Discuss the role of the chorus in Medea.

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The Chorus in Euripides's Medea serves many of the same functions as the chorus in other Greek tragedies of the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. The chorus acted as a collective narrator, providing background information for the audience and comments on the action of the play. It also provides counsel and guidance as the voice of reason and serves as a dispassionate sounding board for the major characters in the play.

By the time Euripides was writing his tragedies, Sophocles had added the innovation of a third actor to his plays, thereby increasing the potential for dramatic interaction between and among characters. Sophocles also reduced the size and importance of the chorus.

In Medea, Euripides reverts to an earlier time in Greek drama, when there were only two actors and the chorus had a much greater role in the plays.

All of the major scenes in Medea involve Medea speaking with only one other character, with the Chorus representing the women of Corinth. In essence, the Chorus takes on its own...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 12, 2019
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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 18, 2019