Rhetorical Devices in Medea

Rhetorical Devices Examples in Medea:

The Medea 2

"He hath not dared to do, Jason, a thing so shameful?..."   (The Medea)

Jason’s actions defy the Greek concept of oikos, or the family unit. He has abandoned his family and therefore dared to do “a thing so shameful.” Aegeus’s tone of disbelief suggests that Jason’s actions are outlandish. Notice how the narrative of the play condemns Jason and his actions as it builds towards Medea’s own shocking sin.

"We must pay Our store of gold, hoarded for that one day, To buy us some man's love..."   (The Medea)

By this, Medea refers to the ancient Greek custom of dowry. Marriages were generally arranged by a couple’s families. A dowry was the money that the woman’s family would pay to the man’s family to secure the marriage. She remarks on the powerlessness of women to reject a man once her family has arranged marriage. The interesting thing about this speech is that Medea has not suffered any of the conditions that she complains about here. She appeals to her audience of Corinthian women by talking about their issues rather than pleading her own case.