In the play Medea, by Euripides, many techniques are incorporated to augment the compelling persona of the protagonist, Medea. She has an overpowering presence, which is fashioned through the use of imagery, offstage action and language. Dramatic suspense, employment of the chorus and Deus Ex Machina also serve to enhance the intense persona assumed by Medea.
Medea is frequently associated with images of violence and rage. "She's wild. Hate's in her blood. /She feeds her rage
Stormclouds of anger." These images suggest hatred, and anger, they are powerful and present a strong, illustration of Medea's persona. Like nature, Medea is constructed as commanding and yet also unpredictable; this consequentially creates uncertainty as to what she shall do next and thus intrigues the audience with her character. Parallels between Medea and wild animals are often drawn in order to portray her as wild and untamed. "Bullglares, lions claws" and "you hellhound, you tigress," these comments serve to highlight Medea's animalistic side thus increasing her onstage presence and compelling persona. Medea's two-fold personality is revealed through imagery of stone and harshness. She is both passionately emotional and coolly calculating, depending on which enhances her cause. "Cold as stone, cold eyes," in 5th Century BC the eyes were considered of great importance, reflections of the soul, thus to have cold eyes is to have a cold soul. This notion is confronting to the audience and heightens Medea's onstage presence.
The use of offstage action is effective in constructing Medea's authoritative persona. "Fe-oo! Fee-oo! Weep. Pity me." These lamentations are passionate and emotional, exactly what many men of Ancient Greek society would expect of a woman. Suspense is built and the audience's attention captured, focusing it on Medea and the moment of her on-stage arrival. However, when Medea does appear on stage she is calm and composed, dispelling the notion of a...
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