Medea (play)

Ancient Greek tragedy by Euripides / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Medea (Ancient Greek: Μήδεια, Mēdeia) is an ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides, based upon the myth of Jason and Medea and first produced in 431 BC. The plot centers on the actions of Medea, a former princess of the kingdom of Colchis, and the wife of Jason; she finds her position in the Greek world threatened as Jason leaves her for a Greek princess of Corinth. Medea takes vengeance on Jason by murdering his new wife as well as her own two sons, after which she escapes to Athens to start a new life.

Quick facts: Medea, Written by, Chorus, Characters, Date p...
Medea
Poster by Alfons Mucha for performance by Sarah Bernhardt in Medée at the Théâtre de la Renaissance, Paris (1898)
Written byEuripides
ChorusCorinthian Women
CharactersMedea
Nurse
Tutor
Aegeus
Creon
Jason
Messenger
Medea's two children
Date premiered431 BC
Place premieredAthens
Original languageAncient Greek
GenreTragedy
SettingBefore Medea's house in Corinth
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Euripides' play has been explored and interpreted by playwrights across the centuries and the world in a variety of ways, offering political, psychoanalytical, feminist, among many other original readings of Medea, Jason and the core themes of the play.[1]

Medea, along with three other plays,[lower-alpha 1] earned Euripides third prize in the City Dionysia. Some believe that this indicates a poor reception,[2][3] but "the competition that year was extraordinarily keen";[3] Sophocles, often winning first prize, came second.[3] The play was rediscovered with Rome's Augustan drama; again in the 16th-century; then remained part of the tragedic repertoire, becoming a classic of the Western canon, and the most frequently performed Greek tragedy in the 20th century.[4] It experienced renewed interest in the feminist movement of the late 20th century,[5] being interpreted as a nuanced and sympathetic portrayal of Medea's struggle to take charge of her own life in a male-dominated world.[4] The play holds the American Theatre Wing's Tony Award record for most wins for the same female lead character, with Judith Anderson winning in 1948, Zoe Caldwell in 1982, and Diana Rigg in 1994.