Argonautica continues. Medea must decide whether or not to help Jason, a stranger, and go against the wishes of her own father; or to let him be killed, along with her sister-sons and a whole ship’s crew of heroes.
This is amazing stuff, even in translation, and I really don’t think I did anything near enough justice to it. If anybody out there is looking for a dramatic monologue to perform for speech class or an audition, I suggest you look here. (We don’t normally remember that Medea wasn’t just a princess, priestess, witch, and maniacally vengeful child-murderer; at this point she is a girl in the throes of first love.)
Argonautica continues, as the action shifts to Olympus. Athena and Hera want to help the Argonauts, but they can’t figure out a cunning plan to win the Golden Fleece. They’re pretty sure that Medea could do it, but why would she help a stranger get valuables away from her father? So, goddesses… who ya gonna call?
We should be finished with Pompilia’s book next week. Then there’s two lawyers’ books, the Pope’s book, Guido’s second book, and a wrap-up book. And people wonder why book-length poems went out of fashion. Sheeeeeeesh. Even though it’s all Browning and all good, it’s like asking for one small dessert and being served cake for 24….
On the bright side, Argonautica is fast-paced and beautiful! So I guess I’m the shallow type who prefers action to deep psychological realism.
Then we have a moment apparently echoed by Grahame in one of my favorite parts of The Wind in the Willows. Nobody seems to have mentioned this correspondence to me, so I’m pointing it out to you. It was probably too obvious for mention by previous generations, and is now way too obscure for ours. (You know, we miss out on a lot these days by our lack of a good classical education.)
The Argonautica continues, as we meet an island king who forces all visitors to choose a champion to box with him. Little does he know that onboard the Argo is the greatest boxer in the world, the hero twin Polydeuces! (AKA Pollux of “Castor and”.)