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Euripides’ “Medea” and the Issue of Loyalty

An Illustrated Presentation by Dr. Lena Hatzichronoglou

Euripides’ “Medea” has been considered as one of the greatest and most powerful plays ever written. Ever since the invention of theater few plays have been discussed as much, and very few have had an equal impact.

Throughout the centuries and up to the present day, Medea’s enchanting story has never ceased to affect and fascinate people. Her story, the story of the woman who sacrifices everything on the altar of her husband’s success and, at the end, finds herself betrayed and abandoned is a familiar one. But the sweeping, passionate, destructive violence to which her revenge takes her is unprecedented and deeply disturbing. The killing of her own children, and her miraculous, god-like appearance on the Sun’s chariot at the play’s end has troubled a lot readers and critics alike. So ever since its composition, the “Medea” has been interpreted in a variety of ways, and has often become the battlefield on which critics have defended diametrically opposite points of view.

In this seminar, through the reenactment of Medea’s most powerful speeches, we will try to discern the value of the deeper message that Euripides tried to convey to his fellow Athenians of the fifth century BC and to us.

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