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Euripides' Medea Essay

829 words - 3 pages

Euripides' Medea


I see Medea as a woman who took a chance and stood up for herself. The kind of behavior that Medea displays was very rare for these times: she doesn?t accept the dramatic change in her life; she does something about it. On the other hand, Medea becomes so obsessed she loses herself to revenge. Medea is only heroic to an extent.

Medea?s thirst for revenge begins when she finds out about her husbands unfaithfulness. Medea?s husband Jason decides to marry the princess Glauce to establish a position of power in Corinth. Jason claims he did it so Medea and their two sons could have better lives. Jason fails to tell Medea of his plans. Medea, who has committed her life to Jason, is enraged when she finds out. Rather than accept Jason?s betrayal and her own humiliation, she vows revenge.

Here is where Medea is heroic and clever. Medea says just the right words to plead her case to Creon. Medea set her plan for revenge in motion when King Creon comes to exile her from Corinth.

Medea: This one day let me stay to settle some plan for my two sons, since their own father is not concerned to help them. Show some pity: you are a father too you should feel kindly toward them. For myself, exile is nothing. I weep for them; their fate is very hard.

Creon: I?m no tyrant by nature. My soft heart has often betrayed me; and I know it?s foolish of me now; yet none the less, Medea, you shall have what you ask. But take this warning: if tomorrow?s holy sun finds you or them inside my boundaries, you die. That is my solemn word. Now stay here, if you must, this one day. You can hardly in one day accomplish what I am afraid of. (Page 27 - 28)

Medea tries to appeal to his softer, weaker side by asking him to have pity on her sons; and does so successfully. King Creon states he is foolish for allowing Medea to stay that one-day, but he only does so because he believed Medea could not harm him in one day. Creon underestimates Medea. Medea only needed one day to accomplish her revenge. This is where Medea?s plan...

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