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Medea. Attualizzazioni di un mito nella letteratura tedesca fra ‘800 e ‘900


Within the framework of political, social and cultural transformations of recent centuries, the way in which the figure of Medea has been represented in German-speaking countries has changed. This essay uses as its starting point the context of certain periods (from the late 18th to the end of the 20th century) in order to illustrate the main trends of the representation of the sourceress from Colchis. The result is a mixed picture, in which Medea became the victim of a state power with at times misogynist, at times xenophobic, and at times anti-Semitic characteristics until it was to become also a symbol of the unstoppable crisis of the Western world. However, for some limited periods, as at the end of the Second World War, Medea once again became the expression of powerful, dark powers bringing pain and destruction to the world.