• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In Euripides' tragedy, Medea, is plot more important than character?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

1245 words In Euripides' tragedy, Medea, is plot more important than character? Euripides' Medea is based on the already existing and popular myth of Jason and the Argonoughts and this makes plot very important. As it has a mythical background there is an element of what, to a modern audience, would seem to be magical realism, but to an ancient Greek audience would be believed as possible, for example Medea having divine blood and her grandfather, the Sun God being the deus ex machina taking her away on his chariot. This could also be seen as a weakness in the plot as she is just taken away and it ends. The plot of Medea follows the Greek tragedy structure and so this controls the plot. It starts with the prologue, the opening scene that tells the audience of the background to the story, and then there is the parados, which is the entrance of the chorus. This is followed by the episodes, which each end with a staismon (choral ode) - in Medea there are six episodes. It then ends with the exidos, in which all of the players make a ceremonial exit. ...read more.

Middle

King Ageas' sole purpose is to serve the plot by giving Medea somewhere to go after she has committed her terrible crimes. If he was not in the play then Medea would have nowhere to go as she cannot go back to Colchis, her homeland because she betrayed her family for Jason, and being a foreigner in Ancient Greece was very hard. Her future would be very uncertain, "you have your city here ... I am alone" (lines 242-244). However character also plays an important role. Euripides was the youngest of the three most famous tragedians, and his style differs significantly from that of Aeschylus and Sophocles. Euripides looked more closely at human rather than divine motivation. Because of this his characters focus much more on psychological realism. He focused on human emotions such as love, passion, anger and actions such as betrayal. In addition Euripides speaks of issues of a more controversial nature, including the role of women. In this play there is not a male protagonist, but a female one. We see her motivations and her realism. The audience views the plot from her point of view. She is not only a woman, but also a witch, this shows how people fear women with power. ...read more.

Conclusion

"In this way I will hurt my husband most"(line 796), and her plan works, Jason's devastation is shown in the line "you have destroyed me, woman!" We see Medea's massive internal conflicts - her bitter love for her children and her pride and desire to hurt Jason. She is torn between her feelings. We see that even though Medea has some divine heritage she is mostly human "you are of noble birth, descended from the Sun God ... but we are women too" (lines 395-396) and so she has flaws - her love, almost obsession for Jason and her angry nature. Jason describes her as "a lioness, not human" (line 1322). This animal image shows her angry nature, and also her dominance as in a pack of lions the lionesses hunt and are the 'bread winners'. In Poetics, Aristotle said, "Plot then is the first principle, and, as it were, the soul of tragedy: character holds the second place" this is true for most tragedies of this time. However Euripides' Medea seems to be the other way round, with characters being the 'soul' of the play and plot holding second place. Character is more important in Euripedes' play because of their realism and the development of their personalities. However plot is also very important because many of the characters are there solely to serve the plot, the stock characters. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Antigone is a saint, whereas Medea is a devil incarnate" do you agree?

    4 star(s)

    To be honest I am not fully convinced by this, he doesn't make this offer until after Medea has been exiled and he no longer plans to give it (Q), even if he had planned to give his support he could of told Medea before he upped and left making

  2. In Euripdes Play Medea

    It would seem that there is still a part of Medea that loves Jason as she does not simply kill him. Despite Medea's motivation and justification for her crime, there is no avoiding the fact that Medea's actions are

  1. In Euripides Play, how important is it that Medea is a foreigner, not a ...

    Medea does not know the full extent of Greek morals and this is shown throughout the play. Medea is still counted as an outsider by everyone, even the chorus look at Medea in a different light than if she was a true Greek woman.

  2. "Euripides is not asking us [the audience] to sympathise with Medea..."

    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. If only children could be got some other way, without the female sex! If women didn't exist, human life would be rid of all its

  1. Compare and Contrast the characters of Hektor and Paris and draw close character analysis ...

    She clearly expresses the fact that he has brought shame upon her and his people, and that she no longer wants to be associated with him. The concept of Paris bringing shame upon his 'loved ones' is strongly touched upon in relation to Paris and Hektor's relationship.

  2. Analyse how 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' blends comedy and tragedy?

    The first section is written in an aesthetically pleasing manner, in which Carlo describes his comrade's death in a heroic, gallant and brave manner, in order to avoid causing unnecessary grief to his comrade's mother and wife and arguably it glorifies war.

  1. Cinderella - play script

    The music's in you. Deep down in your soul. When you find it, nothing will be able to keep you from walking out that door. Cinderella: You haven't met my stepmother Godmother: You wanna know what her problem is? She can't handle how fabulous you are!

  2. Hippolytus by Euripides

    All the time, Phaedra was listening to the conversation on stage as the Nurse was talking to Hippolytus off stage. This shows that Nurse plays an incredible important role in the story as by telling Hippolytus she triggers off the following events.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work