Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Modern Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Charles Batson




french history, character, ballet, story, character model


This thesis explores the character of Medea within three French adaptations spanning 19th to 21st century France. In particular, I examine different ideological influences at play in the representations of the character of Medea during specific time periods in French history. Beginning with early 19th century France, I analyze Eugène Delacroix’s Médée furieuse and how Medea’s character was heavily influenced by Romanticism. Afterwards, I analyze Jean Anouilh’s play Médée and I discover how his existentialist beliefs molded her character. Finally, I examine Le songe de Médée, a ballet choreographed by Angelin Preljoçaj. This 2004 ballet provides a modern and humanizing adaptation of Medea’s story, further complicating her character. Even as her story has continued to spark horror within the French world, Medea has been turned into a character that can be seen as a model for different movements and not simply a monster.