Medea Essay Examples

Essays on Medea

The iconic play Medea, by Euripides explores a whole bunch of conflicting themes that are sure to poke the interest of any human with emotions. Euripides as a play writer has a motif that’s continuous with darker themes. He usually handles works with religion, women, and war. “His plays commonly dwelled on the darker side of existence, with plot elements of suffering, revenge and insanity. Their characters are often motivated by strong passions and intense emotions. Euripides often used the plot device known as ‘deus ex machina,’ where a god arrives near the conclusion of the play to settle scores and provide a resolution to the plot.” ( The summary behind Medea, is no different in this regard. Medea is intent on discovering the underlying truths behind the themes of betrayal, hatred, fear, and revenge.

The Children of Heracles
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He creates them so fully that we get their good points, their bad points and their downright ugly points. This makes it very hard to sympathise with any of them. However, there are some characters we can sympathise with in Euripidean literature. As the reader or the audience we can fully sympathise with Alcestis. The play 'Alcestis' is an exploration and detailed analysis of how much of a noble sacrifice the title character made. Alcestis gave her life so that…...
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The portrayal of Women
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In The Trojan Women and Medea by Euripides and in Lysistrata by Aristophanes the harsh and debasing treatment of women is portrayed by the playwrights' use of the chorus's commentary. In all three plays, women are shown, in the conventional attitudes of the time, as beings made for the household and subordinate to men. In The Trojan Women, the captive women become hopeless slaves to the Achaean captors after the fall of Troy and in Medea, the husband appears as…...
What is the role and function of the Messenger in Antigone and Medea?
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The plays Antigone by Sophocles, and Medea by Euripides, present the conventional figure of a Messenger at climactic junctures in each play. Each Messenger brings appalling and shattering news that is deeply disturbing for the audiences and henceforth reflects on this shock. In Antigone, the Messenger's narrative presents a dramatic recount of the deaths of Antigone, Haemon and Eurydice. The Messenger in Medea presents a long speech rendered dramatic, providing a grotesquely vivid image of Glauce and King Creon's horrid…...
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The role of the Chorus in The Medea
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The Chorus in Greek terminology is a group of dancers who participate in parties, dramatic performances and public events. The choral song is the predominant part of the play and the monologue is later added in, they are the subordinate characters, or the background and the important parts are left for the main character, in this case Medea. The Chorus, a group of Corinthian women, has quite a unique and an important role in the play by narrating and summarizing…...
Is Medea a villain or a victim?
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In the Medea, Euripides balances the reaction of moral repellence at the isolated act of Medea’s infanticide with an examination of her motives in an attempt at justification, forcing the audience to re-examine their own conceptions of morality through the lens of Medea’s actions. The antithesis formed between the gravity of Jason’s offences and the abhorrence of Medea’s reaction is the main criterion by which to judge the weight of each character’s wrongdoing. Every offence committed in the play both…...
Medea plans
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This applies to Medea, who we find repulsive and evil because of her ruthlessness, her lack of limits and boundaries that could possibly stop her and her complete determination to achieve her goal at all costs. However, this also intrigues us and makes her great, quite ironically. This is because her courage, determination, combined with her intelligence, manipulative skills and total devotion to a cause are unordinary and rare. The fact that she will not stop until she gets what…...
Masculinity and Femininity
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Masculinity and femininity are portrayed not as fixed attributes bestowed by nature as part of an integrated stable personality, but as behaviours that can be performed. Medea and another character of Euripides’ Helen “perform” femininity in order to deceive unwitting males. Iphigenia is transformed from a shy bride into a hero who physical and moral courage inspires Achilles. Medea's debate with herself can be seen as choice between masculine and feminine course of action. Such moments tend to destabilise the…...
In Euripides’ tragedy
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Euripides' Medea is based on the already existing and popular myth of Jason and the Argonoughts and this makes plot very important. As it has a mythical background there is an element of what, to a modern audience, would seem to be magical realism, but to an ancient Greek audience would be believed as possible, for example Medea having divine blood and her grandfather, the Sun God being the deus ex machina taking her away on his chariot. This could…...
