Medea and Electra Fifth Episode: Medea, Tutor, and Children Questions and Answers

Euripides

Fifth Episode: Medea, Tutor, and Children Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How does Medea react to the Tutor’s news from the palace, and how does he in turn respond to this?

2. In Medea’s recounting of all the things she’ll miss by giving up her sons, we can learn something about ancient familial traditions. What mother’s rituals, for example, will Medea not be able to perform for her sons?

3. Similarly, what filial obligation will her sons not be able to perform for her?

4. What first causes Medea to re–think her original plan to kill her children?

5. What makes her renew her resolve after this?

6. In the end, what decides the children’s fate?

7. The children are present on stage the whole time Medea argues with herself about them. Is there ever any specific reference in her words as to what her final decision means?

8. How is Medea’s exchange with the Tutor an example of “dramatic irony”?

9. In the opening lines of the choral passage, how does the female Chorus characterize the gender–specific nature of philosophical debate it is about to enter into?

10. What is the substance of this debate?

Answers
1. Medea begins to weep, which surprises the Tutor. He thinks she’s overreacting.

2. She will not be able to decorate their marriage beds, nor “hold the wedding torches” over them.

3. They will not be able to prepare her body for...

(The entire section is 436 words.)