56. évf. , 1-4. szám (2017): Médeia-interpretációk
A Studia Litteraria Médeia-interpetációk című tematikus számának ötlete az egyetemi oktatói munkánk során született meg. Évek óta tapasztalhattuk, hogy a görög drámákkal foglalkozó kurzusokon szinte mindig Euripidés Médeiája volt az az alkotás, amely leginkább megmozgatta a hallgatóságot, a legtöbb véleményre és vi...tára ösztönözve őket. Bizonyára ez is szerepet játszhatott abban, hogy végül az egyik hallgatónk azzal az ötlettel állt elő: tartsunk egy olyan félévet, amely csak Médeia alakjának értelmezéseivel foglalkozik. Így került sor a 2016/17-es tanév őszi félévében a Médeia-interpretációk című kurzusunk megszervezésére (amely korántsem bizonyult úttörőnek: nemcsak külföldön, hanem itthon is volt már példa hasonlóra). A tematikába bekerülő értelmezések, feldolgozások kiválasztását elsősorban az a szándék vezérelte, hogy olyan jelentős művekkel foglalkozzunk, az ókortól napjainkig, amelyek felmutatják a Médeia-mítoszban rejlő és a saját koruk kulturális és egyéb kontextusába beágyazódott értelmezési lehetőségeket és stratégiákat, és nem utolsósorban lehetőséget adnak az adaptáció és medialitás mindenkori összefüggéseinek a megvilágítására is. Ezeket az elméleti szempontokat aztán több praktikus szempont is felülírta, végül mégis izgalmas előadássorozat jött létre, számos oktató közreműködésével.
Among the modern interpretations of Medea, one of the most influential plays by Euripides, which was first performed in 431 BC, there is a so-called “barbarian Medea” reading, which explains the murderous deeds of the heroine (including the killing of her own children) primarily through her barbarian descent and otherness. In this paper, ho...wever, I wish to join another trend among the related, rather expansive, research efforts, which identifies the ultimate reason for the revenge taken by this fierce and impetuous protagonist not in her otherness deriving from her barbarity but essentially in her quality as a cheated and humiliated spouse. In my study, I intend to focus on the figure of Medea as a “Corinthian wife” on the basis of three significant locations in the text of the play: the speech of the Nurse (1–45), Medea’s lamentation (214–267), and the agon between Medea and Jason (446–626). It is my intention to contend that during the “peaceful” years spent in Corinth (cf. 11–15), Medea is an average wife, just like any other woman of her age, until Jason decides to leave her. At this point, however, since she takes Jason’s oath sworn to Zeus and the other gods seriously, she abandons the traditional role of “the ideal wife” and exacts her revenge planned on the prompt of her desperation and the specific combination of circumstances. All this relates her back to her mythic past but, in this case, her barbarity becomes an indication of her otherness as a woman, the same way as her deeds become a medium of the experience shared by contemporary spouses and women.
This study is dealing with two Hungarian translations of Euripides’ Medea. The translation made by Grácia Kerényi was produced in the second half of the 20th century, whereas the version by Zsuzsa Rakovszky was published at the beginning of the 21st. The difference between the translations regarding their textual strategies, the professiona...l background of the translators and the final goal of the works is abysmal. Grácia Kerényi was an expert of ancient literatures, her translation was published in the official and renowned collection of Euripides’ work, Zsuzsa Rakovszky on the other hand translates predominantly from English, and her version was inspired by the request of the theatre. The study contains three parts: in the first the author analyses Kerényi’s Medea in the context of the philological reconstruction, in the second, the author examines the same text modified and revised by Fruzsina Magyar, who was the dramatic advisor of the theatre performance in Szolnok, and the third part reflects on the problems of validity, poetical force and immediacy in the translation of Zsuzsa Rakovszky.
The Argonautica by Apollonius Rhodius is the only remaining epic poem from the Hellenistic period and the longest elaboration of the Argonautic myth. After a long time of rejection, in the last few decades the poem has been rediscovered by scientific research, and it has a renaissance in Hungary, as well. Its first Hungarian translation by Istv...án Szabó was published in 1877. Ever since we have just a few verses from the Argonautica in our mother tongue. In this article we are presenting a detail from the new, yet unpublished Hungarian translation made by Éva Tordai. The third book of the poem tells the love story of Medea, the Colchian princess and Jason, the leader of the Argonauts – the heroes who wish to acquire the Golden Fleece from the king of Colchis, Aeëtes, Medea’s father. After getting shot by Eros and falling in love with the foreign hero, the heroine suffers from the decision she has to make: if she helps Jason to accomplish the challenges he faces, she betrays her family. The detail below (3, 616–824) describes her thoughts, feelings, inner monologues and the conversation with her sister, Chalkiope.
Apollónios Rhodios – Argonautika 3. 616–824 (Tordai Éva műfordítása)
The ancient Greek scholars and philosophers relished to use the deeds of Greek mythological figures as examples to demonstrate their theses, to analyse their motives and psychic processes in the soul. The Medea-myth, its psychology, the destructive emotion processes and their background factors in the woman’s soul have been interpreted by sev...eral scholars during antiquity in particular through the key lines of Euripides’ drama (1078–1080) to demonstrate their own philosophical theses. In the general Greek philosophical thinking, Medea remains the prototype of a cruel, dangerous, barbarian, occasionally regretful woman who embodies the paradigmatic exemplar of the disoriented psyche.
