Modern Day Medea

By: Travis Figanbaum
Adapted from the play Medea by Euripides

April 29, 1999


Medea: A beautiful Chinese woman who falls for an American businessman who came to China in search for a company merger.

Jason: The successful American businessman who woos and marries Medea after a victorious voyage to her fatherland.

Creon: Most wealthy corporation owner in all of New York and father of Pectheus (meant to symbolize the princess of Corinth).

Aegeus: Powerful aid to the emperor of Japan who is a close friend to Medea.



This story is meant to mirror the story of Medea, but in a modern day context. The story in the present time therefore goes as follows. Jason is a wealthy businessman from New York. While on a business trip in China, he meets a beautiful woman named Medea. Medea is powerful in many ways, one of them being in the art of persuasion. Using her beautiful looks and aggressive nature, she aides Jason is sealing up one of the most successful American-Chinese business mergers of all time. After the merger, Jason and Medea fall in love and are married. However, their honeymoon is short lived when rumors of insider-trading and even murder of important business players begin to circulate about the merger and more importantly, Medea. They both flee back to America, to claim their bountiful rewards from Pelias, Jason’s boss.

Medea, being the authoritative woman she is, sees that the only thing standing in the way of Jason and control of the company is Pelias. Seeing the opportunity, Medea hires a hitman, and has Pelias killed. Now sole control lies within Jason. However, the

Board of directors finds the circumstances to Pelias’ death quite peculiar. Before an investigation can occur, Jason willing leaves the company to avoid criminal charges. However, Jason soon finds a willing employer in Creon, president and the wealthy owner of Corinth Enterprises. Seeing the opportunity to advance himself and also secure a future for his son, whom Medea has recently become pregnant with, Jason takes the job. The downside, it is necessary to marry Pectheus, daughter of Creon, and to leave Medea. This is where the story begins.

Scene: New York County Courthouse District 17

(Enter Medea’s Lawyer)

Lawyer: This situation would be a whole lot easier if it had never happened. Why did Jason have to go to China to seal that deal? If only Pelias would have been satisfied with the corporate empire he had, he wouldn’t have cared about China. Then Medea would not have come back here, and the situation wouldn’t be what it is now.

Things are bad now. Jason is leaving Medea to be with the daughter of Creon, and Medea is not happy. I know what she is capable of, and it frightens me. She has already admitted to me about the killing of Pelias, but I am bound by the oath of client-lawyer confidentiality. If she is capable of that, I know she is capable of killing Jason and who knows whom else. Well, here comes my assistant. (Enter Assistant)

Assistant: What’s going on with Medea. Why are you out here and she’s in that room?

Lawyer: She’s still ranting and raving that Jason is going to get everything and she’s going to be stuck with nothing but the child. Have you heard any news about the proceedings outside of court?

Assistant: I have, and I have to tell you they’re not good. I overheard to old executives of Corinth Enterprises talking. They were saying how Creon has many friends in politics. As soon as the divorce is final, Creon plans to have Medea’s visa revoked and deport her back to China.

Lawyer: What about Jason’s kid? He’s just going to let this happen? This is not good at all. I know what Medea is capable of, and this will not be good news. Don’t tell her yet. Let the current troubles subside a little, and then we’ll break it to her. (Enter Medea)

Medea: What is this crap? You are saying that Jason will get everything in this divorce, and I’m going to be stuck with just this unborn child? I married him, I won him the merger, and I got him his status in the business world. Everything he is is because of me. Possession is nine tenths of the law. You’re a lawyer, you should now that. Why am I going to get screwed out of everything? (Exit Lawyer and Enter Creon)

Creon: You there, Medea. I’m here to tell you that now that the divorce is final, I am having you deported back to China. I have the power in this case, and my decision is final.

Medea: When it rains, it pours. You sure are pulling out the big guns for this one. I ask you, what have I done to you to do such injustice to my unborn child and myself?

Creon: Quite frankly, you frighten me. I know what you did to the Chinese businessmen and also to Pelias. I also know about the threats you have said. I fear for my well being and my daughters. In coming after Jason, one of us may be hurt, and I will not let this happen.

Medea: I know your worries, but fear not. You know that my anger does not rest in you, and you have power enough to end me. I do not mess with men of power. Please don’t have me deported, I have nowhere to go. What about my child?

Creon: You’re pleas are falling on deaf ears. I am not willing to take the chance. The love for my family far exceeds my love and worries for yours.

Medea: At least give me one day. One day to tie up my affairs and to find a suitable place for me and my child to live. That’s all I ask, one day.

