Medea

Introduction

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 "barbarian" 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 Jason's new wife as well as her own children, after which she escapes to Athens to start a new life.

Medea and the suite of plays that it accompanied in the City Dionysia was not well received at its original performance.[1] The play was re-discovered in Augustan drama, and again in 16th-century Europe, from which time it remained part of the tragedic repertoire, and became a classic of the Western canon and has remained the most frequently performed Greek tragedy through the 20th century. It experienced renewed interest in the feminist movement of the late 20th century,[2] being interpreted as a nuanced and sympathetic portrayal of Medea's struggle to take charge of her own life in a male-dominated world.[3] The play holds the American 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.


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