Euripides’ Medea, is a play that follows the journey of a young woman seeking vengeance against her husband, well now ex-husband. The steps she takes to get her revenge make Medea seem like a monster. However, her actions and the torments she has endured make it appear as though she may suffer from a mental illness. So the question is, does Medea have some form of mental illness, or was she just enraged by the injustices committed by her “loving” husband? Evidence leans more toward her being mentally unfit than her being a murderer.
She exclaims, “I got your enemy Peliashacked to death byhis own daughters’ hand” (Euripides 98).She did notnecessarilyhave any grudges againstPelias, but Pelias had killed Jason’s father and took the thrown. He also caused Jason’s mother’sdeath through grief. This gave Medea her motive for having Pelias killed. Itwas a moment of insanity because even though she hadPelias killed,she is not in a constant murderous state. She wasjust assistingJasoningettingthe Golden Fleece and she woulddo whatever she hadto to get it.
She fooled King Creon and killed him and his daughter after begging to stay one more day. She was blinded by love and failed to see the reality of what the relationship would bring. Medea was devastated by the betrayal of Jason and her natural response
Medea was treated unfairly in the patriarchal society that she lived in and due to the circumstances she was forced to abide by, she sought to achieve her own form of justice. Women were mistreated and regarded as inferior to men. In fact, Medea mentioned how women were like foreigners forced to abide by their husband’s laws and remain subservient. Essentially, women were treated as outsiders and were thought to need constant protection from male figures. So, when the King of Corinth kicked her and her children out of Corinth and Jason left them, she wanted revenge since she felt she had been wronged.
Medea husband’s leaves her for another woman. Medea is particularly hurt by this since she betrayed her own family to be with him. King Creon banishes her and her two sons even after she begs for mercy. She meets Aegeus who promises her and her children a place to stay and then begins to enact her revenge.
Medea is defended by many as a wronged mother and faithful wife who is justified in her actions for filicide, but she acts and appears more like the “evil witch” (742) trope, cursing and killing anyone in her way. Medea is also unquestionably blinded by her wrath, and she annihilates Glauke, Creon and worst of all, the blood of her blood, her two children. These atrocities
The Misguided Behavior of Medea In Medea, Euripides creates a character in Medea who commits many misguided actions in order to fulfill her destiny. The vengeful deeds that Medea perpetrates are heinous themselves, but Medea’s reaction and justification to them are what truly defines her as misguided. Medea proves her erroneous ways by executing acts of murder against King Creon, Jason’s new wife, and even her own children. These operations, however, were preluded by Media killing her own brother, Absyrtus, and deceiving King Pelias’ daughters into slaying their father.
Medea has already lost her husband and her home so this decision is an obvious one for her. She wants to leave everyone in the same misery that she has been experienced and continues to experience. After this, she even plans to murder her own children just to distress Jason further. Medea knows that she will live in regret and misery by doing so, but her need to sadden Jason trumps her own future feelings. The murder of her sons also symbolizes the death of her marriage with Jason.
Lush explains “Although Euripides did not cast Medea as a male solider as its protagonist, the play depicts Medea as suffering from the background Trauma, betrayal, isolation and consequent symptoms attributed to combat veterans with lasting psychological injuries” (Lush, 2014, p. 25). Hence using Lush’s view on Medea’s character as a devoted warrior suffering from Traumatic hardships in her experiences with the man she gave everything to, we can understand why she wanted revenge. Medea believes Jason owes her more than just the normal husband-wife obligations a man swears to when marrying a woman; in her view, she helped him be the man that he is and supported him throughout his heroic journey. Without her, Jason would not have succeeded in retrieving the Golden Fleece. Without her, he would not have had his father resurrected.
In the beginning everything was fine Medea and her family were welcomed with open arms but it was until Jason had left them and the house was filled with hatred because Medea was upset that he had left after all that she had done for him. She refused to eat , she stood in her room, cried the days away , sometimes she would call out for her father, her country and her home: all abandoned and betrayed for a man who now abandons her, betrays her honor and her love ( pg 6, line 32-34 ). So now she wants personal revenge to punish him for his actions only to get the delight that revenge brings to herself. Jason left from Medea ‘for a royal bed’ is said by the ( pg, line 22 ) which shows the audience to look at Jason as a selfish man. Medea did
”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!
In Antigone and Medea , the women are ruled by their emotions. Due to this, they make impromptu decisions which leave them in a vulnerable state. Medea feels betrayed by Jason, and her heartbroken hearts fills with rage for him. She becomes so irate she makes an deathly decision, “oh, what misery! Cursed sons, and a mother for cursing!
Her despair and grief intrigued everyone in Corinth which led to the appearance of the chorus. Since Medea is a foreigner in their city, it was easier for them to judge Medea for they do not know her. They thought that Medea’s reaction was too much and since she is a woman, she had no rights to act that way. Medea was too devastated to show up yet she wanted to point out her side. She shared her heart breaking story of how Jason left her and their children for Princess Glauke.
“If only they had never gone! If the Argo's hull Never had winged out through the grey-blue jaws of rock And on towards Colchis!” (1) Medea serves as a tragic instrument of suffering throughout Euripides’ play, Medea, and she inevitably provokes the anguish of multiple characters. The vengeance which Medea serves ultimately defines the tragic tone of Euripides’ play. A few specific characters which Medea’s tragic actions force distress upon in order to provide a tragic mood include both Jason and Creon.
Medea, the protagonist, is a woman driven by extreme emotions and extreme behaviors. Because of the passionate love she had for Jason, she sacrificed everything .. However, now his betrayal of her transformed the beautiful loving passion to uncontrollable anger, hatred and a desperate desire for revenge. Her violent and temperamental heart, previously devoted to Jason, now moving towards its doom.