The character of Medea from Euripides’s Medea
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In a play, the audience is often encouraged to view certain characters either sympathetically or unsympathetically, which can position them to agree, or disagree, with the values and attitudes of that character. In Euripides's Medea, it is possible to view the character of Medea both sympathetically and unsympathetically, however we are encouraged to sympathise with her. The Nurse tells the Prologue of Medea, and it is at this point that the audience first learns the story of Medea and Jason,…...
Feminity in the Patriarchal Society of Greeks
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Abstract: Euripides' Medea challenges the dominant views of feminity in the patriarchal society of Greeks. While pursuing her ambition Medea disregards many of the feminine characteristics of the patriarchal Greek society. By focusing on the character portrayal of Medea, this paper argues to prove Medea a feminist text. And such tragedies represent Euripides feminist and liberal views as well relative to the society he lived in.Key words: Athenian society, Feminism, patriarchal stereotypes Introduction Many literary evidences, primarily from comedy, tragedy…...
Is Euripides’ Medea A Feminist Or A Misogynist Play?
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Euripides' Medea challenges the dominant views of feminity in the patriarchal society of Greeks. While pursuing her ambition Medea disregards many of the feminine characteristics of the patriarchal Greek society. By focusing on the character portrayal of Medea, this paper argues to prove Medea a feminist text. And such tragedies represent Euripides feminist and liberal views as well relative to the society he lived in. Introduction Many literary evidences, primarily from comedy, tragedy and oratory, show that ancient Greece were…...
Reaction Paper on Medea by Euripides
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What was the role of the nurse in the play? Why did she thinks the killing her children is the best option for her to get revenge form her husband? And how is she going to deal with the pain of killing them. I did not like the fact that Jason left his wife for another one. He did not obey the commitment he made to his wife and left his family along with his children. "You know that my…...
Hamilton’s Mythology
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Most stories in mythology stay away from dark or supernatural powers. The demonic wizards and the hideous old witches who haunted Europe and America, too, up to quite recent years, play no part at all in the stories. The ideas of dark arts, if you will, didn't peak the interests of early audiences enjoying Greek mythology. In recent years, this type of genre in modern media has become very popular. This shows the differences between what people cared about in…...
Greek mythologyMedeaMythologyPoseidon
Analysis of Euripides Play Medea
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How does Euripides use Juxtaposition to challenge Gender Norms Euripides play, Medea, tells the tale of patriarchal values. Medea is portrayed as a strong, independent character, capable of making her own decisions. However, there are times when she is shown as a hysterical female, whose actions are irrational. While pursuing her ambition, Medea disregards many valued characteristics of women. She also contrasts Jason's beliefs and values. In Medea, Euripides develops two contrasting characters that juxtapose each other and challenge society's…...
Betrayal and Revenge in Medea
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In his quest for the Golden Fleece, Jason elicits Medea, a women known for her supernatural powers. Shortly after, they marry. Yet, after all Medea does for Jason-including killing her own brother-he decides to leave her and marry the Corinthian Princess to increase his own wealth and status. Thus, to avenge her husband for his betrayal, Medea kills the princess and the children she herself had with Jason, thus ensuring his complete downfall. Upon hearing of the sacrifice of the…...
Medea’s murder of her children
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The image of Medea presented by Euripides in the exodos is undoubtedly largely horrifying and appalling to the audience. Medea manifestly presents her desire for revenge and it is difficult to sympathise with her character. However, in many respects her character fits the image of a tragic hero. Although, it is widely controversial to associate Medea with heroic aspects in modern days, from an ancient Greek's perspective her actions and personality might well match aspects of the tragic hero such…...
Contrast the Characters of Agamemnon and Jason
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Both Agamemnon and Jason share intrinsic similarities in that they are both the tragic heroes of their plays: Aeschylus' 'Agamemnon' and Euripides' 'Medea' respectively. However, they do not share the same fate. Agamemnon is killed for what he has done, whereas those close to Jason emotionally and politically are killed to spite Jason. Both characters are detested by their wives, but for different reasons. Agamemnon has sacrificed his daughter and Jason has left his wife to marry entirely for personal…...
