"Let no one think of me that I am humble or weak or passive; let them understand I am of a different kind: dangerous to my enemies, loyal to my friends. To such a life glory belongs."
Medea (via fuckyeahgreatplays)
I’ve been reading so much scholarship on Medea as a hero-play lately, and Medea (the character) as a hero-figure. It’s fascinating to read - she’s obsessed with oaths and honor in the play, and her rage at Jason is not so much sexual jealousy as it is a heroic contempt for a man who betrayed his oath to her. Her pronouncement above, βαρεῖαν ἐχθροῖς καὶ φίλοισιν εὐμενῆ (harsh to enemies and kind-willed toward friends) is central to the Greek hero’s honor code.
She comes off as very Achilles-like (he lets many of the Greek soldiers die to get back at Agamemnon; Medea murders her sons to get back at Jason).
By that logic, Medea’s infanticide is actually a great sacrifice on her part to avenge her wounded honour - she follows the masculine hero-code to the letter and accomplishes her goal. And this means that the ending of the play is actually a happy ending; Medea is wholly triumphant over Jason and has succeeded in emotionally destroying him, which was what she set out to do. Her actions are approved by the gods, and she exits victorious to bury the bodies of her sons, leaving Jason without even a chance to attend the funeral.
If you can find it, read Elizabeth Brighton Bongie’s “Heroic Codes in the Medea of Eurpides,” because hot damn, those hero-codes.
"She stared, coloured, doubted, and was silent."
"guarda com’ entri e di cui tu ti fide"
"be careful how you enter and who you trust"
-Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy: Inferno
"I can’t be shaken anymore, by anyone. I’ve got to that point in my life that if you’re not a good person, and you can’t make me feel good with love and life, then fuck off, basically."
"'To write down one's impressions of Hamlet as one reads it year after year,' wrote Virginia Woolf, 'would be virtually to record one's own autobiography, for as we know more of life, so Shakespeare comments upon what we know.'"
"I’ll tell you what I do want. I want someone who will be monogamous, and nice to his mother. And I want someone who likes musicals but knows to just shut his mouth when I’m watching Lost. And I want someone who thinks being really into cars is lame and strip clubs are gross. I want someone who will actually empty the dishwasher instead of just taking forks out as needed, like I do. I want someone with clean hands and feet and beefy forearms like a damn Disney prince. And I want him to genuinely like me, even when I’m old. And that’s what I want."
"She was like walking, breathing, dancing-electricity,
And every thing she touched,
Either came alive or bursted into flames.
Everything in her path turned into light.
She left behind light
"Don’t be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value."