Minor Characters In Medea

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How and to what effect does Euripides use minor characters to move the plot forward and to reflect the cultural values of the time? Medea is a Greek tragic drama written by the playwright Euripides in the 5th century BC. The story is based upon the myth of Jason and Medea, who became acquaintances in Colchis where Jason had sought to take the Golden Fleece. After Jason’s success, largely due to Medea’s magic help, the two fled to Colchis where they were married and had two sons. Medea, however, starts tragically, at the scene of Jason’s crime, where Jason has broken his oath of loyalty to Medea and has left her for the princess of Corinth. This inspires Medea to take revenge on the King and Princess of Corinth, and on Jason. Euripides’ use of minor characters in Medea, specifically the Nurse, Creon and Aegeus, serves to hold the story together, moving the plot forward and reflecting the cultural values of the time, while also revealing a key theme of the play: the gods’ support of Medea. The minor characters also, through the exemplification of the cultural importance of oaths, heirs and patriarchy in Ancient Greece, ground the story to the time period in which it was set and written. The Nurse, the first minor character we meet, is used by Euripides to introduce the story and its characters, as well as to reflect the societal importance of patriarchy and oaths. From lines 1-35, the Nurse sets the scene by detailing all Medea has endured, starting with, “If only the Argo

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