MEDEA- A Reasonable Woman
An Uninvited Theatre Production in conjunction with RL Education
More than one in five Victorian students wrote on Medea in the 2017 English exam; yet the average mark was 53% – the second worst across the state. We address the reasons why…
Given the Greek cultural context of misogyny, a militant patriarchy that upheld a paternal and proprietary relationship to its children, and a tradition that mythologised the slaughter of infants at the highest point of its literature, is it then right to, firstly, blame a single woman for the excesses that are reflected in her society, and to then assume that the nation is cleansed should she be dispatched?
The same logic that sees Jason reject his outcast wife in favour of Corinthian royalty will likely see the society of Corinth reject Medea’s offspring, should Jason save them from banishment. There is strong evidence to suggest that Creon, and others, will oppose the support of Medea’s rival children in this society. Their deaths would be seen as a righteous protective duty. Therefore, if we accept the logic that both parental plans bring about the death of the children, we can accept that, given a range of excesses across a patriarchal society, it is inescapable that the children die for the reason that inevitability in tragedy is the sum of widespread culpabilities. We should acknowledge, too, that the ending of Medea to which Greeks were accustomed involved the Corinthian men-folk slaughtering Medea’s children in revenge for her killing their princess. Is this a more satisfactory resolution because it has been sanctioned under the articles of patriarchal vengeance?
This performance applies critical thinking to a play that has confounded audiences since 431BCE. Here, the tension surrounding reason and passion, justice and vengeance, guilt and innocence is brought to trial.
This is the unseen Medea. This is the Medea that you need to see.
Let the trial commence…
Directed and Devised by Cameron Sievers
Performed by Claire Nicholls and Lee Cook
(material sourced from the original play, Medea, by Euripides)