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by Euripides

Medea Cunning and Cleverness Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used Paul Roche's translation.

Quote #7

Medea: you are a born woman:
feeble when it comes to the sublime,
marvelously inventive over crime. (57)

It's interesting that the word "crime" is used here. The word seems like a bit out of a contradiction as Medea says elsewhere that her devilish plan is just. Perhaps, we're to view Medea's actions as both just and unjust at the same time. This kind of paradox is typical of many tragedies.

Quote #8

Medea: Swear by every god and godhead. […]
Never yourself to drive me from your land,
and if an enemy of mine tries to drag me off,
never while you live to let go.
Aegeus: I swear by the Earth and sacred light of the Sun (132-133)

Medea's cunning is on full display when she makes Aegeus swear this oath. She knows that the Corinthians will hunt her no matter where she goes after she takes her revenge. Aegeus would never consent to harboring her if he knew what she planned. Now, however, he is bound by the gods to protect her no matter what.

Quote #9

Medea: Now I can unfold to you [Chorus] my whole design:
there is nothing sweet in it, as you will see (137)

Medea unveils her crafty plan to the Chorus, reminding us very much of a comic book super villain. The strategy of revealing one's diabolical scheme seems dubious. Doesn't it make it a lot easier for the hero to unravel the plan? Indeed, it never works out for Dr. Octopus. Spiderman always foils his wicked plots. Of course, Medea is the heroine of this play, not the villain, and her cunning scheme goes off without a hitch.

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