This paper describes Medea as a classical and famous work translated by Rex Warner. The book covers a short, concise and strongly unnerving story of Jason’s wife, Argonauts leader, and an unsettling revenge plot against her unfaithful husband and her child. Nurse, a slave in Medea’s house, helps the audience to understand the account of misogyny or a forewarning of the retaliation of a wronged woman. Medea as the main character is described as a “Machiavel without a country to rule" (4).
At the beginning of the scene, Medea is portrayed as a suicidal woman. She prefers to herself as a wretch, an intolerable mother who hates his husband and her child and she is aware of her deeds, she says “but stronger than all my afterthoughts is my fury” (ll. 1078). The scene also illustrates the emotional transformation of Medea as a sequence from suicidal misery to sadistic anger. She shares her background story with the audience of how she abandoned her father and home country for Jason. These are some of the things that she has forgone to be with Jason that is why the betrayal is more painful.
The author also offers the slaves such as nurse and Tutor to illustrate to the audience of how they feel about Medea. Nurse provides her standpoint on the tribulations experienced by Medea in the house that she serves as a nurse. Significantly, Nurse and her colleague Tutor condemn the actions of Jason towards her wife Medea. Although nurse featured in few brief instants on the stage, she is well regarded as a character. She is loyal to media but she is afraid of Medea’s violent heart. Nurse in good position to present an outsider’s eye and is careful enough to foresee and predict of the events. However, as a slave, she has no power to change the course of the events. She could not even stop Media on killing her own children. “To be slain by another hand less kindly to them. Force every way will have it they must die. . ." (11. 1240).
Medea is described by the nurse as woman possessing wild and bitter nature and “proud mind” as well. The nurse portrays that Medea has a terrible temper, that she changes moods frequently instead of living on the same ground with the people’s neighbor. Nurse features part of Medea’s attitude to her “queen-like mentality”. This attitude adjusts to itself to giving commands and don’t compromise with its will, even at a time when it is devoted by the state of fury. Adjacent to these wealthy tendencies, the nurse speaks of the “moderate” values of lifestyle, which can bare basis of ordered and peaceful life. Nurse states that “Love is diseased" (l. 16) meaning that Medea’s situation caused by her husband’s betrayal will become caustic. Nurse is afraid of safety for everyone as she knows the aggression of Media’s heart.
Passion as a significant theme in the play is well illustrated by Nurse to the audience. The Nurse reminds the audience that Medea is together with her husband because she trailed her husband to Greece out of love. She illustrates that the passion from the past was the influencing factor of Medea’s actions. She also defines the jeopardy of immense people’s passions. She speaks how often Medea to lose temper due to her great passion on Jason. Medea goes to the extent of depicting herself as "something he won in a foreign land" (l. 256).
Nurse could understand the agony in Medea and with the help of chorus of women, she emphasize the reality of her unmerited treatment and her desperate condition. They view Medea’s revenge as the only probability to hit back "Flow backward to your sources, sacred rivers / and let the world's great order be reversed" (ll. 410-1). They also give a wider viewpoint of feminine’s powerlessness in the society of Greek, although they advocate resignation and acceptance instead of fury and retaliation. However, they too depict Medea as a wretch. They also express her as a fool for possessing suicidal trait. This is because a lot of women in many societies are prone to such situations but deaths happen eventually.
The nature of the style of language applied in the dialogue is prosaic. Medea’s style of speech is a soliloquy meaning that she was addressing herself and sometimes to the gods. Since her dialogue is from offstage she happens to speak to no one else participating in the scene. Medea is also used to use destructive words such as shattered, crash and allusions to the lightning. She is invaded by allusion of how she left her father and later murdered her own brother. Throughout the scene, she is extremely distraught and angry.
On the other hand, the dialogue from Nurse shifts from discussion with the others to soliloquy. At the beginning of the scene, she speaks to Medea’s children and the Tutor who had earlier entered the stage. She also makes allusions to the lightning. When sympathizing with Medea’s circumstances, she discusses the circumstances with the chorus of women.
In conclusion, the main purpose of Medea is to inform the audience about the things in the past and position the story in place and time. Nurse provides relevant information and history lesson to the audience. She sympathizes with Medea situation but she can do nothing to contain the situation.
Euripides and Rex Warner, (1993). Medea (Dover Thrift Edition). New York: Dover publications.