• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In Euripdes Play Medea

Extracts from this document...


In Euripides play Medea, the character of Medea is commonly described as being both manic and wicked. I do agree that throughout the play Medea does show herself to be manic individual and does commit a number of "wicked" acts, but I do not believe that she as much wicked as she is unstable, there are many other factors that need to be taken into account. Medea is a strong powerful woman in a time and society in which woman were considered weak and did not have a voice. Throughout the play Medea is shown as being completely other, she has supernatural powers and is from a far away land, and will do anything she feels fit for what she believes to be right, even if these acts could be considered wicked "a foreign woman coming among new laws, new customs, needs the skill of magic". The men around her throughout the play treat her differently due to this "otherness" not so much respecting her but not talking to her as he would an Athenian woman. Before the play is set Medea has committed a number of atrocious crimes; killing her own brother in order to escape her father and coercing the daughters of Pelios into killing their own father after he wronged Jason. ...read more.


Medea's state of mind is one of great turmoil, for the opening scene of the play we do not see Medea herself instead Medea is heard lamenting her fate, another example of Medea's insanity. Many believe that that Jason was solely responsible for Medea's many wicked deeds. If Medea had never met Jason than she would have never left her family, never killed her brother and never had to live in a society in which she is a cultural alien. Everything she did was done for Jason, she is a passionate woman and her love for Jason was intense her nurse describing her as being "mad with love" and Jason's disloyalty. Divorce was not uncommon in Greek society and at one point in the play the chorus, who throughout had been on Medea's side, believe she is behaving in a way that is too melodramatic "this thing is common why let it anger you", but in my opinion that for a woman who was already unstable, Jason's cruel betrayal and Creon's exile was enough to have push Medea over the edge "I shall strike dead father daughter, and my husband". ...read more.


not truly at fault she didn't chose Jason she was offered it was her duty to marry the man chosen for her. From the very start we know that Medea is planning some type of revenge which in Greek society was perfectly acceptable, but even they would see her crimes as being unforgivably wicked. The audience, as the play progresses, switch from pitying Medea ,to pitying Jason, Jason has over the years used Medea for his own gain, but nobody deserves to lose their own children "killed my sons? the words kill me" . Medea's revenge is justified but she takes it to far, showing herself to be both manic and wicked. In conclusion, it is possible to say that Medea is manic, she kills all those that get in her way, and any that she needs to in order to complete her revenge. Despite this it seems hard to describe her as being completely evil, while she has killed many, she does not kill randomly, she only kill those that have wronged her, and she never kills for pleasure. So while she is most definitely dangerously unstable and capable of truly evil acts, I do not think she is truly evil. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Antigone is a saint, whereas Medea is a devil incarnate" do you agree?

    4 star(s)

    sister to be hurt, but I personally believe that her main reason for protecting her sister is that she does not want anyone to steal her thunder, Antigone wants to be the martyr and Ismene stepping in would ruin this image for her.

  2. "Euripides is not asking us [the audience] to sympathise with Medea..."

    Medea never was a saint. Traditional tragic heroes also remain generally sympathetic characters stricken by their overwhelming flaw. This causes them to suffer and eventually they repent for their faults, yet they never return to the state of greatness, which they were to begin with.

  1. In Euripides Play, how important is it that Medea is a foreigner, not a ...

    because this means that Medea is shown as a barbaroi as she does not understand what she did was wrong. Her children were innocent bodies that should not have been slain in her anger against Jason who had made her suffer.

  2. Cinderella - play script

    I'll ever hear are still inside my head Cinderella The kindest words I'll ever hear Prince The kindest words I'll ever hear are waiting to be said Prince The most, entrancing sight of all is yet for me to see!

  1. How do the characters of Antigone in Anouilh's play Antigone and Medea from Euripides's ...

    1 Here we can see Ismene gets most attention. She is admired by young men and enjoys her life. Antigone on the other hand seems to be in her shadow. Therefore it is only natural for the author to have chosen for her to have feelings of resentment, as Ismene has all Antigone feels she hasn't: beauty, success, happiness and very importantly attention.

  2. Euripides' Medea and Seneca's Medea are different in many parts of the two stories

    But I do. And the city will know, for the world will mark its towering flames."(Seneca,line 137-149,pg.137) Through his characterization of Medea, Euripides seems to be more respectful towards the divine being. Seneca is the opposite. His Medea is not as respectful of the gods.

  1. Euripides was accused by his contempories of being a woman hater. Why do you ...

    At this point she comes across as a very wicked conniving young lady. It seems as though she had been waiting for Orestes return to make him do this. When Orestes has doubts over killing Clytemnestra, she bullies him into doing it.

  2. Responding to"The hurricane," and "Medea".

    All the other characters froze while Patty Valentine moved and spoke her line slowly and dramatically. To show that Patty Valentine was the focus of the act, we used levels to show her status. We then after got the next three lines of the extract; we joined up with another group to show 2 scenes happening at the same time.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work