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An exploration of the beliefs of the Nurse and Chorus in the portrayal of Medea.

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Introduction

________________ Promptï Do you think there are some characters in the play whose chief role is to convey cultural values? Questionï An exploration of the beliefs of the Nurse and Chorus in the portrayal of Medea. Throughout the play Medea is evoked as a person with many different character traits. The Chorus and the Nurse portray their view points of Medea in many different was. As the Nurse knows Medea, she is aware of what she is capable of doing. While the Chorus helps to balance both sides and viewpoints of Medea and Jason. To begin with, the Nurse portrays Medea as happy even though she is a traitor for example: “Her heart smitten with love” (l.7) The word “smitten” means that Medea was love-struck and obsessed with Jason. This suggests that the Nurse is shocked that Medea could be so content and jovial after betraying her family. We believe Medea wanted to leave her family. Secondly, the Chorus feel Medea is full of pride for example: “Take on your role of murderer- And not weep?” (l.l. ...read more.

Middle

She gives herself to grief? (l.23) The word ?grief? means that Medea is going through a lot of heartache. This suggests the Nurse felt Medea was not eating because she was in pain. We feel sympathy towards Medea. Furthermore, the Chorus feels that Medea is very unforgiving for example: ?If your husband adores his new love, Let that be: do not vex yourself.? (l.l. 144-145) The phrase ?let that be? is shocking because the Chorus feels it is okay for Jason to cheat on Medea. This brings out the two different viewpoints between Medea and the Chorus, as the fact that Jason leaving Medea aggravates her, the chorus expects her to let go of him and forget about him. We understand Medea?s beliefs better. Moreover, the Chorus can tell that Medea is annoyed and frustrated for example: ?Anger is fearful and hard to heal, When those who once were lovers start to fight.? (l.l. 499-500) The phrase ?hard to heal? means that it is difficult to forgive one another. This suggests the Chorus feel sympathy towards Medea and they understand why she is aggravated. ...read more.

Conclusion

This suggests that she will not surrender even if it means that she has to hurt her children. We find it difficult to believe that she could injure her own sons. Similarly, the Chorus find Medea heartless for example: ?Miserable woman, you must be made Of stone or iron, to kill? (l.l. 1257-1258) This phrase suggests that the women have now turned away from Medea as soon as they realised she was actually going to kill her children. This implies that they can no longer take the side of a murder and are trying to protect their name. We feel they should have warned her early and convinced her to change her mind about killing her children earlier on. To conclude Medea is a very difficult character to relate to, as none of the events she carried out nowadays would be acceptable. The Nurse only feels sympathy towards Medea because she has raised Medea and does not want to see her get hurt as well as the fact that she knows Medea?s behaviour and mood swings. Unlike the Chorus, that feel sympathy towards Medea but cannot comprehend the fact that she could kill her own flesh. ...read more.

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