Violence and Women: Exploring the Medea Myth

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The archetypal story of Medea is a cautionary tale for our era. Jason and Medea’s marriage, favored by the gods, represents an attempt at a union of opposites very far from each other. They represent the masculine and feminine principles, covering a wide range of psychological, sociological, and historical aspects.

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The archetypal story of Medea is a cautionary tale for our era. Jason and Medea’s marriage, favored by the gods, represents an attempt at a union of opposites very far from each other. They represent the masculine and feminine principles, covering a wide range of psychological, sociological, and historical aspects.

This synthesis fails. In the myth, as Euripides presents it, the failure is caused by Jason’s regression and submission to the exclusivity of the patriarchal principle — the Old King. Medea, who not only represents the feminine but also the forces of Nature and Transformation, is profoundly incompatible with this regression. She reacts! She destroys and creates havoc. This is what the unconscious does when it is not heard or denied. In the end Medea is saved by the gods, the divine principles or psychic laws that regulate the laws of Nature and Transformation in the psyche. They support her to the bitter end.

Table of Contents

Preface 

PART ONE 

Introduction 

The Medea Rage 

The Myth of Medea 

Euripides: Medea 

PART TWO 

Historical and Cultural Background 

Euripides’ Place in Greek Theatre in Fifth Century BC 

The Truth of Medea for the Greeks 

The Universality of Medea’s Truth 

PART THREE 

Edith 

Jason 

Medea & Jason 

The Poet and the Women 

Concluding Remarks 

Epilogue 

Bibliography 

“This is a rare book in the field of therapeutic psychology that deals with the taboo subject of Women’s rage, which can destroy their children and themselves. Using the ancient Greek mythological story of Medea by Euripides, the author deftly draws parallels to the destructive examples of modern times. We have a better understanding of the dynamics of the extreme imbalance between the repressed feminine principle within men and women both, and the raw forces of Nature manifested in external as well as intra-psychic relationships. It is highly recommended as a required read by all mental health professionals.”

 -Manisha Roy, Ph.D., Jungian analyst, author of Women, Stereotypes and Archetypes

 

“Drawing on her experience as a dramaturg, Jungian analyst Anita Chapman bridges the death-dealing divide between masculine and feminine values from the 5th Century B.C. to the present day. Artfully addressing feminine rage in the ancient myth of Medea, in several analytic clients, and in the daily news, Dr. Chapman identifies the archetypal energies that continue to play out in our personal relationships, and in our social and collective lives—including the political arena and Nature’s stage. Readers will leave the book as if leaving an evening at the theater, having participated in the most important psychological drama facing our species.”

– Jerry R. Wright, Jungian analyst, author of Reimagining God and Religion: Essays for the Psychologically Minded

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