STORY, William Wetmore
(b. 1819, Salem, d. 1895, Vallombrosa)


Marble, height 209 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Medea is an ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides, based upon the myth of Jason and Medea. The protagonist Medea is abandoned by her husband Jason and in revenge kills the children they have had.

To nineteenth-century theater audiences, Medea was a sympathetic character forced to choose between relinquishing her children and protecting them by destroying them herself. Story similarly deemphasized Medea's revenge, leaving to the viewer's imagination the scene of infanticide to come.

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