Translation Controversies


Here are just some of the references in my edition of Medea that involve the gods. This is just to show the differences in themes that arise due to differences in translations! Thought it might be interesting to just skim through some of these dialogues.

  1. Context: Nurse tries to console Medea

‘Don’t kill yourself with grief. Trust in Zeus. His justice is the way to settle scores’

  1. Context: Medea cries out to the gods to punish Jason for breaking an oath

‘Themis and Artemis, brave goddesses, enforce those vows – or let me see Jason and his princess buried’

  1. Context: Nurse emphasising Medea’s cries

‘Did you hear her terrible prayers? How she begs Themis and Zeus the guardian of oaths to revenge the broken vows?’

  1. Context: When Medea is devising a scheme to seek revenge

‘Hecate, dearest of my household gods, by your dark magic I will repay the pain and ridicule’

‘I must be Medea, Hecate’s servant, artist of potions and spells of guile.’

  1. Context: Jason responds back to Medea’s curses.

‘Remember, the gods can still make life worse for you’

  1. Context: Reason Aegeus gives for being childless.

‘I think by a god’s curse’

  1. Context: Medea while setting out the final plan

‘But the gods will assist me. Jason will pay for mistreating me’

27 thoughts on “Translation Controversies

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