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Jason and Medea Part Four: the Escape
Pictures by Nick Hayes. Click to enlarge.
Please find the entire series filed under Greek Myths and don’t miss three fabulous songs which go with the story.
The final part of Jason and Medea is action packed. Jason must drive fierce bulls to plough Ares’ field, fight off an army of skeleton men, and take the Golden Fleece from the cave guarded by a dragon. Will the beautiful witch Medea help him? Will he keep his promises to her?
There is an postscript. The Greek writer, Euripides, penned a famous drama entitled Medea. He gave the tale a gory ending. But some people think Euripides made up his violent finale to slander the non-Greek Medea. We give the story our own twist in the final scene.
Read by Natasha Gostwick.
Pictures by Nick Hayes.
Music by Gabriella Burnel.
Words by Bertie.
Jason and Medea, The Story of the Golden Fleece, told in verse in four parts, by Storynory.
Part Four : The Escape
When the sun revealed the bright day at dawn
We gathered on Ares field.
The bulls snorted, they would not be thwarted,
And to the yoke they would not yield.
The crowd waited. My hero hesitated.
He did not hasten in.
But I knew he had bathed in the lotion I gave,
I saw it from his gleaming skin.
My father sneered “The Greek is Weak!”
The Riff-Raff jeered at his fear,
And the Argonauts resembled, schoolboys that trembled,
At a teacher that pulled their ears.
Then Jason took a running jump
Over the fence – he was in.
The bulls snorted, they would not be thwarted,
Let the battle begin.
Achilles himself could not match that dash,
You should have seen the strength of the boy
He broke the bulls in, he yoked them in.
He fought like a hero of Troy.
But it was me of course, who was the cause of his force,
The people had no notion,
That the king’s daughter had brought to Jason
Strength in a magic potion.
It was an amazing sight to see the bulls plough,
The black earth that knew no pity.
Their heavy hooves plodded the clods,
Beneath the walls of the city.
Then Jason took a tooth, and threw it in the groove
It came from the mouth of a beast.
The beast that guarded the golden fleece
The dragon beast of the East.
And another he sowed, in the earth’s fold
And another sunk into the ground.
And straight up they grew, into a deathly crew
The skeletons stood all around.
The bones of the attackers, clattered and spattered,
No doubt they were dealing in death.
The horror he fought like a hero ought,
With all the breath he had left.
And at last he cast a glance at my eyes
And he recalled the advice I had given.
He bended low to pick up a stone
And hurled it at the bulls he had driven.
And in a rage they engaged the army of death
The bulls tore them apart.
The skeleton men, were scattered again
All by the cunning of my art !
Now Jason claimed, from the king who had disdained him,
The prize of the Golden Fleece.
And the Argonauts shouted, “The enemy’s routed
We Claim the Fleece for Greece !”
But loosing is for losers, not for my Dad,
The king would not make peace.
“This upstart Greek has a terrible cheek,
“To claim the fleece for Greece.”
And his guards thundered, and seeing they were outnumbered,
The Argonauts slipped back to their boat
And the king of Colchis kissed by the gods
Had shamed our name by his gloat.
And full of indignation at the shame of our nation
To my father now I lied.
“I have an ache in my head, I am returning to bed.”
And my lie was justified.
Then stealing stealthily down to the sea
By the path I knew as a child,
I found the forbidden boat hidden
In a place that was dark and wild.
And having hastened to Jason, I told him my plan.
He said “The Dragon’s Horrific.”
Never mind, I said, I’ll put him to bed,
With my drugs that are soporific.
My sleepy pharmacy I’ll slip into the stream.
It is a powerful draught
And when the dragon drinks, into sleep he sinks
I’m a witch who knows her craft.
And now at last, he took me in his arms,
And this is what he said,
“Medea, my dear, you have no peer,
Back in Greece we shall wed.”
“Sail with me, across the wine dark sea,
In my ship as swift as a thought.
By the Lady of Olympus, Hera the Lovely
I’ll marry you like I ought.”
I was so naive, I was ready to believe
How I ached with fever !
A man like this a woman would kiss,
And never leave her.
What a fool, I was, to lose my cool ,
And to be taken in by lies
A whirling, swirling, girly girl.
The sort I despise.
And so that night, but the treacherous moon
I drugged the dragon’s spring.
And I put to bed, his terrible head,
That snorted with fiery rings.
And past those paws with fearsome claws,
Past the beast that slept
My beautiful boy, played my ploy,
And into the cave he crept.
Who dares take the prize from Ares?
Who dares steal the fleece?
Only an upstart Greek would seek,
To claim the fleece for Greece.
Oh how the gold glittered, Oh how it shone !
Like a star of heavenly light.
That woolly wonder of the Eastern world
Lit up the darkened night.
Like far off Pharos, the lighthouse of Egypt
It was a fiery illumination
But it was a pity, that seen from the city,
It caused a sensation.
Aeetes, my father, the king of Colchis,
Told his trumpets to blare
And they manned the boats, every ship that could float,
And revenge they did swear.
For it was not just the fleece, that the pirates claimed for Greece
But the daughter of the king they took.
And my father faced, a shameful disgrace,
An insult he would never brook.
And the Argonauts rowed, but their ship was slowed
By the weight of the gold within.
