Medea is a Greek tragedy which was written in 431 BC by the Greek philosopher Euripides. The story of Medea is one filled with anger, jealousy, and death. The main character, Medea, has to overcome the personal heartache of seeing her husband, Jason, marry another woman. The ensuing struggle she has with this notion is the focus of this play.
In a very important scene, Medea hatches her plan to murder the princess, who is Jason’s new bride, as well as Jason himself. She says that first, she will pretend to beg for Jason’s forgiveness, and then she will have him bring the children back to the palace. At the palace, the children will present gifts to the princess from Medea. The gifts of a veil and bridal robe were covered with a poison that is designed to melt the skin from her body, as well as anyone who touched her.
When the children give the gifts to the princess, she cannot resist putting them on immediately. After she put them on, the gifts begin to work as Medea had hoped. The skin begins to melt from her body and her hair begins to fall out. She also bursts into flames. Upon seeing this, a servant goes to fetch the king and Jason, and when he saw his daughter, King Creon collapses helplessly on the body, and as a result died from the same poisons. Jason returns to the place where Medea is staying and insists to see his children. But he is too late, as Medea has killed them as well.
Her reasoning was that she hates Jason more than she loves her children. The sheer cruelty of this scene illustrates Euripides’ point that a clever woman with enough time to hatch a plan is a very dangerous woman indeed. It also proves that hell hat no fury like a woman scorned. Euripides was aiming to show, in my opinion, that when a woman is wronged in a manner such as this one, the man who has scorned her had better think twice about turning his back on the woman, especially if she is a clever one, as was Medea.