Aida Amoako
Last update
2022-07-27 22:03:14

    I read Medea by Euripides and (re)read Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex for the first time since secondary school. I’d been reading Herodotus’ The Histories but I got bored after Book One. It’s six books, I don’t want to slog through that many pages of a book I’m no longer excited about, just to be able to say that I read it. But I have no doubt I will be dipping in from time to time. 

    Anyway, Medea. I. Loved. It. 

    “Let no one think of me as humble or weak or passive; let them understand  I am of a different kind: dangerous to my enemies, loyal to my friends.”

    I read most of it out loud. Thrilling. Horrifying. Enthralling. Hell hath no fury indeed. I’ve noticed, as I move chronologically through the Classical period, the plays get better and better. There’s a greater sense of story, character comes across quicker in far fewer words too.

    On Oedipus the King

    “The truth is what I cherish / and that’s my strength”

    It made me think of secondary school. I enjoyed it. It did however, seem to radiate the rules of tragedy a bit more than Medea, if you get what I mean? I was very aware of the formula. 

    Back to the pre-Socratic philosophers. 

    img: Medea (1868) by Frederick Sandys, courtesy Birmingham Museums Trust via Art UK

    Finished reading Prometheus Bound, Antigone and Ajax. I’m now reading Herodotus’ The Histories. I’m also reading 4 other books for work so... phew. 

    I really enjoyed Prometheus Bound. Aeschylus’ Prometheus is a fascinating character and I’d like to re-read Madeline Miller’s Circe one day to see if her portrayal of him was inspired by this play because I can’t quite remember how she wrote him. Do I like Prometheus? I can’t lie, I did enjoy his defiance. It wasn’t really a grandiose martyrdom in a way because he didn’t actually think he would die.  But I like talkers, characters who argue, characters who -- as my mum would say -- have a key for every lock. I can definitely understand why the Romantics were preoccupied with him. 

    The Histories is about 600 pages, so that’s going to take me a while

    img: Detail from Peter Paul Reubens Prometheus Bound