I finished reading Medea yesterday, but completely forgot about writing this post until today, when we were seated in our lecture. Oops. Alas, better a bit late than not at all, and it was a bit of a surprising read.
I love pretty much all aspects of theater and so reading a play was easy for me to visualize. I found that the characters turned from men in masks in my head to just normal people, and with new dynamics of the characters personality the face and/or body would change for me. The maid who first came out looked small and hunched over, and as I continued to read the play the more hunched over and frail she appeared in my imagination. Other characters went through a similar metamorphosis. Medea became taller, with sharper features and brighter eyes, and Jason went from having a very composed look to his clothing and face, to looking torn apart and distressed. I had completely forgotten by the end of the play that they were supposed to be wearing masks, and found it interesting in today’s lecture to hear Caroline talk about the reasoning behind the masks.
To me, Medea started off as a character who felt hurt and betrayed by the man she loved. As the play continued, her reasoning of her actions made less and less sense to me. I find the fact that her hatred of Jason outweighed the love for her children difficult to comprehend because it is so intense. We hear of “a mother’s love” being incredibly strong, with tales of mother’s who would lay down their own lives to save that of their children. With Medea however, it’s almost as if she is bending to Jason saying that the father loves his children the most, and is trying to forget her own pain in order to cause him the *most* grief. I suppose she succeeded in adding insult to injury through their deaths, but it seems incredibly unnecessary to me. This has been an issue for me to think about after hearing of present day murders of the same circumstance.