Dogan people in the city who didn’t believe Cassandra because she was an outsider. In this play it was learned that sometimes the most insightful people are the outsiders because they are not blinded by the normal activities of the main characters. Another minor character that foretells the future is Medea’s nurse in The Medea. The Nurse has a different situation than Cassandra. She is more familiar with Meadea and her children and knows of their daily activities. She begins to have insight on Medea’s situation when Medea starts to see a change in her relationships between Jason and her children. She first foretells the murder of Medea’s children, who were indeed murdered but by Medea herself. In the very beginning of the story, the Nurse talks about Medea’s dwindling love for Jason.
“But now there’s hatred everywhere, Love is diseased.” (Greene, Lattimore, Euripides I, 59) With her love for Jason waning, she begins to think less and less of her children because they remind her of him. “She has turned from the children and does not see them./I am afraid she may think of some dreadful thing,/For her heart is violent.” (Greene, Lattimore, Euripides I, 60) With her heart “violent”, she doesn’t think anymore of the children except to carry out her evil plan which is to kill Creusa. Another quote that shows the deterioration of Jason’s and Medea’s relationship is the conversation that the Nurse and the Tutor were having.
“And will Jason put up with it that his children/Should suffer so, though he’s no friend to their mother?” (Greene, Lattimore, Dogan 4 Euripides I, 61) The Nurse is showing her concern here when she asks about what would Jason do about his children since he’s not in love with Medea anymore. Towards the end, it is subtly made known that Jason only wanted the children as heirs to the throne that he did not take because Medea killed Creusa. The Nurse may not have foreshadowed as much as Cassandra did, but she gave the reader an idea of what was going to happen to the children. In conclusion, minor characters do have some meaning plot-wise. They are not blinded by the everyday life of the main characters allowing them to see the obvious without the help from others. Without them, the story would be mainly about two or more parties and their actions minus the suspense that the minor character gives the reader. (947)
Greene, David and Lattimore, Richard, eds. Aeschylus I. The University of Chicago. 1953.