In this extract from Robinson Jeffers' Medea, the speaker (Medea) is elated with the success of the first part of her plan. It seems that through her own deception and cunning that she has trapped Glause like a fish in a net. Although, she is content wit the first par of her plan and eager to watch it unfold, she is interanlly conflicted between her misanthropic desire to enact revenge upon Jason, and the love she has for her children. This passage contains two tones, one of glee and self delight and another of misanthropic vengeance accompanied by a glimmer of motherly instinct.
The first section of this monologue has a tone of giddy self pride, and sadism. The main contributor to this giddy tone is the alliterative way of speaking Medea employs in the first two lines. She says “ the gifts are given” and the “gods role their great eyes,” this assonance serves to create an upbeat tone and portray Medea as emotionally happy. This assonance is also seen when Medea describes Glauss as a “slender salmon.” In addition to coinciding with the giddy tone of Medea's speech the animal imagery used here gives Medea's opinion of Glauss, that she is a young slender fish just waiting to be caught.
Another contributing factor to the overall tone of sadistic success and control is the fish-related descriptions found in the first section. Medea initially says “the gifts are given; the bait is laid,” the signification of this is that it sets up the gifts she gave to Glauss a “bait” that will eventually cause Glauss' body to “writhe in the meshes.” In addition the description of Glauss as a, “ slender salmon” that is “caught” by the “bait” laid by the clever Medea serves to foreshadow the gruesome events to come and gives insight into Medea's motivation for revenge. Essentially, Medea is comparing the “gifts” she gave to Glauss to tools used to catch fish because she is so delighted with her own cleverness. Medea just cannot wait to see Glauss and Creon burn, squirm and writhe in the mesh, just like a slender salmon.
The overall purpose of this first section is to show how proud Medea is to get revenge, she wants to see “her [Glauss'] bright head with light,” which is foreshadowing to the fiery deaths of Glauss and Creon. Medea actually takes great joy in her symbolic triumph over Greek society, she describes the deaths, “she'll dance, she'll sing loudly.” This shows that Medea thinks of the murder as an act of revenge and is just happy to see the world...