca Suasoriae 3.7) which suggest that
Sophocles’ Antigone is a frequent standard bearer for those championing the rights of the individual against the state. Many plays are used to talk about warfare and its aftermath, from the bombed-out ruins of Troy in Euripides’ Trojan 112 AFTER GREECE AND ROME Women to the psychological study in Simon Armitage’s reworking of Euripides’ Herakles. Armitage’s play, Mister Heracles (2000), opens with Heracles arriving in a space suit, and examines the problem of soldiers whose violent behaviour,