Also Seen: Medea is as relevant today as it was in Ancient Greece

At a site called The Conversation, in medias res:

[…] Indeed, Medea’s situation bears a chilling resemblance to current research on maternal filicide. She’s been abandoned by her husband in a foreign land where she has no support network. Isolation, low social status, and stress have been cited as crucial factors in maternal infanticide both in humans and in primates. Medea’s motivation is a desire to punish her husband, a major category used by researchers investigating the background to such crimes. One research article even suggests that mothers are more likely to kill male children if their motivation is vengeance: Medea’s is, and her victims are both sons.

Not only are Medea’s actions psychologically realistic, but so is the way that other characters respond to them in the play. A research study from 2006 examined more than 250 news reports on maternal infanticide in the US to see how journalists present these cases. It concludes that women tend to be presented in over-simplistic terms, either as being driven to insanity due to caring so much, or as fundamentally heartless. At the start of the play, Medea screams hysterically off-stage. At the same time, her nurse describes her as incapable of controlling her emotions due to deep grief. […]

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