Medea and Electra First Episode: Medea and Creon Questions and Answers

Euripides

First Episode: Medea and Creon Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Medea say she fears the Chorus will reproach her?

2. What does Medea say she’d rather do than “once give birth?”

3. What is her point in so saying?

4. Give three reasons why Creon fears Medea.

5. In what ways does Medea claim that having a reputation for being clever is in fact a liability to her?

6. What is Creon’s initial response to Medea’s claim that she harbors no ill will toward him and his family?

7. Give two reasons for Creon’s granting Medea her wish to remain in Corinth for one more day.

8. In her speech following Creon’s exit, who does Medea target for her revenge?

9. Why does Medea not act immediately upon this desire?

10. Why does the Chorus say, at the end of the episode, that there have been no women poets?

Answers
1. Having withdrawn into her rooms, Medea fears the Chorus will interpret this as a sign of arrogance and pride, of not desiring to fit in with the community.

2. Medea claims she would rather fight three times in battle than give birth once.

3. She says this to counter the claim that women lead risk– free lives within the safety of their homes.

4. Creon fears Medea because she is clever and has been part of evil happenings; she has been wounded by Jason’s treatment of her; and she threatens to do harm to Creon’s household.

5. Medea says clever people are envied and despised by others. “Stupid” people tend to think the clever are equally stupid, and those who consider themselves to be clever resent someone who is more clever.

6. Creon believes Medea’s quiet assurances mask a more sinister reality, and he doesn’t trust them.

7. Creon allows Medea to stay because he does not wish to appear to be a tyrant in his treatment of Medea. He also believes that one day is not long enough for Medea to do any harm.

8. Medea wishes “to turn three enemies to corpses”—Creon, his daughter, and Jason.

9. Medea decides to postpone her actions a little while, hoping that she’ll be able to secure safe refuge a
after the deed is done. If not, she will risk her own death to ensure theirs.

10. The Chorus says there have been no women poets because Apollo, the god of song, never passed on his gifts to a member of their gender.