I don\t know how the ancient Greeks reacted to Medea especially when it was staged in the amphitheatres with burning torches sending long shadows in the dusk and the masks and stilts creating horror on horror. But now that we are being confronted by another Medea day in and out 24 x 7 for the past one week I can’t help but comparing the fictional Medea with the contemporary woman. Indrani Mukherjea who is alleged to have killed her daughter, allegedly attempted to murder her son and is said to be as powerful as Medea was. In fact she has more power because Indrani does not have the magic and the supernatural assistance of her literary fictional sister.
People who know them personally feel it is her husband who has worked through her for some monetary gain. The media of course is investigating and coming up with weird stories all the time, while Arnab of Times continuously thumps his table and declares ‘India wants to know’! The attack on Indrani Mukherjea is vicious. Of course they are right because if she has done what the Police suspect, she is utterly repugnant, but the attack on her is also repugnant.
It is only last night that some women activists said however rotten is the crime, the attack on Indrani Mukherjea is patriarchal. Women are not supposed to wield the power that did Indrani Mukherjea, women are not supposed to kill, women are not supposed to have as many lovers / husbands.
In the play Medea the protagonist, was of as terrible an attitude, guilty of crimes that goes against human nature (as is Indrani Mukherjea ) as salacious was the attention Medea drew; she was as much a foreigner as Indrani Mukherjea was after displaying filial disobedience by helping Jason and then of course Medea was tossed aside that led her to seek the most terrible revenge. We have not discovered whether our Medea is as consumed by jealousy or whether there is any usurping of power by a younger version or whether the scent of money and grubby greed was her undoing.
But what amazes me is how closely fact mirrors fiction.