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Character Analysis: A Tragic Classical Greek Divorce

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Andrea Sajia Professor Siderius HIST 103 SEC 3203 2/25/18 A Tragic Classical Greek Divorce The union of Jason and Medea, two characters in Greek tragedies, was a fierce pact of marriage catalyzed by a Greek god. Medea is a clever woman, like the sophists of the age, she is an expert in argument and interrogation, and a powerful sorceress. They met when Jason, captain of the Argonauts, sailed to King Pelias (Medea’s father), to retrieve a Golden Fleece in order to restore his right to the throne. “Aphrodite makes the king’s daughter Medea fall so madly in love with the beautiful Greek stranger that she, a priestess of Hecate and therefore accomplished in the secret arts of magic, gives him potions to protect him from the bulls’ fire and sound advice on how to set his new-grown adversaries to fighting amongst themselves…At some point in these adventures, in return for her aid and to protect her from her father’s vengeance, Jason solemnly swears to make Medea his lawful wife” (Collier and Machemer 8). Her deeds in assisting Jason included up to the murder of members of her own family. The passion with which she loved Jason was great; she left behind her home and country to aid his success. Jason, however, does not seem to return this grand affection.…show more content…
As clever as she is, Jason of the Argonauts is as manipulative as Medea. She is justified in mistrusting his intentions, and the divorce from her is a plain abuse of his cultural and lawful power as a free man in Classical Greece. Jason’s priorities are made clear through the lens of his contemporary culture. Men cared about status, inheritance, citizenship, and glory. A marriage to the princess of Corinth would have granted him all of these things, and it would have been naïve of Medea to buy that this new marriage was an act of
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