Sexual Fables

This article accompanies the fable
Homer's Women

Jason and Medea

The tale of Jason, Medea and the Golden Fleece is as old the Odyssey. It is also much bloodier and it's hard to think of two less likeable characters in the ancient Greek legends.

Circe pops up as Medea's aunt and she cleanses Medea of her brother's horrific murder, but it gets worse. In Euripides' famous play (Medea) he tries to persuade us that her bloody revenge isn't because she's a barbarian but because she's a wronged woman. Controversy raged then and still does today, as feminism, female rage, infanticide and post-partum are invoked.

You would hardly know all this from Gustave Moreau's extravagant vision below until you see what Jason and Medea are standing on. This painting from 1865.


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