"Medea By Euripides". Anti Essays. 6 Nov. 2017

 To what extent does Medea, protagonist of the play, fit the mold of a tragic hero?

The women of Corinth also recognize that this act will hurt not just her erring husband Jason but, in a much deeper way, hurt Medea herself. Jason too recognizes her self-inflicted pain and demands that she acknowledge her error. In a final, shocking outburst of hatred, Medea retorts that her pain is worth the price of avenging herself upon him. Medea's revenge is excessive, perverse, and nihilistically potent. Passion In a way, the theme of passion that overcomes one's better sense lies behind the theme of revenge in Euripides' s provocative play.

The excess of her revenge can be measured by the reaction of the Chorus: the women of Corinth exhibit no surprise that Medea might want to kill Jason's new bride, nor do they try to dissuade Medea from murdering the king of their city simply because it was his daughter whom Jason loved; but the idea of killing her own children alarms these women. They ask Medea how she will be able to look upon her own children and murder them simply to hurt Jason. When Medea commits her horrendous crime the chorus withdraws its alliance.

Arguably, Apollonius used Medea to examine the psychology of passion. The division in Medea’s personality between naivety and powerful sorceress might be seen as Apollonius’ attempt to explain the future murder of her children. Alternatively Apollonius’ Medea could be looked upon as a sympathetic development of her characterisation akin to Euripides. Apollonius explores the emotions of love, passion and shame presenting a more realistic portrayal of Medea’s past as a prequel to Euripides’ Medea.

To what extent does Medea, protagonist of the play, fit the mold of a tragic hero?

The function of the chorus varies slightly in every ancient Greek tragedy. At times, the chorus is an active participant in the drama; at others, it can be merely a commentator or spectator. The chorus in displays qualities of both, but its central task is to pass value judgments on the behavior of individual characters--its voice stands as the arbiter of objectivity in the play, supplying us with the most normative perspective on the events as they transpire. After having expressed a general sympathy with Medea earlier, the chorus now warns her against indulging in her emotions too severely, as her turmoil, while real, is a "common thing." Medea lacks this common sense perspective. The score of advisors that counsel her to refrain from indulging in her emotions only underscores Euripides' conceit that underneath common human problems (such as marriage breakup) rest potential forces that, although normally controlled, are capable of exploding into such extraordinary catastrophes as those recounted in his play. The chorus's viewpoint, then, though the most sensible, does not fully account for Medea's situation. As she puts it, she has left life behind (line 146) and become the conveyor of a higher, more cruel order of justice. Her appeals to the gods, especially as the protectors of oaths, reinforce her sense of purpose. The chorus' common sense perspective provides a useful counterpoint to Medea's far-reaching vision, and the interplay of each stands as a key source of unresolved tension in the play.

The Role of Vengeance in Euripides’ Medea and Bacchae Essay

It can be argued that Medea seals the certainty of her children's death from her opening cries: after passing through a momentary response of suicidal helplessness (lines 95-96) to Jason's divorce, she immediately wishes the destruction of every remaining trace of their love, including the two boys (lines 110-114). The nurse ominously foreshadows that Medea will not relinquish her rage until it upsets the balance of the city, and Creon admits to banishing her simply out of fear for the possible consequences of her negative mood. Euripides also carefully reveals the elements of Medea's past that demonstrate her readiness to sacrifice family to pursue her intractable will; Jason and Medea's original tryst, for example, required that she kill her own brother. While it can be argued the children's deaths are fated from the beginning, it nevertheless remains true that such a fate represents the triumph of perverse forces within human behavior. To reach the point of infanticide, Medea's basic human nature has to be transformed, ushering in conflict of some type. Consequently, Medea's eventual indecision and motivational conflicts manifest the warping of natural sentiments. For example, Medea considers a natural, common sense course of action when she debates fleeing with her children to Athens, where they can renew their lives with guaranteed protection. Such a life would probably provide the most happiness out of the possible alternatives Medea contemplates, yet her decision-making process has left behind debating over personal profit and loss. Her only loyalty is to her "anger"(1076), which has sprung out of her love and needs to vindicate itself through revenge. Abandoning her plan to punish Jason as severely as possible would be equivalent to denying the seriousness of her emotions and the offense they have suffered. From the beginning of the play the seeds of this cruel revenge have been planted, but the natural obstacles of a mother's love still had to be surmounted.

Medea: Euripides' Tragic Hero Essay - 1467 Words | Cram

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In one of literature's most intensely emotional scenes, Medea debates with herself whether to spare her children for her own love's sake Medea 1 or to kill them in order to punish her husband completely. A chorus of Corinthian women sympathize with Medea but attempt to dissuade her from acting on her anger. However, her need for revenge overpowers her love for her children, and she ruthlessly kills them. Euripides introduced psychological realism into ancient Greek drama through characters like Medea, whose motives are confused, complex, and ultimately driven by passion.

Essay, Research Paper: Medea By Euripides

There Jason falls in love with the local princess, whose status in the city will bring Jason financial security. He marries her without telling Medea. Medea takes revenge by killing the new bride and her father, the King of Corinth. One variation of the myth says that Medea then accidentally kills her two sons by Jason while trying to make them immortal. Euripides takes the myth into a new direction by having Medea purposely stab her children to death in order to deprive Jason of all he loved (as well as heirs that would carry on his name).


Euripides’ Medea was written in a time where even the word “feminism” did not exist and yet he gave Medea a role of substance and a stature of strength. It is a wonder whether or not Euripides knew just how much power he put into the hands of this woman as well as many more in the creation of her character. We will write a custom essay sample …

Medea: Essays and Criticism ¦ Modern Audience Versus Fifth-Century Greek Audience ¦ Eunpidean Drama, Myth, Theme, and Structure ¦ On Stage: Selected Theater Reviews from The New York Times 10. Medea: Compare and Contrast 11. Medea: Topics for Further Study 12. Medea: Media Adaptations 13. Medea: What Do I Read Next? 14. Medea: Bibliography and Further Reading 15. Medea: Pictures 16. Copyright Medea: Introduction Euripides's Medea (431 B. C. ) adds a note of horror to the myth of Jason and Medea. In the myth, after retrieving the golden fleece Jason brings his foreign wife to settle in Corinth.

FREE Euripides & The Medea Essay - Example Essays

Euripides shows that not only men are powerful, but women are too. Medea is portrayed as a powerful, feared woman in Corinth. Creon is afraid of Medea; that is the reason for her banishment from Corinth. “Fear: no need to camouflage the fact,”(1.1.283-284)...
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