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Medea Essay

1107 words - 4 pages

Euripides' Medea is a fascinating, infinitely faceted character who is strong-minded, clever, and passionate. Medea is very passionate about those she loves. As a result of her passionate nature, Medea seeks revenge against her husband. She is the main character in this play, and her trials and tribulations form the plot. Although her actions are evil, she is not at all a monster. Rather, possessing these three qualities makes her an example of a true human, perhaps even a tragic hero.Medea is a young woman who grew up in Colchis. She is the daughter of King Aeetes, the ruler of her city. As a sorceress, she used her magical powers to earn the love of Jason. She assisted him in obtaining the Golden Fleece in order to win his affection. In doing so, Medea betrayed her family. Not only did she disobey her father in order to help Jason, she also violently killed her own brother. After fleeing Colchis, Jason and Medea relocated in Corinth, where they wed and had two sons together. Sadly, Jason broke Medea's heart by leaving her for the daughter of Creon, the King of Corinth. Medea was extremely upset by this. Her tragic flaw (anger), led her to commit the ultimate sin, murder.Even though some of Medea's actions were not typical of the average Greek woman, she still had attitudes and emotions common among women. For instance, Medea speaks out against women's status in society, proclaiming that they have no choice of whom to marry, and that a man can rid themselves of a woman to get another whenever he wants, but a woman must "set her sights on one alone" (256). Though it is improbable that women went around openly saying things of this nature, it is likely that many Greek women shared this attitude.Although Medea did kill her children in the end, she debated with herself whether to go through with this viscous act: "My heart is giving way as I look into my children's shining eyes. I could never do it! " (1033-1035). This shows Medea's motherly instinct in that she cares deeply about her children. She struggles to decide if she can accomplish her goal of revenge against Jason without harming her children because she cares for them and knows they had no part in their father's actions. Unfortunately, Medea's desire to seek revenge on Jason is greater than her love for her children, and as a result, her sons die.Medea shows some heroic qualities that were not common among Greek women. For example, Medea is willing to kill her own brother to be with Jason. In Classical Greece, women and killing were probably not commonly linked. When she kills her brother, she shows that she is willing to do what is necessary to get the job done, in this case, to be with Jason. Secondly, she shows the courage to stand up to Jason. She feels that she has been cheated and betrayed by him. By planning ways to get back at Jason for cheating on her, she is standing up for what she believes, which in this case is that she was wronged by Jason, but in a larger sense, she is...

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