Medea 1–Jason's Fan Club
1st Session of our Medea group
A quick recap of my arguments for why Jason deserves sympathy:
1)Medea never considers any other possible outcome than revenge over Jason, even if you take for granted that revenge is the only course of action, in my opinion it should only be taken out on those that deserve it, The children are innocents and the weight of the tragedy of their death is laid on Jason's shoulders. He was still their father and he certainly cared enough to persuade Creon and his new wife to let them stay. In the words of Owen, 'fathers for justice'.
2)Medea's been dumped,divorced and had a restraining order on her, but considering she murdered her own family we'd condemn her much more in present day conditions. Jason owes her his life, but it's clear she's more than a little unhinged in an obsessive way, lacking in empathy, back in civilisation Jason has probably started to be a little repulsed by his wife. He knows that she'll be cast out of Corinth, but knows that she has friends in Athens and the children can either go there, or as he later persuades Creon, stay in Corinth. Jason tries to make it an amicable divorce.
3)I'm not a fan of thinking that individuals should be pressured by society, it always seems inevitable that this divorce is going to happen and the proceeds can not be stopped. Considering that Medea is a woman who kills her own children, Jason probably thinks this is the easiest way of letting Medea down gently, after all, this way it's 'all society's fault'.
Obviously I can see all the reasons why Medea would deserve sympathy, but even as the Medea supporters said, it's difficult to sympathise after she slaughters her own children horrifically with a sword, considering that she is an expert in poisoning this seems to be a cruel way to mercifully kill her own children.
These are the notes I came up with during our visit to the library, from what books Gethin and Will didn't make off with. ;)
Two differing variations of the original myth –
1)Medea attempts to make her children immortal resulting in their accidental deaths. In this version Jason & Medea inherit the throne of Corinth and become king and Queen.
2)Medea's children killed by the Corinthians in revenge for the murder of their king.
Euripedes frequently used his artistic license to adapt myths, no one is absolutely sure whether his version was another actual myth or his interpretation. Most Scholars think his interpretation.
Despite the fact that Medea is linked to the supernatural in many respects and her actions can be seen as 'above human ethics', however Euripedes goes out of his way to make her seem more human, bringing her down to that questionable human level.
'She views her renewal of criminal resolve a return to sanity' suggesting that she views herself on this supernatural level living by the same rules as the gods or heroes (eg.Achilles)
Euripedes – Medea is bound by mortal rules
Medea – Medea is descended from the gods and above the rules.
Our primary theme of the conflict between Media&Jason /Male&Female/ etc. and the consequences of this kind of conflict on the innocents was the starting point of our conversation that lead to an exploration of different technicalities we could use in an installation style of theatre. here are some of the ideas;
Use of projected film combined with live theatre – debate on the relationship that there could be between the mediums, yet to be decided.
Possibilities – The action between them overlaps; they both display different sides of the argument; one reinforces the other; there is a concious relationship between people on the screen and on the stage.
Ideas – One displays Medea's point of view, the other Jasons; The screen displays the consequences of the events on stage;Two or more screens projecting a film based on the events.
Use of recorded sound
Those that had been outside interviewing people in the street suggested that we should use what had been said about Medea's actions as soundbites over the speakers.
A large collage of relevant material is intended to be displayed for people to view.
Use of lighting
It was suggested that the lighting should be quite minimal and the audience be given torches so that they were in control of what they saw and how they interpreted it. This would be particularly effective with the collage as the audience revealed parts of it at a time.
It's agreed there should be focus at some point on some live theatre..
We have split into groups to consider these different aspects of the piece. I elected to be in the Film group with Owen, Rhys, and James. These groups will be maleable as the development process and people's jobs may change where needed.