Medea: Robinson Jeffers from the Euripides

DUE DATE FOR ALL WORK IS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, WITHOUT FAIL, NO EXCEPTION, NO CHANGE, NO POSTPONEMENT, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO….  TEST ON THE 17th, OBJECTIVE (75%) AND WRITTEN (25%), WORTH 100 points.

You will be reading Euripides’s Medea, freely adapted by the 20th century American poet Robinson Jeffers.  Jeffers preserves the essence of Euripides’s work, yet he modernizes it in certain regards.  the Greek chorus is replaced by three women, representing womanhood in youth, middle age, and the elder years.  This is a powerful play with strong things to say about xenophobia, racism, sexism, political power, and justice.  At its center is a deeply flawed heroine who commits unthinkable acts of violence.  Nonetheless, her determination, will to succeed, and power are undeniable.  Get ready for a a play that will engage your emotions, challenge your preconceptions, and take you to the dark heart of justice and revenge.  Believe it or not, it is more grisly and cruel than Oedipus Rex, but, hey, that’s what the Greeks do best.  Below are resources and assignments to be use in our study.  Put this post’s date on all the materials and the homework… our new standard for all materials shared through iblog.

These are the written assignments you must complete.

Medea Study Questions

Medea the BEASTanimal imagery

medeasocsemabbreviated

Here are materials for greater understanding.  The background reading is essential to your understanding of the play’s events.  The summary, or condensed version should be read before you read the play.  The video version follows the play exactly.

Medea Background

medea jason background

Medea condensed jeffers

This is a detailed plot summary of Euripides original play.  It is essentially the same play with minor variations from the Robinson Jeffers adaption you are reading.  Notably, at the end of the play in Euripides’ version, Medea leaves the stage, transported by the mekane (a crane) in the chariot of Helios, the Titan sun god, and Medea’s grandfather.  Euripides was fond of employing the “mechane,” in a dramatic device that is called “deus ex machine”  (1:a god introduced by means of a crane–mechane or mekane– in ancient Greek and Roman drama to decide the final outcome 2:a person or thing (as in fiction or drama) that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty– Merriam Webster).

The complete Robinson Jeffers play word for word.  A 1982 Broadway production, starring Zoe Caldwell, who won a Tony Award for her performance.

Next Soc Sem: One more on Catcher

The seminar on the Antolini incident was outstanding!  The fishbowl participants were informed, insightful, and engaged.  The gallery was attentive and responsive.  We are going to do this again, one more time with The Catcher in the Rye.  Researched quotation sheet is due Thursday, November 2.  Seminar will be held on Friday, November 3.

Here is the topic:

Is Holden Caulfield a heroic and moral character worthy of our admiration (perhaps even emulation), or is he an immoral and pathetic character worthy of our disdain?

Follow the same routine for research as last time.  The directions and the example research are attached below.

 

Directions:

Socratic Seminar Preparation

Sample Research notes.  FOLLOW THE FORMAT EXACTLY AS SHOWN.  TYPE THEM.

socratic catcher example notes

Oedipus Rex: Help for locating Tragic Terms within Video

The video in the earlier  post is certainly worth watching in its entirety, yet there are some key moments to view, which I have provided below.  These moments illustrate the the tragic terminology from the handout “Basic Terms of Tragedy.”  To find them, go to these points in the video.  Then locate them in your text to complete the sheet on tragic terms application.

17:43,  Nemesis

107, Anagnorisis, Perepetia

1:11:30, Catastrophe

1:16:12 Catharsis

And just because it is fun, and the overacting is extra-extra: 39:30 to 46:23 depicts when Oedipus tells of murdering Laios.

Oedipus Rex: background materials, handouts, homework

Print these materials.  3-hole punch them.  Place them in your notebook under today’s posting date.  Complete this work by October 25.

Familiarize yourself with these definitions.  They will assist you in understanding the intent of tragedy in the Ancient Greek view.  They may appear on the test.

OedipusOverview Abbrevatiated

CLASSICAL DEFINITION

Irony definitions

Tragedy BASIC TERMS

Complete these reading questions and the application of tragic terms as you read the play.

oedrexreadingquestions

Oedipus Rex tragedy terms app

 

 

 

 

Oedipus Rex: The Perfect Classical Tragedy

Here is the video version of the play.  It is cheesy, overacted, but this is likely how the religiously based ritual of the original play may appear to modern audiences.  Remember, Greek tragedy was a religious ritual, not a realistc portrayal of event. Its majesty and profound meaning are meant to be bigger than life, instructing the Greeak audience in moral and religious lessons.

The complete play in a translation close to the one we are reading is presented below.  This version attempts to preserve the ancient Greek traditions, employing masks and using poetic language, along with dance.  Yet the dance is updated, reflecting interpretive dance rather than the stricter back and forth of the strophe and anti-strophe that would have been presented in Ancient Athens.

Literature of Knowledge, Literature of Power Thomas DeQuincey

Print the essay below.  Place in your notebook under today’s date (9/25).  Read it.  Talk to the text.  Then answer the question below ( a well-developed paragraph with specific examples from DQ’s text) in your notebook (date: 9/25).  Complete by Thursday, 9/28.

Explain how DeQuincey’s ideas are parallel to the notions Russell had regarding useful and “useless” knowledge.

 

lit of knowledge text