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The Wicked Character Medea In Euripides' Medea

726 words - 3 pages

The Wicked Character Medea in Euripides' Medea

The character Medea is disliked by many that read Euripides' Medea. She is not really given much of a chance. It is difficult to read the tragedy without having negative feelings towards the main character. Some readers are content to just hate Medea, while others want to know what would compel a mother to come to be able to commit these crimes. Sara Warner writes, "Transgression must be built into any system in order for it to survive. For example, patriarchy, for lack of a better word, could not and would not exist if it simply operated on the brutal oppression and domination of the female sex" (Warner p. 159). Transgression is defined as an act, process, or instance of transgressing: as an infringement or violation of a law, command, or duty by Merriam-Webster. Roget's II The New Thesaurus says transgression is a wicked act. Medea's transgressions were all wicked acts. From tricking Pelias' daughters to murder their own father to killing her own children, Medea committed many crimes. Of course there are many other offenses in this story of Medea, the niece of Circe.

Medea's excuses, to name a few, were she loved too much and she was raised to be too clever. Many of the crimes that Medea took part in did not make her out to be an evil woman by her peers. It was known that she was a dangerous woman. The nurse of her children states, "She's a strange woman. I know it won't be easy to make her an enemy and come off best" (Euripedes p. 643). Jason loved her when her crimes benefited him. After she had helped Jason attain the fleece she killed her own brother and cut him into pieces so that she and Jason would be able to get away. Jason did not seem to have much of a problem as long as he bested from her transgressions. "One way in which the system enlists the cooperation of women is to provide them with sanctioned and controlled forms of transgression that create the illusion of agency and autonomy" (Warner p. 159). Warner believes that society allows and even...

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