Creon: Very well. It has often been said that my mercy is my undoing. One day is all you have. One day to finish you’re work here. But hear me now, if tomorrow I find you still living in Jason’s house or even in this city, I will not be responsible for what happens to your well being. I ensure you though; it will not be good. (Exits)

Medea: That seals it. With that one conversation, Creon has sealed the fate of himself, his precious debutante daughter, and Jason. But how will I do it. Maybe I will do it myself, poison them or maybe shoot all of them. But what if I am caught. Then I’ll be killed before I even have a chance. Better I leave it to a professional; it’s always worked in the past. I’ll get in touch with Guido, and he’ll do it well. He’ll make it slow and painful, and I’ll finally have my revenge. (Enter Jason)

Jason: You had to keep pushing didn’t you. You couldn’t keep well enough alone. You kept pushing and you got yourself into more trouble than you can handle. You weren’t content with just insulting me were you? Instead you had to pull Creon and his daughter into it. Now, since you threatened and insulted a powerful man, you got yourself deported from this country. Congratulations.

But, showing that I am still an understanding human being, you and the child will not leave this country lacking anything. You may have all the money and resources needed to leave safely. Here are two plane tickets for Beijing.

Medea: You bastard. You have the unmitigated temerity to come here and tell me that you will help me all I need, yet you SCREW me out of everything I deserve. I made you. I finished the deal in China. I killed for you. I was exiled from my country because of you. Do you think I can go back? I killed people over there, and they’re looking for me. I am guilty of insider trading. I did it all for you, and now you think everything is OK? You are going to ruin me! I loved you. I gave you a child. And all you can do is leave and take everything with you. How dare you come to me?

Jason: Harsh words, but please allow me to retort. I asked you to do none of this; you did it of your own free will. You were under no obligation to do anything for me, you chose to. People fall out of love, and I just don’t love you anymore. I have found a better life for my unborn child and myself. As for your feelings that you deserve something. Need I remind you that you signed a prenuptial agreement? It states that in the event of a divorce, you leave with what you had before we were married, and I leave with what I had before the marriage. And need I remind you that you started with nothing, and will therefore leave with nothing, end of discussion.

Medea: Nevertheless, you left me, and you leave me with nothing. This does still not forgive you accounts. I am being deported, you are getting everything. All this is your fault, and you shall pay.

Jason: Threaten me all you want, but your threats to Creon is what is responsible for your being deported, and no act of my own. You dig the grave, you lay in it. But I am still willing to ensure your safety to get back home.

Medea: Get out of my face, I don’t want your charity. But listen well, this marriage is one that you will someday wish had never happened. (Exit Jason and Enter Lawyer)

Lawyer: I’ve been on the phone with your friend from Japan Aegeus, and he wants to talk to you.

Medea: Well, it looks like my luck is turning around. (Takes phone) Aegeus, I have a problem and I need your help. You are the only person that I can turn to. Things have gone sour here and I am being deported. I need your help. Is it possible for you to take me in and help me?

Aegeus: What has happened? Is there anything I can help with?

Medea: My basest husband has fallen out of love and is divorcing me and leaving me with nothing. To top it off, Jason’s new father in law, Pelias, is having me deported. I’m stuck.

Aegeus: Tell you what, if you can make your way to Japan, I will take care of you. Only if you are able to make it on your own. I will not help you to get here. If you can, you will have a place to stay.

Medea: I must have your solemn assurance that no matter what happens, you will not have me extradited or make me leave. I am very precautions, but only because I have been hurt in the past.

Aegeus: You are very precautions, but you have my word, you will be safe in my country. Good-bye.

Medea: Now my plans are complete. Creon, Jason, and his new wife will be killed before tomorrow, and I will escape scott-free, and I will have my revenge. There is just one loose end to tie up. I will not run the chance of losing my child to Jason, to have him stay here and be raised under his roof. I must therefore get an abortion. That way, everything will end as I see fit, and no one else. This will be my ultimate end. But now I must make arrangements, because time is running out. (Exit Medea)

Narrator: The deed is done, the plan is set. It has been said, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and scorned Medea is. She is not going to idly stand by and let this happen. The die is cast, and the job is done. At midnight, a darkly dressed woman slips into a nightly clinic, and ends a life that was still inside her. As painful as it was, Medea saw no other way. At the same time a young life was ending, two others also ended. Guido, as always, is a master of his job. Stealthy he crept into the house of Creon, and violently put a bullet in the head of Creon and his daughter. The will of Medea is done, and the three lives are ended, but Jason lives, and Medea must face his wrath.

Scene: JFK Airport

Medea: One way ticket to Hong Kong. (Enter Jason)

Jason: Medea, you selfless hag. You are responsible for all this.

Medea: (Walking up the gangplank to the plane) No Jason, you are responsible. Had you not done what you did, everything would be all right. Instead, your foul deeds are the reason that I ended your happiness. A tooth for a tooth, that is justice.

Jason: (As Medea boards the plane) Their blood is on your hands, and you must answer to God. But God as my witness, the death of everything that I love will not go unavenged. So is the end of this story.

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