The Role and Significance of Hubris in the Fall of Jason
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As is archetypal to all Greek tragedies, ‘Medea’ by Euripides chronicles the downfall of a noble hero, Jason, as a result of a combination of factors like fate, hubris and the will of the gods. In ‘Medea’, the hubris of the main character, Jason, was his pride. This drove him to betray his wife Medea’s trust and defy moral parameters set by the gods. Euripides employed the hubris of Jason and his act of disobedience towards the gods as a…...
Greek mythologyLiteratureMedeaPlays
Hell Hath No Fury Like Medea Scorned
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In Euripides's Medea, revenge can lead to destructive actions. This theme is a central part to the tragedy, mostly because it pops up time and time again. Euripides, through the use of motif, makes Medea's desire for revenge seem conceivable. Not only has Jason left her by marrying Creon's daughter, but Creon has exiled her from Corinth because she “nourish[es] rancorous ill will toward [Jason and Creusa] whom [he] intends to protect” (Euripides 92). The protagonist is left with ultimately…...
Conceptions of women and the foreigner
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In the ancient Greek life, women’s role was always considered to be quite insignificant as compared to the role of the Greek men. However, in most tragedies women were the major and integral characters who revealed some insights on the way the women happened to be treated and also thought in the entire society. Medea is maybe the most complex and fascinating character when we look closely to the Greek’s drama. She is an immense and an ultimate mixture of…...
Medea Greek Mythology
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When Medea decides to take matters in to her own hands, about punishing the people who have done wrong to her, she is accused of wanting not justice—vengeance. Because I am not a native of neither Corinth nor Colchis, I have my own view about her motives. However, I would agree with the Corinthian Women, Medea is seeking vengeance; not justice. Some people might argue that Medea is seeking justice. When in actuality, Medea wants vengeance. The opposition would say…...
Greek mythologyMedea
Greek Mythology and Medea
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Medea - Protagonist of the play, Medea's homeland is Colchis, an island in the Black Sea, which the Greeks considered the edge of the earth--a territory of barbarians. 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…...
Greek mythologyMedea
Medea shows that seeking revenge undermines any hope of justice
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The brutal course of revenge which Medea exacts on Jason may suggest that in the pursuit of revenge, one render any prospect of attaining justice to be void. However in an indirect way, Medea's course of revenge which implicates the lives of innocents, exerts a punishment on her. Ultimately, the fact that Medea is not directly subjected to a punishment for her extreme course of her revenge is attributable to her ancestry - she is the grand-daughter of the Sun-God.…...
Medea’s revenge
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Is Medea doing her children a kindness as they are going to be banished and kicked ot anyway Medea’s revenge ultimately makes her far guiltier than Jason Traditional audience vs modern audience Emotion love obligation < life Justification does not equal right Responsibility – guilt 1. MEDEA: 2. JASON: 3. COMPARISON: In Euripidies play, Medea, Although both Medea and Jason committed wrongs, Medea’s acts of revenge ultimately make her more guilty than Jason. Medea, in a desperate act for justice,…...
We've found 24 essay examples on Medea
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In Medea, revenge should be considered to be the main motion of the play especially due to Medea’s attempts to send punishment upon her former husband, Jason, for intently leaving her to go and marry anybody else for his very own egocentric motives. After that is announced inside the very start of the text, nearly all other scenes are primarily based on her attempts to steady the right act of revenge, although, the main price of her actions are her own children’s lives. Medea has given up anything possible in order to help her husband be powerful and is, of course, very irritated that he would allow her to remain lonely so effortlessly. Furthermore, his reasons are not sturdy for leaving her and he is continuously seeking to make excuses for his choice. Medea is infuriated in regards to his motives behind his decision and vows revenge. Since she has given up more than one can imagine and even been forced into exile on numerous instances due to her acts, she is uncompromising and vows revenge. She starts considering a plot as soon as it’s been determined upon, although, her methods may include murdering her own children. She states, “Anger, the spring of all existence’s horror, masters my solve’ (Euripides ). In announcing this, she is overtly claiming revenge in view that she feels she is justified in committing murders for the sake of her own lust for retribution against Jason.

