In this first modern version of Medea's monologue, compare it to the old version. Here is BURNS MY SOUL BY D. M. LARSON OF FREEDRAMA.NET
Oh my children, you have still a city and a home, where you can live far from me and my sad life. You will live your lives, apart from your mother forever; I must go away. I will no longer feel the joy you bring me. I will not to get to see your happiness, the great happiness of your marriage, your bride, or your wedding. I'm a victim of my own selfishness. So was there no point to raising you as my sons. Did I suffer for nothing? The cruel suffering of giving birth to you. Before I had hope, hope that you would care for me in my old age and be there for my death, laying me to rest with your loving hands. But even this dream is gone. I must face a life of bitterness and sorrow without you. Your eyes will never see your mother again. Why do you look at me that way, children? Why smile such sweet smiles? What am I going to do? I don't have the heart to do what I want to do when I see the happiness in your eyes. I want to take you with me. Why should I hurt you only to hurt your father? No, no, I will not do it. But how can I let my enemies escape punishment. I must do it. There's no other way. I can't let my feelings for you get in the way.
I will not fail. My heart begs me not to do it and let the children go. Spare them. They give me comfort when I am so far away, won't they? No, never will I hand over my children to them. They must die. I gave them life; now I will take it away myself. Their fate is sealed and there is no escape. Now I will say good-bye. My children, let your mother kiss you. You are so dear to me. You are such beautiful children and I want your happiness. But your father wants to take that from you. It's bittersweet holding you one last time. I will miss you. Go, leave me; I cannot look at you. My sadness overwhelms me. I finally understand the awful thing I am to do; but I burn inside and it's hard to think... hard to be logical... hard to be reasonable... when my anger burns my soul.
Now compare it to the original by Euripides:
Questions for students:
Which version did you like better? Why?
What is the character like in the modern version?
Is the character different or the same as the original version?
Select a line from each monologue that mean the same thing but are worded differently.
Does the new version capture the meaning of the original?
How did the modern version help you understand the original version?
Why might an older piece of writing like Euripides still be meaningful today?
Feel free to post your answers to these questions below and discuss!
Find more monologues at http://www.freedrama.net/small1.html