In this paper I try to establish and channel a Pindaric undercurrent in Propertius’ Apollo-elegy which hitherto escaped the notice of literary critics. The lynchpin of the argument are the verses 4. 6. 57 f. of Propertius and Pyth. 4. 244–250 of Pindar. In these passages both poets practice radical shortening of narration in order to avoid...epic eccentricity. Some elements of Pindar’s imagery and metapoetic stance seemingly absent in Propertius are detected in other parts of the elegy. If the allusion is accepted, the intriguing parallel between the historical Cleopatra and the mythical Medea emerges, the former being destroyed by the Romans, the latter afflicting vengeance upon Pelias. This can be related to the same constellation in 3. 11, where Cleopatra appears as the personified perversion of the political and erotic sway of mythical and historical queens.
Medea’s monologue (Ov. Met. 7, 11–71) is the first fully dramatic soliloquy in Ovid’s Metamorphoses and as such has been regarded as the prototype for other dramatic speeches in the poem. The monologue opens the long Ovidian Medea-episode and is in close dialogue with the intertextual tradition regarding Medea. This paper seeks to show ho...w control plays a key role in the monologue both in Medea’s battle with herself and as part of her self-reflection. In my new reading, the moment of definition is central both to the epistemological process by which Medea understands her situation, and to the ethical considerations connected to her decision.
Each of the three great Roman tragedians of the Republic, Ennius, Accius and Pacuvius, wrote plays concerned with Medea, but only fragments of these texts have survived. Seneca’s Medea is the only extant dramatic representation of the myth composed between Euripides and Seneca. The paper will try to demonstrate the ways in which the Medea–m...aterial is remodelled by this author. The analysis includes the dramatic structure, the narrative strategies and their comparison with relevant passages of other ancient and modern authors on the same material. I will focus on the ambiguous character and the polarities of Seneca’s heroine in connection with his philosophical prose work, De ira.
The subject of my paper is Hosidius Geta’s drama, Medea. The Late Latin tragedy retells the well-known Greek myth in Virgilian hexameters. Written in the 3rd century AD, the piece was preserved in the so-called Codex Salmasianus (today Codex Parisianus 10381), a manuscript copied in a monastic scriptorium in the 8th century. Not much is known... about its assumed author, Hosidius Geta. Due to the fact that his figure is known from a reference by Tertullian the African, Hosidius might also have lived in Africa. Originally, the name of the genre cento meant a patchwork garment used for covering animals or as defensive armour. Later, the expression was applied to a new method of poetic creation and a particular literary genre, in which new poems were composed of excerpts taken from other authors, especially Virgil. I focus on passages where Medea’s words might have been borrowed from Virgil’s Dido. Most quotations from Dido are put into the mouth of Medea, but Medea’s passages are predominantly composed of other sources. Hosidius’ Medea is related to Seneca’s portrayal: her cruel and destructive nature seems to be conscious, which alienates the reader.
Images of Medea were closely linked to sepulchral thoughts from the very beginning, but this meaning was, from time to time, carried by a different motif of her story. In the age of archaic and partly classical style it was the magic of rejuvenation that represented the thought of overcoming death. Obtaining the Golden Fleece as depicted on the... late classical South Italian vases as well as on the stucco of early imperial Basilica Sotterranea can be interpreted as a motif of redemption. Imagery of infanticide and rising on a dragon-drawn carriage also appears on South–Italian vases. Just like with funerary objects, sepulchral thoughts cannot be denied in these cases, either, and Medea, holding her dead child depicted on a sculpture fragment from Tarentum is definitely part of a sepulchre. In the Roman imperial period a group of sarcophagi and provincial sepulchres represented Medea, the child-murderer. While several works have been dedicated to unravelling the meaning of the Medea sarcophagi, nearly none has examined the interpretation of the carvings that appeared in provincial art. This is what we have attempted to do while recognising the influence of Euripides’ work in the background, and identifying Medea as a figure embodying several meanings.
The myth of Medea in old Hungarian poetry occurs only occasionally. Sebestyén Tinódi (1510?–1556) translated the Medieval Historia Troiana by Guido da Columna putting the prose into verse. The Medea-story was incorporated in the myth of the first and second sieges of Troy: the character of the main hero (Jason) is constructed from the panel...s of hypermasculine Hercules and pious Aeneas. Medea and Dido also keep in close allegorical touch. Kristóf Armbrust adds Medea’s profile to his satirical misogynist poem (1550) with special regards to the dark side of the character. István Koháry (1649–1731) uses the myth as a political allegory: the author draws a parallel between the mythological person cut into pieces by Medea promising to rejuvenate the old body and the dismemberment of the old country. István Gyöngyösi (1629–1704) depicts the myth as a story about fatal love and its ambivalent consequences.
