Justice In Medea's Hero Ethic

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Under Homer’s supposed ‘Hero Ethic’, it can be understood that an individual should support one’s friends and harm one’s enemies. This system leaves little to no room for forgiveness or for mercy. Jason has become her enemy by abandoning Medea and their children. He justifies this by pointing out that he has given her “more than [she] deserve[s]” as Medea now lives in “the center of the world.” However, Medea views him as “A brutal man whom [she] once loved [that] has smashed [her]/in the face so hard [she] wear[s] the face of death.”Medea is portrayed as reacting to Jason’s betrayal by “doing what other heroes before her had done...when confronted with an enemy. She schemes, she tricks, she deceives,” and she seeks revenge on those who have harmed her. Medea enforces this notion that she is merely doing what any self-respecting man, Greek, or Hero would do when she scoffs at Creon's concern over her type, stating: “A woman like me!…show more content…
Medea’s actions throughout the text show “that she has the reach and temper of a thwarted tyrant or of one like an Ajax or a Prometheus,” of a hero and of a man. Medea’s hero-like nature is also displayed through Medea’s heroic departure in the play in which she rides off to Athens in Helios’ chariot while Jason is left behind (now childless, widowed, and abandoned). It is especially important that Medea rides off to Athens as, if going to Greece is an improvement for Medea, then Athens would have been seen as quite the reward, especially by an Athenian audience. This confirms her placement among Heros, further supporting the notion she is acting as a man would. The actions of Medea are, while extreme, not surprising when considered in light of her

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