HERE AND NOW EDITOR’S NOTE BY JOSEPH WHELAN
As we present an online reading of Charles Martin’s Medea, we are acutely aware of how well Euripides’ ancient play speaks to our world today, a connection expertly illuminated by this nimble translation. The questionable moral universe of Euripides’ tragedy finds succinct expression in a speech by the Nurse at the play’s beginning:
Dangerous the minds of rulers: Because they only issue orders Which they seldom follow, They find it hard to give up anger.
Today, we might well ask: In what moral universe does an angry ruler trample lawful demonstrators with tear gas and brute force, not in the name of justice, not in the name of rights, not even in the name of law and order, but for that Holy Grail of our morally enfeebled universe—the perfect photo op? Bankrupt does as bankrupt is, morally or otherwise. Sad to think that given the