Overview of Medea Tragedy
Medea is a tragedy for a woman who was the victim of her own loyalty for her husband who left her for another woman. A Greek play writer named Euripides wrote this play Medea, in 431 B.C. In this play, Medea is portrayed as one of the most antagonistic characters. However, she is also the protagonist. Her husband Jason is the biggest villain throughout the play. Jason left her and their two children to marry the king of Corinth’s daughter. Jason was hoping to advance his station through this marriage.
These actions that Jason committed put Medea through depression with tremendous rage inside of her. Medea then seeks revenge and killed Jason’s new wife, her father Creon, and even her own children. Medea is praised for her actions and the reasoning behind these actions. Her actions displayed how betrayed she was by Jason, and it illustrates how she is a strong and compassionate individual towards what her emotions were from this tragic situation.
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Before Medea goes through with her plans, the king of Corinth informs Medea that she was to be exiled because he believed he was going to hurt his daughter. Medea then begged the king to allow her to stay one more day. “Please, let me stay one more day… find safe asylum for my children.” (Euripides, 17.349) He then let her stay one more day because of pity for her children. She then communicated with the king of Athens who allowed her to live in his country.
Now that she has another day in Corinth, and a safe place to go to, she began to plan her revenge on Jason. She then tricked Jason into believing that everything was fine. She begged Jason to have their children stay with him. He was very surprised and agreed to this arrangement. She then gave Jason some gifts for him and his new wife. He then left with the children off to the palace. However, the gifts she gave them was cursed. A messenger then runs to Medea and says, “Medea, run away! Take any ship or wagon that will carry you…
The royal princess and her father Creon have just now died.” (Euripides, 48-49.1138) Jason’s new wife busted out into flames as her father watches. He then ran toward her, and died also. Medea thought this was great news. She then realized the only way to completely devastate Jason is to kill their kids. She struggles with this task, but then realizes it is the only way to devastate Jason. So she then grabs their sons, and kills them with a sword. Jason then arrives, as he was too late to save them.
“What are you saying woman, you have destroyed me.” (Euripides, 56.1355) She then escaped after she left Jason devastated. Since Jason was so focused on himself and how he could leave a legacy that would be remembered, he never realized what Medea was capable of. He also believed that leaving her after everything she did for him was completely fine. Did Jason have a legitimate reasoning? His only reason was to become wealthy.
Although Medea committed four murders that included her children, she is praised for doing so. She left her hometown to live with Jason, and she helped Jason with everything that he wanted to accomplish. Medea did anything for her husband because of how much in love she was. However, her husband left her and blamed her for it.
He thought she was being too emotional about the situation, and he believed he did nothing wrong. Medea was the reason why he was so successful with everything he accomplished. Jason had betrayed his wife and kids and doesn’t think twice about it. “Children, do you hear the way your father is treating you?” (Euripides, 6.88) Jason did not truly care for anyone else beside himself. He wanted his legacy to be remembered.
Under most circumstances, murdering two adults and two children is never acceptable. The children panic for their lives and scream, “We’re trapped… the sword is at our throats.” (Euripides, 54.1316) Although Medea hesitates at first, she killed her own children to get revenge on Jason. Perhaps Medea was never the protagonist of this play. Her actions would never be justifiable in today’s society. Medea states, “The pain is good, as long as you’re not laughing.” (Euripides, 58.1411) Jason was just trying to do what was right for himself. Perhaps he did not love her anymore and wanted to move on. Is something wrong with being in love with somebody and then all a sudden not be in love anymore?
These things happen so often in the world. However, the way Jason left her was the most ignorant way to do it. He never had a concrete reasoning to doing so. Although what Medea did was cruel and evil, she is still praised for her actions. What kind of man leaves his whole family just so he could marry another woman and become wealthy? He was never loyal his entire life. Jason is a narcissistic human being who just wanted to be wealthy and safe. Although she was blamed for her children deaths, Jason was the true blame. Media states, “O sons, you were destroyed by your fathers sickness.” (Euripides, 59.1413) If Jason were a loyal husband who respected others beside himself, the situation would have never happened.
Euripides illustrated how Medea is not an evil and heartless person. She is suffering throughout this entire play because she’s the victim of her own loyalty for Jason. She was an outsider when she moved with Jason, and had a rough times always pleasing her husband. She would’ve died for Jason early on in the play. But after being betrayed by the man she loves she murders because of him. She didn’t kill out of hatred, but out of passion. For that reason, she is praised in Euripides play, Medea.