The figure of Medea (well known from the Metamorphoses of Ovid and from the tragedies of ancient literature) does not have a special iconography in the early modern era, which can be the consequence of her complicated story in the different works. In my opinion, the painting of Girolamo Macchietti is an example for the actualization of the stor...y according to the ideology of the Renaissance era about man and nature: the power of human knowledge and the complexity of the world. The representation of Medea as a magician offers a direct connection between the painting and Ovid’s Metamorphoses, but the place of Girolamo Macchietti’s work can extend the interpretation. The painting was ordered beside many others by Francesco I de’ Medici for his studiolo, which was a working room and a place for his collections. The scholar Vicenzo Borghini designed the decoration of the studiolo to celebrate the relation between Art and Nature in accordance with the personal interests of Francesco, such as alchemy, among others. But the painting does not show these references explicitly anymore: therefore my paper tries to reconstruct the forgotten contexts surrounding the painting and the figure of Medea.
The article’s aim is to analyse three paintings (those of Pierre, de Vanloo and Delacroix) and a drawing attributed to Poussin, all of which have Medea as their subject. Critiques (written by La Font de Saint-Yenne, Diderot and Gautier) and Bellori’s description of these pictures are also examined. By the analysis, the article’s goal is t...o shed light on the shifts in the pictorial conception of Medea as a subject, as well as to reveal them in their literary reception in the 17th and 18th centuries. The article seeks to answer – among others – the following questions: what are the criteria that the critics of the Salons insist on? To what extent do they relate to the exhibited image? Or do they rather serve as illustrations for the artistic principles valued by the critics?
Medeia by Sándor Weöres is one of the poet’s epic mythological poems of the 1950s, connecting and contrasting fragments of Medea’s disparate mythic narratives written by Euripides, Apollonius Rhodius and Ovid. The textual and narrative discontinuity and the mixture of epic, lyric and dramatic discourses in a widened context of Medea’s m...ythologems allow to read the poem as a simultaneous experiment to interchange the dramatic functions of the characters, dissolving and establishing the borders of their identity, and, paradoxically, to metaphorise the closure, the marginalization and the isolation of the Self. Medeia is constituted by a double time structure: besides the homogeneous time of the dream and the non-existence connecting to the inseparability of the poem’s speakers and to the visual dominance, there is the time structure of the unified centre of the unidentified first person singular, and the remembrance of the voices resulted in diverse histories. The three dominant types of the speakers’ narratives are the magic powers of the enchantress penetrated by the voices of the victims, that of the orphic Medea calling into question the function and effect of poetry and song, and the various mythologems of dragons.
The present study examines how Pasolini’s film on Medea’s devouring passion fits in the poet-director’s general discourse conducted since the early ‘60s about the tragic lack of communication between the sacred past and the profane present, and how it links to its direct antecedent Euripides’ play. It starts from the anthropological t...heory of Ernesto De Martino, and the concept of “presence” elaborated by him, which was well known and appreciated by Pasolini. In extending the story narrated by Euripides and focusing on the events of stealing the Golden Fleece as much as on Medea’s terrible vengeance, the director gains territory to enforce the anthropological point of view. Highlighting the link between Medea and the God of Sun reveals the cosmic perspective of the myth. The study analyses the relationships between the main characters and the way Pasolini uses and rewrites Euripides’ text with some shifts of emphasis, converting Medea’s story into a metaphor of a deep change in the western world called anthropological genocide by Pasolini.
The article approaches Lyudmila Ulitskaya’s Medea and Her Children from the Ancient Greek myth of Medea. The argument starts from the fact that despite the novel’s title, the text shows significant deviation from the story of the original myth. Likewise, the possible reasons for the remarkable differences between the Ancient Greek Medea fig...ure and Ulitskaya’s eponymous heroine is the subject of investigation. It is argued that the differences are due to Ulitskaya’s distinct reliance on classical Russian literature besides the myth in creating her protagonist. The writer establishes intertextual links between her own novel and some outstanding works of Russian literature. As a result of such reminiscences and allusions, Ulitskaya’s heroine represents the moral values and an attitude to life much more typical of classical Russian literature than Antiquity. The article’s author concludes by highlighting that the success of Ulitskaya’s novels can be attributed to the writer’s excellence in combining postmodern literary techniques with the principles of “new realism” – a tendency that follows classical Russian literary traditions.
Médée, la Colchidienne (Medea the Colchian woman) is a novel written for adolescents by the French Hellenist and writer Marie Goudot, published in 2002. Rooted in the still very rich French literary tradition about the princess, the novel of Goudot seems to adhere to a particular way of interpretation of the myth. This one considers the well-...known portrait of Medea, an infanticide witch, as a Euripidean forgery conceived to destroy the originally highly positive image of the wise-woman and benevolent healer. One of the most important representatives of this rehabilitating lecture is Medea. Stimmen, a German novel published in 1996 by Christa Wolf, strongly influenced by psychoanalysis and feminism. The aim of the present article is twofold. Firstly, we would like to investigate the Wolfian inspiration of the French novel. Secondly, we examine the special role attributed to children in the narrative, and the complexity of mother-child relation in the novel by which Goudot is able to add a new aspect to our traditional way of thinking about Medea.