Swift, Laura (2016). Medea. In: McClure, Laura ed. A Companion to Euripides. Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 80–91.




Euripides’ Medea remains one of the most abidingly powerful of all Greek tragedies; its themes of love, jealousy, vengeance, and infanticide continue to enthral audiences more than two thousand years after it was first produced. Unlike many of Euripides’ plays, Medea is dominated by a single character, the eponymous heroine, and the debates which have surrounded the play often arise from the question of how we should respond to this complex protagonist. This chapter explores two central aspects of Medea's identity which might have affected the way an Athenian audience would have responded to her: her status as a foreigner, and as a woman. Finally it investigates her presentation in the play's final scene, and how the audience might have responded to this unsettling ending

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