For Argo carried, the war god’s cargo
The fleece that glittered like sin.
And the Georgian navy flew across the waves
Like the steeds of the Sea-God Poseidon
And I must find a plan, as best I can,
I knew an island that we could hide on.
And my cunning plot, I revealed to Jason
But I held back from him my worst
We set a trap, an ambush to attack
The soldiers that landed first.
And the first was no other, than my own dear brother
I shot him with a golden cross bow.
And with gory glee, we threw his body in the sea
And swiftly away we did row.
Now if my father had a heart, it was hard to see,
But he stopped to pick up his heir.
And in this way, his chase was delayed
In war what plot is not fair?
And we crossed the seas, to the island of my aunt
The wondrous witch called Circe
And I begged her for the spell, which she knew well
To make my father show mercy.
And seeing her niece plead on her knees
This is what Circe said.
“You, a woman, have given all to a man
And yet, you are not even wed?”
“Jason my boy, become a man
Now do not falter.
You have lit the fire, of a fine woman’s desire
Marry my niece on this alter”.
And now at last, with eyes downcast
The liar spoke the truth.
“Yes it’s true that I swore, but that was before
I had seen the awful proof.”
“This lady’s no mere witch, she’s a frightful witch
She cut up her brother with a knife.
My life she saved, but her family she betrayed,
Her soul with sin is rife.”
“Do I deserve this harridan harpy?
Zeus ! How she carries on
Such curses she utters, the words of the gutter
Should I marry such a one?”
“Yes, I betrayed, but what a price I paid !
Do you not see how I feel?
All my sinning gave us a beginning
In blood our love we sealed.”
“Zeus she’s mad, I never asked her to be bad !”
“How can you say that you liar?
You were obsessed by that Fleece, you wanted it for Greece,
And for you I went through fire.”
Now this domestic fight, could have carried on all night
But Circe settled it soon
“Listen my dears, Aeetes’ army is near
Their ships lie in the lagoon.”
“So see here Jason, you pathetic man,
Medea saved your life.
If you need my spell, that works magic well
Make my niece your wife.”
And Jason in his woe, trembled like a doe
He knew is number was up
A woman must marry him, or an army would harry him.
We both drank from the wedding cup
And later that day the army lost its way
Circe’s spell worked well.
And now I was a queen, I was happier than I had ever been
One day in his palace I would dwell.
And Circe sent us sailing across the sea
With a fair wind to Greece
And Jason brought me, his beautiful trophy
And soon forgot the fleece.
I forgot my malice, when I lived in his palace,
I gave him some wonderful kids.
I never grew frumpy, but at times I was grumpy
And said what custom forbids.
I let people know, that I was the real show
I said more than I ought.
I let slip the story, of my part in his glory
Of how the fleece was brought.
And like a true man, Jason began
To allow his eyes to wander
And soon he found, a princess who was bound
To make his heart grow fonder.
And when I gave him a piece of my mind
He had no need for force.
The court granted his escape from me
It was divorce of course.
He gave my name, a scandalous fame
Then there was that dreadful drama.
As for the rest, don’t believe the press.
By then I had grown much calmer.
There’s no need to believe Euripides,
Literature is all lies.
Yes, his play is called Medea, a name men should fear,
But revenge comes in many a guise.
The gods sent me, a chariot with wings
And I flew away from Greece.
To the land of Colchis, kissed by the gods,
And with me I took the fleece.
And that was the fourth and final part of Jason and Medea written for Storynory by Bertie, and read by Richard Scott, and me, Natasha Gostwick. Our production features the Music of Gabriella Burnell and the illustrations of Nick Hayes. Do drop by at Storynory.com for the full effect !
We do hope that you have enjoyed our version of this ancient story. There are more Greek myths, and many more audio stories from all over the world, at Storynory.com, so do make full use of this resource in your schools and homes !
For now from me Natasha, and from me Richard, Goodbye
read by Natasha in voice of Medea – but with bits later on by Richard who will speak Jason’s voice when he argues with Medea.
Jason has super-human strength from the magic lotion given to him by Medea. He yokes the bulls and sews the field of Ares. He sows the dragon’s teeth into the earth. Skeleton men spring up from the earth to fight him, but he throws a stone at the bulls and they charge and scatter the skeletons.
Jason claims the fleece from Aeetes. Aeetes refuses. Medea slips down to the boats and tells Jason that she will drug the dragon that guards the fleece. Jason promises to take her back to Greece and marry her. She puts the dragon to sleep and Jason steals the fleece from the dragon’s cave. Medea and the Argonauts sail away but the shining fleece lights up the sky. Aeetes sees it and his navy chases the Argo. Jason and Medea stop at an island where they ambush Aeetes son and kill him. They throw his body in the sea and Aeetes is held up while he picks up the body.
They sail to the island of Medea’s aunt, the witch Circe. They ask her for a spell to put off the persuing army. Circe will only grant the spell if Jason will marry Medea. Jason says that he does not want to marry a woman who would murder her own brother. They start to argue. But when Aeetes army is near he gives in and marries her.
They return to Greece and Medea gives him two children. Jason divorces her and marries another woman. Medea tells us that we should not believe the playwright Euripides who told lies about her. She did take her revenge but it was not like they said in the drama. She flew back to Colchis in a magic Chariot and took the fleece with her.