A sorceress and a princess, she used her powers and influence to help Jason secure the Golden Fleece; then, having fallen in love with him, she fled her country and family to live with Jason in Iolcus, his own home. During the escape across the Mediterranean, she killed her brother and dumped him overboard, so that her pursuers would have to slow down and bury him. While in Iolcus, she again used her devilish cleverness to manipulate the daughters of the local king and rival, Pelias, into murdering their own father.
Lines Summary The palace opens its doors, revealing Medea and the two dead children seated in a chariot drawn by dragons. Impatient, Medea advises Jason to say what he has to say and finish the ordeal--the chariot, provided by her grandfather, the Sun-god, will soon carry them away. Jason curses himself for having ever wed himself to Medea.
Jason believes he should have realized her capacity for evil and betrayal when she abandoned her family and homeland, even killing her own brother. He wishes only to be left alone now to mourn his tragic losses.
Medea no longer feels the need to justify herself. She has wounded Jason, and that is enough. Jason points out that she has wounded herself in the process, and Medea, while acknowledging the pain her children's death has brought her, finds it a price worth paying to see Jason suffer.
Jason puts in one last request: Medea denies him the right and decides she will bury them and expiate the crime herself.
She then tells of her plans to flee to Athens with Aegeus, and finishes by divining an "unheroic death" line for Jason, who will perish by being hit over the head with a log from his famous ship, the Argo.
As Hyperion's chariot vanishes from sight, Jason laments this "grievous day" line and calls on the gods to witness the affliction Medea has cast over his life.
The chorus concludes by affirming that the gods work mysteriously and often bring events to a surprising end. Commentary Aside from rehashing Jason and Medea's previous arguments, the conclusion of the play provides the novel experience of watching Jason express himself without any condescension.
Earlier he had painted himself as mature, high-minded, and capable of sympathizing with Medea's troubles, rather than following in her example of indulging in petty rage. With the murder of his children, he finally discards this facade of diplomacy and hurls sincerely-felt reprimands at Medea.
He accuses her of an unthinkable savageness that has transformed her into the most detestable woman in the human race, a stain in the eyes of the gods. Medea does not deny his accusations and even encourages him to "loathe on! From their first confrontation, she has often appeared less upset at the divorce itself than at Jason's complacent denial of any wrongdoing.
While her murders do not elicit any repentance from Jason, they do dispel the delusion that he has been acting sensibly and working for a greater good. The pity he feels at his children's death opposes his earlier willingness to send them into exile, and the spontaneous quality of his present sentiments contrasts with the artifice of his initial reasoning, proving that he is not above the pull of passion.
|SparkNotes: Medea: Characters||Messenger Helen McCrory as Medea.|
|Historical Context for The Medea by Euripides | The Core Curriculum||Study Questions 1 In Medea's first long speech to the chorus linesshe claims that women are afflicted with the most "wretched" existence on earth. How is gender explored in the play?|
|Medea is as relevant today as it was in Ancient Greece||Euripides seems to warn against this kind of rage as well other emotions that manifest as all consuming passion. The play warns against allowing ourselves to be consumed by our urges by portraying Jason as reprehensible for his ceaseless pursuit of social gain and his hubris and Medea at fault for her passionate love turned passionate hate for Jason.|
|Study Questions||Throughout the play, it becomes evident to the reader that Medea is no ordinary woman by Greek standards.|
|Character Analysis Examples in The Medea:||Medea replicates the actions of a suppliant, or someone who makes a plea to someone in power. A suppliant often knelt and took hold of the knees of the person in power to show their lower status.|
It would be an exaggeration, however, to consider this a significant character development. The play ends without him ever shouldering any of the blame for the murders; the only recognition he makes is of Medea's cruelty, which he had been completely underestimating previously.
Spoken by the chorus, the final lines of the play claim that the gods work mysteriously and that they have caused unforeseen events to transpire.
The reference could simply be to the magical escape vessel that Hyperion has provided for Medea, but the elevated tone suggests a larger significance encapsulating the entirety of Medea's story. On one hand, the central events of the play can be explained without appealing to fate or other supernatural principles.
Petty self-interest motivated Jason's divorce of Medea, and the intense anger she felt at being abandoned by him caused her to murder their children out of spite. Basic human psychology--an intelligible chain of moods and motivations--can explain these occurrences entirely.
Yet the Greeks did not simply invoke their gods in lieu of natural explanations; rather, the gods attested to nature's ability to exceed ordinary human understanding and expectations.
Medea's violent emotions are natural, but their forcefulness carries her beyond accustomed behavior and make her a testament to generally suppressed aspects of reality. In other words, the gods challenge humans to avoid receiving nature with complacence and to recognize its extraordinary, oft-ignored capabilities, many of the them fearsome and tragic.
Euripides does not intend for Medea's murders to provoke a god-sanctioned sympathy for the violent excesses of nature, simply respect and understanding.Exiled as murderers, Jason and Medea settled in Corinth, the setting of Euripides' play, where they established a family of two children and gained a favorable reputation.
All this precedes the action of the play, which opens with Jason having divorced Medea and taken up with a new family. The plot of the Greek poet Euripides' Medea tragedy is convoluted and messy, rather like its antihero, Medea.
It was first performed at the Dionysian Festival in BCE, where it famously won third (last) prize against entries by Sophocles and Euphorion. In the opening scene, the nurse/narrator. Euripides's Medea is simply a work of pathetic tragedy from Aristotle's point of view. Throughout the play, we see the rising culmination of the emotions of anger and hate to the point where an anticlimactic resolution is achieved through the accumulation of the central passion of revenge by the main protagonist, Medea.
The Events That Triggered Medea's Anger in the Play of Euripides. words. 2 pages.
An Analysis of Jason's Role in Medea, a Play by Euripides. 1, words. Plot Summary and the Characterization in the Play Medea by Euripides.
1, words. 4 pages. The Loss and Guilt of Medea From the Play Medea by Euripides. words. Medea laments the fact that her husband has taken a new wife. She wins the Chorus over to her side by appealing to them as fellow woman and then declares revenge.
She convinces Creon to let her and her sons stay in Corinth one more day, then secures safe harbor with King Aegeus of Athens. Themes in The Medea Vengeance: Medea’s anger in this play is justified: Jason abandons her and proves that he never actually loved her.
In myths leading up to this play, Medea betrays her family, sacrifices her brother, commits murder, and abandons the .