Though Creon arrives declaring that Medea has been banished from Corinth because of her threats of revenge against Jason, Creon, and the princess, he is willing to show her mercy and allow her to stay one more day. He also fears stories of Medea's past and her reputation for using sorcery. A Greek king, he seems to adhere to the notion that Medea is a foreigner who is not to be trusted. This instinct is correct in this case, because his willingness to compromise is no match for Medea's powers of manipulation. Medea, in Episode 1, steers the dialogue with manipulative precision. She has already openly threatened the royal family and Jason, who show her temerity. Creon shows weakness, and Medea uses that and his love for his daughter to gain the upper hand. Preying upon his devotion as a father, she pretends to need only one day to seek refuge for herself and her sons in exile. Creon's willingness to negotiate and Medea's ability to manipulate take the plot one step closer to its tragic ending: the murders of Creon, his daughter, and Medea's children. Medea repeats the word work at the end of Episode 1. In the quotation she calls the work "this deadly business," so she is clearly referring to her plot of murderous revenge for Jason's betrayal. She speaks to herself in the second person, almost as a rallying cry to motivate herself to act. The final reference to work is in the context of talking about Sisyphus, who, according to Greek myths, is punished in Hades by having to continually push a heavy boulder uphill. When it reaches the top, it immediately rolls back down again. Medea juxtaposes this image of useless, perpetual work with her own work, in which she will make sure to succeed. Sisyphus was the founder and first king of Corinth, so Medea may also be using this image to belittle Creon, the current king The poisoned crown and gown, the ones intended for the princess, are "twisted gold." They are also from Helios, the sun god and Medea's grandfather. The use of the phrase "twisted gold" enriches the plot by speaking to how Medea twists her speech for Jason, acting one way and feeling another. Her plot of revenge, to murder her own children, could also be called twisted, and the gold could represent the royal family she intends to eliminate. Jason questions Medea's precious gift, saying that he sees it as unlikely that the royal family needs more gold than they already have and that he believes the princess cares more for him than for "rich possessions." Though Medea does not let her peaceful mask slip, this must incite her and spur her to continue with her plan of revenge. Medea says the gods favor the princess and that she would "trade more than gold" if only the princess will allow her sons to stay. This is an example of dramatic irony: no matter what Jason believes, the audience knows Medea is indeed planning a trade, but a very different one—her golden crown for the death of the princess and Creon. Jason's backstory, which was known by the Greek audience and also related to readers through the play's dialogue, is that he is a Greek hero, an Argonaut, and the heir to the throne of Iolcus. He believes his destiny is to rule; but, because that cannot be the case in Corinth, where Creon is king, he will attach himself to royalty in order to improve his social standing. The Chorus is commenting that he could not be more wrong because his betrayal will result in the murder of his wife, keeping him from marrying into royalty, and in the death of his sons, ending his bloodline. On the surface Medea is telling the children that, because of Jason's marriage to the princess, the boys will have to leave their dwelling place, their home with her, and live "somewhere else." After all, Medea herself will be going into exile. But there is another, deeper meaning, of course. Medea is actually speaking to the children about life and death; it is their lives that they will have to leave, and the "somewhere else" is the afterlife. She blames Jason, saying he is the one taking their lives away through his betrayal of their family, which has forced her to take revenge. The Chorus mentions the Muse who guides it in wisdom, which is highly valued by the Chorus and by Greek society in general. It is this wisdom, the Chorus says, that it will now impart. Then, it speaks of the gods in general, arguing that being without children is a happier, easier state, partly because of the gods' control of human lives. For instance, because the gods control Fate, even if parents rear their child to grow up well, the gods may determine the child's Fate is to die young: "the gods inflict on mortal men/... this most painful further sorrow." The messenger is a sensible man attached to Jason's household. Since Jason's marriage, he points out, the princess is now his "mistress," but it's clear that his emotional attachment is still to Medea and her sons: He relates that he and the other servants were "glad,/... /that you and your husband's previous quarrel/was now over." He speaks to Medea almost as a brother might, with disapproval and concern, making clear that he finds her vengeful, passionate actions foolish and advising her to flee. When she is pleased with his news, he incredulously asks, "Are you in your right mind, lady, or insane?" He clearly believes that Medea's passion has overcome her wisdom. The messenger also comments on people of the higher classes in general by saying, "Those mortals/who seem wise, ... /are guilty of the greatest foolishness." Medea is in a position to have servants and may "seem wise" to those servants, but she does not temper her thoughts, words, or deeds with reason. It is likely the messenger would extend his comments to include Jason, the princess, and even Creon, considering their thoughtless actions prompted Medea's revenge. When Jason and Medea arrive in Corinth, both are exiles. Neither is Corinthian, so both may be considered "other." But Jason is