Cawdor And Medea


Robinson Jeffers

Contributors: Robinson Jeffers

Here for a new generation of readers and students are two major poetic works of Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962). The verse narrative Cawdor, set on the ruthless California coast which Jeffers knew so well, tells a simple tale: an aging widower, Cawdor, unwilling to relinquish his youth, knowingly marries a young girl who does not love him. She falls in love with his son, Hood, and the narrative unfolds in tragedy of immense proportions. Medea is a verse adaptation of Euripides' drama and was created especially for the actress Judith Anderson. Their combined genius made the play one of the outstanding successes of the 1940's. In Medea, Jeffers relentlessly drove toward what Ralph Waldo Emerson had called the proper tragic element-terror. Cawdor and Medea embody Jeffers' most compelling themes and moods and convey his philosophy of “Inhumanism.”