W104 | Medea


Wednesdays

3:30 - 5:00 pm

Online

5/26, 6/2, 6/9, 6/16, 6/23 & 6/30

Six Sessions 













This course is offered online via the easy-to-use Zoom program.

“One instant she was merely another woman who had been wronged. The next she became the woman who would requite all such wrongs since the world began.”

Differing accounts of Medea’s story all agree in one significant regard: after deliberately murdering several innocent people, including her own two children, Medea never met with any punishment, human or divine. Why was no penalty ever exacted from this classic embodiment of female rage?

This course is a dramatic reading of the complete novel Medea by the author, Richard Matturro, in six installments with time at the end of each class for comments, questions, and discussion. Set in Bronze Age Greece, the myth is told in the form of a modern novel, eliminating none of the passion and violence. Medea is the awkward, introverted daughter of a royal family, growing up in a remote backwater of the Greek world. An escape from this stifling life is offered by the arrival of the dashing and feckless Jason, for whom Medea gives up everything to follow him back to mainland Greece. There she bears him twin sons, then watches helplessly as he falls out of love with her. His announcement that she will be exiled, minus her two boys, so that he can marry the king’s daughter brings on the catastrophe. 

Medea is more realistic than revisionist. “Medea has a mighty soul,” Aunt Circe warns the unconcerned Jason. “Tamper with her at your peril.” He does, providing a valuable opportunity to see her side of a terrible story.

      — Patricia Contino, NewPages

Recommended in Bookviews by Alan Caruba, charter member of the National Book Critics Circle.

Richard Matturro, a native of Rye, New York, holds a doctorate in English with a specialization in Shakespeare and Greek Mythology. After sixteen years at the Albany Times Union, he taught literature at the University of Albany for fourteen years. He is the author of numerous newspaper articles and six novels. Medea was published by Livingston Press in 2014.

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