The Irony of Medea

In “In This Way Lies the Greatest Safety: Irony, Euphemism, and Gnomic Utterance,” Helaine Smith discusses the dramatic irony used in Medea. This is best seen through the nurse, who demonstrates in the beginning of the show that she is aware of what is going to come to be. In fact, she informs the children, “come now, withdraw indoors, as quickly as you can,” as a way to foreshadow their ultimate peril (Smith 134). The nurse also warns the children to guard themselves from their mother’s “savage temper, and the hate-filled nature of her self-willed mind.” This is what ultimately is the major flaw of Medea, that her anger and temper towards Jason has no mercy. However, this dramatic irony does lead to question whether or not what happened could have been prevented had it been so obvious from the nurse’s perspective of Medea’s wrath.

Smith, Helaine L. “In This Way Lies the Greatest Safety:” Irony, Euphemism and Gnomic Utterance in Medea 1 -203.” Classical Journal, vol. 107, no. 2, Dec2011/Jan2012, pp. 129-141. EBSCOhost, setonhill.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aft&AN=71100478&site=ehost-live.

 

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