Chorus role in medea Essay

This essay has a total of 814 words and 4 pages.

chorus role in medea

The Chorus influences our response to Medea and her actions in both a positive and
negative manner. The Chorus, a body of approximately fifteen Corinthian women who
associate the audience with the actors, is able to persuade and govern us indirectly
through sympathy for what has been done to Medea, a princess of Colchis and the victim of
her husband's betrayal of love for another woman. The Chorus also lead us to through
sympathy for Medea to accept her decision of taking revenge on princess Glauce and Jason.
On the other hand the Corinthian women influence us and our responses towards Medea
negatively by pleading to her when she decides to kill the children later in the story.



A way the Chorus influences our response to have pity and to give sympathy to Medea and
her situation is by explaining and acquainting us of Medea's plight.

"I heard her voice, I heard that unhappy woman from Colchis still crying, not calm yet." (Page 21)
And again
"I heard her sobbing and wailing, shouting shrill, pitiful accusations against her husband
who has betrayed her. She invokes Themis, daughter of Zeus, who witnessed those promises
which drew her across from Asia to Hellas, setting sail at night, threading the salt
strait, key and barrier to the Pontic Sea." (Page 23)

Here the Chorus is giving us the situation where Medea has travelled from distant lands
and has given up her life to be with Jason who in turn betrays her. They also tell us of
how Medea is reacting to her situation; this appeals to us to give sympathy for Medea and
to favour her but lets our feelings decide if we should feel sorry. Once the Chorus has
explained the wrongs that have been done they accept Medea's decision to seek revenge on
Jason therefore leading us to also accept Medea's decision.

"I'll do as you ask. To punish Jason will be just." (Page 25)


Another method the Chorus portrays is by governing or telling us how we should feel in an
indirect manner. In the scene where Medea has reached a dead end and has no-where and
no-one to turn to the Chorus says.

"Medea, poor Medea! Your grief touches our hearts. A wanderer, where can you turn? To what
welcoming house? To what protecting land? How wild with dread and danger is the sea where
the gods have set your course!" (Page 28)

The Chorus explains to us that Medea has nothing to lose, that her situation is bleak and
in some way forces us to feel sorry for Medea and to favour her.

After the scene where Medea and Jason argue, the Chorus speaks more of Medea's hopeless situation.
Continues for 2 more pages >>