Greek and therefore able to fit in. As a prince of Iolcus, he is considered noble and accepted into the royal family. For Medea the situation is very different. Although a princess by birth, Medea is non-Greek, a barbarian, and has no claim on Jason or any right to remain in Corinth. Jason taunts her with this in their first conversation: "you now live among the Greeks,/not in a country of barbarians." He characterizes her homeland as lawless and uncivilized, saying that in Greece she's "familiar with justice and the laws, rather than brute force." Medea is also "other" because she's descended from the gods, uses magic, and murders her own children. Knowing her past, Creon exiles her. The Chorus leader worries, "What country, what home will you ever find/to save you from misfortune?" Later the Chorus points out that killing her sons will only serve to worsen her exile: "How will [Athens]/welcome you—a murderess/who slaughtered her own children ... ?" Jason blames Medea's unnatural deed on her barbarian roots: "No woman from Greece would dare/to do this." At this point in the play, Medea no longer has a choice; she knows that, if she does not kill her sons, the state will. Still, she can hardly force herself to do it: "Why do I put off doing this dreadful act,/since it must be done? Come, pick up the sword,/wretched hand of mine. .../move to where your life of misery begins./... forget they are your children/and mourn them later." Earlier in the play, when Medea spoke of her plan to kill the children, it was linked with revenge on Jason. But now she doesn't mention him at all. In this monologue there's also no mention of revenge, just the agony of a mother about to lose her children. Perhaps surprisingly, Medea doesn't consider taking the boys with her when she flees to Athens. Her passionate emotions seem to have blinded her to other options, trapping her in her revenge plot. The Chorus is a representation of society, and its hesitation could represent how society allows crimes to happen without stepping in to stop them. Also, the Chorus may view the murder as Fate because the gods themselves have not interfered. While Medea kills her sons, the Chorus stands outside of the house hearing the cries from within and says, "Should I go in the house?/I'm sure I must prevent this murder." Despite this momentary conflict on what to do, the Chorus remains outside and does not intervene; after all, children are the property of their parents, and it is the parents' right to do with them as they see fit. Of course, in Ancient Greek drama, although the chorus might be considered an actor, it often primarily comments, informs, interprets, or persuades but doesn't have a greater level of active agency. Situational irony plays a significant role in the Exodos because every one of Jason's expectations is turned on its head. First, Jason arrives at the marriage house, expecting to find his sons alive and to protect them from punishment, but the opposite occurs. The Chorus informs him that Medea has killed them. He then says he will take revenge, but he will never get the chance. Instead, he'll learn that he has been the victim of Medea's revenge. Jason also arrives expecting that, even if Medea has already fled, she will be caught and punished by what is left of the royal house in Corinth: "She'll have to ... fly up to heaven's overarching vault,/if she's going to avoid her punishment." It never occurs to Jason that Medea has done exactly that: she confronts him from the golden chariot and escapes to safety, taking with her the bodies of his children. In general, Jason's life has not turned out as he anticipated it would when he married the princess. In the patriarchal society of ancient Greece, Medea, who was an intelligent and powerful woman and who had a habit of leaving a trail of bodies in her wake (her brother, Jason's uncle, Creon, Creon's daughter, and so forth), was considered a monster. She had broken society's rules, for instance, by marrying the man she chose rather than the one her father chose for her. What's more, Medea was a powerful, intelligent, and headstrong sorcerer, so it's easy to see why she was terrifying. But Euripides, while including all these monstrous traits in his Medea, also shows how human and vulnerable she is—especially in her suffering over Jason's betrayal, her gratitude for Aegeus's friendship, and her maternal adoration of her children. It is Euripides's sympathy for Medea that is so unconventional. This humanization of characters was one of the ways in which Euripides broke with the established traditions of Greek theater. Other notable ways were his use of technology and his growing reliance on individual actors coupled with a decreasing use of the chorus. Many scholars believe the use of a crane (mechane) to hoist an actor above the stage originated with Euripides. He used it extensively in his plays. Usually the hoister was a god (deus), who swooped in to pass judgment, make pronouncements, or otherwise resolve events. In Medea it is the protagonist who rises above the stage in Helios's chariot. This ending was and remains controversial. After all, Medea is a tragedy, so the audience would expect a tragic ending. As the Chorus points out, filicide is a crime that can bring down the wrath of the gods, and, because Medea's children are descended from Helios, the Chorus expects Medea to suffer for killing them. Given the horror of Medea's crimes, which also include regicide, it seems unjust that she is able to borrow Helios's chariot and escape unscathed. However, Euripides portrays Medea as a devoted wife who has sacrificed homeland, status, and family for Jason, whereas Jason himself is a thoughtless, self-centered, unfaithful lout. So it's satisfying to see Jason watch powerlessly as Medea escapes in glory instead of getting dragged off in chains. Also, because Medea is Helios's granddaughter, it's believable that the god would help her.