Medea Second Episode & Second Choral Ode Summary
Jason enters, quite exasperated.He lectures Medea that it's all her fault that she and the children got banished. If she hadn't gone around cursing Creon and his daughter, they would've been able to stay in Corinth.Jason says that he'll give her some money for her impending journey.She can hate him if she wants, Jason tells her, but he doesn't wish her any harm.Medea goes off on him, calling him a "criminal" (2.28).She tells him just how ungrateful he is, pointing out that she saved his life.Medea says that he never would've gotten the Golden Fleece if it wasn't for her. She helped him with all the tasks required: yoking fire breathing bulls, slaying giant snakes, and tricking the daughters of King Pelias into cutting him up.She chastises him more, saying that she deserted her father and bore him two sons, yet still Jason betrayed her.Medea asks her husband where she's supposed to go. She's made half the world her enemy trying to help him.The jilted woman cries to Zeus, asking him to put outward markings on men indicating just what they're actually made of.The Chorus Leader observes how terrible it is when love turns to hate.Jason tells Medea she's exaggerating about how much she contributed to the Golden Fleece adventure.Anyway, Jason continues, you got way more than you gave. First of all, you now live in Greece, which is way better than the dump in which I found you. Also, you're now famous, and fame is far more valuable than gold.Medea's husband tells her that he's only marrying the princess out of devotion to his family.It's not that he doesn't find Medea attractive anymore or that he wants more children at all.Jason only wants to provide his family with a more stable life by marrying in to royalty.He chastises his wife for being a silly, jealous woman and not thinking of the greater good of the family.Jason concludes his speech by observing that, if men could only have kids on their own, they'd have no need of women and the world would be a better place.The Chorus Leader tells Jason that he had some good points, but that it's just not right to ditch your wife.Medea tells Jason he should've tried to convince her of some of these points, before he snuck off and took a second wife.Jason says he didn't think Medea would be into it.Whatever, says Medea, just admit that you were sick of your aging wife.Her husband says it had nothing to do with lust. He was only concerned for the happiness of his family.Medea curses himJason gives up and decides to go.He tells Medea that he'll send her and the children anything they want.Medea says she doesn't want anything from him.Jason tells her all her misery is her own fault.She lashes back, saying he should just go back to his fresh young virgin.
Second Choral Ode
- The Chorus sings of the dangers of love.
- They ask Aphrodite, goddess of love, to never make them lust after someone other than their husbands.
- They also ask that they never be cast out of their homes and country.
- The Leader sings that no man is her friend who would treat their wife as bad a Jason is treating Medea.
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