Thymos and Metis in Medea by Euripides
This paper argues that Euripides’ Medea is characterised by μῆτις (cunning intelligence), and reveals significant analogies with Homer’s Odysseus, the πολύμητις hero: the plot of the tragedy itself seems to be modelled on the Cyclops’ adventure in the Odyssey; also, Medea’s tendency to deliberative monologues (as many as five in the drama) is to be considered a defining element of her μῆτις. This aspect of Medea’s character should be weighed in relation to her ‘spirit’, that is, θυμός (rage), especially since θυμός and μῆτις are seen as more or less polar opposites in the Homeric poems. Medea’s monologues in the tragedy (including her ‘great monologue’ at ll. 1021-80) are then analyzed on the basis of such assumptions.
Keywords: Medea. Odyssey. Odysseus. μῆτις/βίη antithesis. Monologue.
Language: itSubmitted: Aug. 7, 2020