Home > Catalogue > Lexis > Num. 38 (n.s.) – Dicembre 2020 – Fasc. 2 > Thymos and Metis in Medea by Euripides

Thymos and Metis in Medea by Euripides

Giuseppe Lentini    Sapienza Università di Roma, Italia    



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.

Dec. 21, 2020
Aug. 7, 2020

Keywords: Odysseyμῆτις/βίη antithesisOdysseusMedeaMonologue

Copyright: © 2020 Giuseppe Lentini. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.