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by Euripides

Medea Sixth Episode & Sixth Choral Ode Summary

  • A Messenger runs in.
  • Panicked, he tells Medea to run. The Princess and Creon are both dead.
  • Medea is tickled pink and asks the Messenger to tell her every grisly detail
  • The Messenger launches into the story:
  • He talks about how excited all the servants were when the boys showed up. They were all glad that there was peace between Medea and Jason.
  • At first, the princess was all snobby towards them, but then Jason talked her into letting the boys stay.
  • Medea's presents sealed the deal.
  • Jason and the children left the house, thinking everything was cool.
  • The Princess was all about the gifts. She put the gown and diadem on and pranced around the palace looking at herself in the mirror.
  • Then things got ugly.
  • Her skin changed color, her eyeballs bulged, and she started foaming at the mouth.
  • The princess shrieked in pain.
  • The diadem caught fire and the gossamer gown ate away her flesh.
  • Her whole body caught fire and clots of blood dripped from her.
  • She ran around until she finally collapsed with pain.
  • Her flesh dripped from her bones.
  • Then Creon showed up.
  • The King was stricken with grief and grabbed his daughter's flaming body. He caught fire too, and, before you knew it, his flesh was also bubbling from his bones.
  • Before too long two ghastly corpses were lying on the palace floor.
  • The Messenger tells Medea that she'd best have a good escape route.
  • Before taking his leave he observes that there's no such thing as a happy human being.
  • The Chorus Leader says she feels bad for the princess.
  • Now Medea says that it's time to kill her sons. She tells herself that they'd be killed anyway after the assassination. It's better that it be by her hand.
  • Media pushes down her feelings of motherly love and enters the house to murder them.

Sixth Choral Ode

  • The Chorus prays to the Sun and the Earth to stop the murders.
  • They ask if there was any point in the boys being born at all and observe that people who kill their own family will be haunted forever.