One, Two, Many Medeas
Has a woman like Medea ever existed? Will a woman like Medea ever exist? If such a woman has existed, were there to be such a woman, of what would her passionate energy be made? Love? Hate? Will it ever be possible in that mélange of drives intermediate between body and psyche – those impulses which according to Plato belong to the irrational sphere of the mind – and to extinguish which would mean severing the nerves of the psyche and cutting off the strings of the bow that assure the energy (cf. Plato, Republic 3.411b); will it ever be possible, in that mélange, to distinguish the drive of hate from that of love? Does Medea love? Yes, she does. She also hates. She moves from hate to love and back again as though on a Möbius strip. This essay follows Medea from her appearance in the tragedy of Euripides and on through Seneca to her reincarnation as Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, to her final apparition as Maria Callas in Pasolini’s film in 1969. The argument being that Medea remains contemporary.
Keywords: Euripides; Seneca; Shakespeare; Lady Macbeth; Pasolini; Maria Callas
Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
This Journal is a CC-BY 4.0 publication (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). This Licence allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this Journal, providing a link to the Licence and explicitly underlining any change (full mention of Issue number, year, pages and DOI is required).
- The Author retains (i) the rights to reproduce, to distribute, to publicly perform, and to publicly display the Article in any medium for any purpose; (ii) the right to prepare derivative works from the Article; and (iii) the right to authorise others to make any use of the Article so long as the Author receives credit as Author and the Journal in which the Article has been published are cited as the source of first publication of the Article. For example, the Author may make and distribute copies in the course of teaching and research and may post the Article on personal or institutional Web sites and in other open-access digital repositories.
- The Author is free to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the Journal’s published version of the work, with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this Journal and explicitly underlining any change (full mention of Issue number, year, pages and DOI is required).
- The Author is permitted and encouraged to post their work online after the evaluation process has been successfully passed, as it can lead to productive exchanges as well as to a wider dissemination of the published work.