The seductive attraction of revenge is part of the play’s enduring popularity. Medea is inclined to sacrifice the entirety to make her revenge best. She murders her children, ironically, to shield them from the counter-revenge of her enemies; she additionally kills them to harm Jason, although in slaying them she is dooming herself to a existence of remorse and grief. But a part of Medea’s appeal is its energy as a revenge fantasy; just like Medea, all have at one time or any other been beset with the aid of enemies whose strength is institutionally blanketed and unfair. And like Medea, we’ve often fantasized about the satisfaction of an ideal revenge. Like the Chorus, we watch Medea with a aggregate of horror and pleasure.

Fear and Mental Issues

Fear is another reoccurring theme in Medea. The aura of fear surrounds most who knows Medea deeply. Due to her situation, she spent a lot of her time pouting in regards to her husband’s decision to leave her for another woman. There is a Nurse who knows Medea deeply, and she is afraid to the fullest extent of where Medea is going mentally. Not only that, it was a huge question as to what will happen to the kids due to the fact that Medea was in such a frenzy. The nurse states directly, “She loathes the children and takes no joy in looking at them. And I am afraid that she will hatch some sinister plan. For she has a terrible temper and will not put up with bad treatment(I know her, and I fear [40] she may thrust a whetted sword through her vitals, [slipping quietly into the house where the bed is spread,] or kill the royal family and the bride-groom and then win some greater calamity. For she is dangerous. I tell you, no man who clashes with her [45] will find it easy to crow in victory.” (Euripides)

Medeas health is always a huge question through the play. Her choice to fast leaves her body aching and all of the loved ones around her are trapped in a state of panic in hopes that one day she will snap back to normal.

Another form of the exemplifying fear displayed in the play was showed by Creon. Creon is the father of the woman whom Jason left Medea for. Creon fears Medea to a huge degree due to the emotions he knows she holds inside of her. The thought of Medea murdering his family, including his daughter, seemed to haunt Cleon. As he speaks to Medea, Creon additionally explains his deep mistrust of silent, smart girls. It is apparent that he prefers ladies to be outspoken in expressing their emotions; he is adept at responding to such displays of feminine wrath. However, a silent woman who continues her feelings underneath control is to be feared due to the fact her plans for evil are hidden from him. Creon believes that Medea is a silent, dangerous lady. Therefore, he decides his only reliable option is to banish her from the land.


Obviously, betrayal is the man idea surrounding this play. All the connecting emotions are after effects of the fact that Medea felt betrayed by the one who was supposed to love her on the highest level. Medea’s heart aches after hearing of her husband’s decision to leave her. Some might argue that Euripides makes a sturdy case for the dangers of betrayal, and that there isn’t always a case for loyalty. They may also claim that Medea killed her children due to the fact she desired to betray Jason. Another declare might be that they betrayed Medea because she was going to kill her youngsters. Though, that argument fails when the audience succumbs to the emotional and logical claims presented by way of the refrain and Jason.

Despite the arguments the Jason supplied had been egotistical and womanizing, the reality is they aid the price of loyalty. Jason believes that Medea’s suffering was caused by her personal hand, and that if she were dependable and much less emotional the entire epidemic could have been avoided. An instance might be Medea’s exile, which became due to her cursing the royal family, and thirst for revenge and betrayal, “You called down wicked curses at the King’s circle of relatives” (Euripides ). Another instance would be the passing of the princess, which was justified through the refrain whose nevertheless unswerving to Medea, “Heaven, it seems on this day has mounted many Evils on Jason, and Jason deserved them” (Euripides). During the whole play of Medea, Euripides is advocating loyalty by showing the risks of uncontrollable betrayal. “Her fury will be almost god-like in its power. Despite everything that is soon to come, the aftermath of Jason’s treachery does reveal a lesson about the very nature of betrayal. Even if a betrayal is directed at a specific person, multiple people will always be hurt, and the betrayer will always suffer for the act they committed. It is only a matter of time before Medea gets the revenge she so desperately desires, and Jason will realize how fine the line is between love and hate.”

FAQ about Medea

What is the role and function of the Messenger in Antigone and Medea?
...Messenger- speeches are an important element in both Medea and Antigone, the playwrights having the capacity to comment and report on the violent consequences of the previous plot development. Without it, the audience would lack a great deal of under...

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