CliffsNotes on Euripides’ Electra and Medea

By Robert J. Milch | Go to book overview

EXAMINATION QUESTIONS
1. Give a brief account of the legends that provide the background for the plot of Medea. Mention some famous epic poem in which these legends are found.
2. Discuss the differences between Medea and the ideal tragedy as defined by Aristotle. What specific criticisms of Medea does Aristotle make?
3. What is the effect of the heroine’s delayed entrance at the beginning of Medea? How do the opening scenes arouse sympathy for her and at the same time establish disdain for Jason?
4. What is accomplished by the scene between Medea and Aegeus? What criticism has been made of this scene?
5. What personal motives cause Medea’s resentment and hatred of Jason? Do you think her feelings are justified?
6. Why does Medea pretend to be reconciled with Jason? What observations about her shrewdness and self-control can be made as a result of her behavior in this scene?
7. At what point in the play does the climax of Medea occur? What is the internal conflict that Medea resolves at this point?
8. Discuss the characterization of Jason. What sort of man is he? What philosophical principle is represented in his personality? How does the Jason of Euripides differ from traditional portrayals of Jason?
9. Discuss the characterization of Medea. What sort of woman is she? What philosophical principle is represented in her personality? In what ways is she a tragic heroine? Is she more a tragic “agent” or a tragic “victim”?
10. Discuss the use of a deus ex machina at the end of Medea. What is its function? What criticism has been made of it as a dramatic device’?
11. Compare the use of the chorus in Medea and Electra. What differences do you note? How is Euripides’ use of the chorus different from that of his predecessors?
12. What attitude about the treatment of women is implied in Medea? Refer to Medea’s speech on the subject early in the play. What is Euripides’ own view on this subject?
13. Give a brief account of the legend cycle that provided the background

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CliffsNotes on Euripides’ Electra and Medea
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Contents 3
  • Introduction 5
  • Background of Greek Tragedy 6
  • Aristotle on Tragedy 12
  • Life of Euripides 16
  • Extant Works of Euripides 19
  • Summaries Andcommentaries 22
  • Notes on Main Characters 60
  • Suggested Reading 62
  • Examination Questions 63
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