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In Euripdes Play Medea

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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