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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 #1

Nurse: Ruthless is the temper of royalty: […]
How much better to live among equals. […]
Let me decline in a safe old age.
The very name of the "middle way" (21)

Wise words. You could argue that the Nurse's simplistic logic makes her the smartest cookie on stage. Euripides was not only famous for taking up the cause of women but slaves as well. With his dignified portrayal of the Nurse, he's doing both at the same time.

Quote #2

Creon: You [Medea] are a woman of some knowledge,
versed in many an unsavory skill. (35)

This is one of the first recognitions in the play that Medea is a skilled woman. Her knowledge of drugs and witchcraft give her power. This makes everybody around her nervous, especially since she has a bit of a temper.

Quote #3

Medea: Because I have a little knowledge,
some are filled with jealousy,
others think me secretive, and crazy. (36)

Here Medea says that she's discriminated against just because she's smart. This is undoubtedly true. Of course, she certainly doesn't help eliminate these prejudices when she uses her skills and cleverness to murder four people.

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