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An investigation of the significance of the chorus and nurse in portraying cultural values in Medea.

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Written Assignment ? English Literature Word count: 1,493 INTERNATION BACCALAUREATE ENGLISH A: LITERATURE SL LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT An Investigation of significance of the chorus and nurse, in portraying cultural values, in ?Medea? by Euripides. Name: Candidate Number: Word Count: 1493 In the classical Greek drama Medea, written by Euripides, the play is about a woman called Medea who escapes her home with her beloved Jason. With him she raises two lovely children, but Jason turns his attention to a different woman, Glauce. With great anger and the feeling of betrayal, Medea plans revenge on her husband. Some major characters in this drama such as the chorus, and nurse portray cultural values that explain the fury behind Medea?s jealousy and actions. The existence of these two characters is not only to guide the audience, but to interpret and help relate to culture as it was before, and still is. This essay explores the importance of cultural values in the play as portrayed by the chorus and nurse. In the opening speech, the nurse questions Medea?s decision of disposing of her own culture and land, just to be with Jason. She abandoned her home land and traditions, knowing she won?t come back, for a new unknown terrain. ...read more.


This would not be possible in this current society. This quote brings out the true emotions and level of the nurse in Greek society. It helps the reader understand her situation with Medea. Accordingly, the chorus engages in dramatic irony to convey the difference of what the audience knows is true, and what a character says[5]. This allows the audience to make assumptions and predict what will happen next, through the characters attitude. The chorus conveys cultural values through the calling of the Greek god Zeus who Medea believed in to solve her problems. This relates back to ancient society showing beliefs and values that the people possessed[6]. Euripides chooses the chorus to portray this cultural message as the chorus provides opinion and beliefs as well as their point of view to the audience. This act allows the reader to have an insight into what Medeas culture believed in. However, Medea completely crosses out her beliefs and draws her own road. The chorus chooses to relate to Zeus as he was the supreme god of the Greeks with a vast range of concerns. This meant that Medea was supposed to settle her problem into his hands for him to resolve. Here a cultural value is portrayed. ...read more.


Cambridge: Cambidge University Press. 2009, p3, ll.1-4) 3 ?The sleepless serpent, which within its tangled coils/ guarded the Golden Fleece.!? Euripides, Medea. Cambridge: Cambidge University Press. 2009, p33, ll.458-460) [3] [4] ?Please, don?t keep a secret from a fellow slave:/ I will keep quite if I must.? Euripides, Medea. Cambridge: Cambidge University Press. 2009, p5,ll.57-58) 5 ?Zeus and Earth and Light!/ You hear the poor young wife/ sing her cry of woe?/ Leave it to Zeus to see justice done.? Euripides, Medea. Cambridge: Cambidge University Press. 2009, p11,ll.137-146) [5] [6] [7]6 ?Since you have confided this to us?/ we want to help you, but we cant reject/ the laws of human life. We say/ don?t do this!? Euripides, Medea. Cambridge: Cambidge University Press. 2009, p57,ll.789-792) ?Divorce is not respectable for women,/ and we may not refuse our husband. Euripides, Medea. Cambridge: Cambidge University Press. 2009, p15,ll.226-227) 8 ?Miserable woman, you must be made/ of stone or iron, to kill/ the fruit of your womb,/ a self inflicted fate.? Euripides, Medea. Cambridge: Cambidge University Press. 2009, p89,ll.1257-1260) [8] [9] ?How can this city of sacred rivers,/ a land that welcomes those it loves,/ shelter you, the child-killer,/ pollution in their midst?? Euripides, Medea. Cambridge: Cambidge University Press. 2009, p61,ll.816-820) 10 ?Sacred rivers flow uphill:/ justice and all things are reversed.? Euripides, Medea. Cambridge: Cambidge University Press. 2009, p29,ll.399-400) [10] ...read more.

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