Medea: Discuss the Role of the Chorus

1219 words 5 pages
"Discuss the importance of the role that the Chorus plays in Euripedes' Medea."
<br>The Chorus is very much an important part of Euripedes' Medea, and indeed many other works written in the ancient Greek style. In this play, it follows the journey Medea makes, and not only narrates, but commentates on what is happening. Euripedes uses the Chorus as a literary device to raise certain issues, and to influence where the sympathies of the audience lie.
<br>In the list of characters at the beginning of the play, the Chorus is stated to be a chorus of Corinthian Women. This draws the first link between them and Medea. The Chorus follows Medea on her journey through this play. They act as narrators on important occurrences in the play;
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<br>Apart from narrating, and commentating, the Chorus also takes on the role of advising Medea. Throughout the play they are on the side of Medea, but even they do not agree with the course of action that Medea wishes to take. Where their sympathies lie has changed, and this is indicative of the desired response of the audience. When they hear of her plans they try to persuade her otherwise:
<br> ‘May the course of evil be checked now, go no further.'
<br>However the audience always knows that Medea will go through with this course of evil, because this inevitability is part of the nature of tragedies.
<br>The language that is used during the Chorus' stasima is also important. They are very poetic and their dialogue often contains powerful imagery. The way the Chorus' parts are written would make the performance of their lines on stage, very dramatic. This distinction in the language and writing style, helps to distinguish the Chorus as a voice of reason, which makes them the characters that the audience can most relate to. Also, dramatically, as a mass on stage, they would have been convincing to an audience simply for the reason of there being multiple voices saying the same thing.
<br>The audience's response to the outcome of the play is greatly influenced by the Chorus. In the beginning of the play, their sympathies lie with Medea, and the audience is lead to share this sympathy,


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