What is the meaning of the chorus' last speech?

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lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the play Medea the chorus' final speech is the final comment on the actions of the play.  Medea has killed Jason's new wife and the wife's father, King Creon.  As a final punishment to Jason's betrayal she has also killed her children and is taking them away with her.  The Chorus has tried to be supportive of Medea and understands her anger over Jason's behavior, but they have also tried to talk her out of this final, dastardly action.  The chorus has fulfilled its typical roles in Greek tragedy:  it has been the voice of reason, the voice of the audience, it has provided background information, and here it is a voice of prayer to the gods.  The chorus is acknowledging the power of Zeus in the behavior of mortals on Earth.  The chorus says that the gods are the overseer, but that they also do things and allow things that are beyond the understanding of mere mortals.  The chorus is frustrated because "what we thought is not confirmed" meaning that Medea doesn't appear to be suffering for her crimes -- she is literally "getting away" with it and flying in a magical chariot away from Corinth.  The gods seem to be helping her in this situation.  The Chorus is left not really understanding the thinking of the gods.

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Medea and Electra

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