Augusta Webster’s monologue “Medea in Athens” constitutes a sequel to the Euripidean tragedy: now married to Aegeus, in Athens, Medea hears the news of Jason’s death and imagines witnessing the last moments of his life, analyzes her own reactions, talks to his ghost and reflects upon her past. This essay examines Webster’s monologue and its relation to the sources, not only to Euripides – the literary source usually identified by critics – but also to other classical archetypes (Apollonius Rhodius, Ovid and Seneca). Webster establishes with them a subtle interplay, drawing on some themes and distancing herself from others. The result of this operation is a creative and modern rewriting. Two other features are essential for assessing Webster’s originality: the first one is the monologic form, through which Medea determines Jason’s behaviour, his thought and his words, and the second one is the chronological displacement, which, by setting the monologue in a later temporal context, makes Webster’s version different from all the preceding works.
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