Comparison of Medea by Euripides, Jean Anouilh and Wesley Enouch
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The Medea is a classic tragedy with its historical, cultural and social origins firmly in Ancient Greece. Since originally being written by Euripides, the play has been rewritten and reinterpreted by many different playwrights and directors throughout history. Each time the Meda has been re-imagined, it takes on different meaning, born from the context of the playwright and the message they wish to convey through this powerful play. This essay will cover the original play by Euripides, as well as the versions from Jean Anouilh and Wesley Enouch. It will discuss how the different contexts, historical, social and cultural, have shaped the play that was written and performed.
Euripides was born in Athens in 484 BC and died…show more content… Although Anouilh’s version of the Medea is not widely recognised as being significantly influenced by the Nazi occupation, the time it was written and Anouilh’s propensity for political commentary, would have no doubt shaped the content of the play to some extent. Anouilh is also to be known to be influenced by surrealist movement in France during the 1940s and 50s, experimenting in dramatic surrealism (eNotes on Antigone 2002). Dramatic surrealism is the antithesis of dramatic realism, where particular importance is placed on theatres meaning of staging the play (eNotes on Antigone 2002).
Wesley Enoch is an indigenous Australian was born in 1969 and grew up in Brisbane (Biography: Wesley Enoch 2010). Enoch’s version of the Medea, titled ‘Black Medea’ was originally written and performed in 2000 as a work in progress (Roberts 2005). This was significantly reworked in his 2005 version, although the essence of the story remains the same (Roberts 2005). The play was performed in Sydney’s Belvoir Street Theatre, and in Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, where it enjoyed successful seasons (Roberts, 2005).
For indigenous Australian’s, the use of theatre has played a significant role when fighting for social and political rights, and cultural recognition (Casey n.d., p 216). Enoch, as an indigenous Australian, was seeking to provide a critical commentary on the marginalisation of Aboriginal people. In