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"Do you think that Euripides intended us to sympathise with Medea?"

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Introduction

"Do you think that Euripides intended us to sympathise with Medea?" Euripides has a reputation for not like women, so we would expect there to be a great deal of scorn and an unsympathetic depiction of Medea coming from Euripidies. I have four parts to the way that my sympathies turn in Medea. Firstly I am sympathetic, then when we find Medea very scheming and plotting to kill her husband, Creon and his daughter and she enjoys thinking about it, our sympathies change. Then my sympathies change when we meet Jason for the first time and when we see Medea deliberating over whether or not she will kill her children. These scenes produce unsympathetic feelings for Jason but then afterwards we see how evil Medea can really be. But we also see Medea deliberating whether or not to kill he children and we see into her heart. Then in the end we are left in suspense about whether she will kill her children or not, when we find that she does, this alters our opinion yet again and I am more sympathetic to Jason. Overall I believe that Euripides intended us to not sympathise with Medea all together, but sympathise with her enough, to be shocked in the end when she kills her sons. ...read more.

Middle

This makes the audience weary of women and most importantly, weary of Medea. When we meet Jason, he doesn't come across very well. He is very rational and blames Medea for everything. This even angers me because he speaks to her in such a patronising manner that I do not like him. " Think yourself lucky to be let off with banishment." He does not see that he is in the wrong. "You no doubt hate me: but I could never bear ill will to you." That comment is very annoying and I understand why it would make Medea angry. In this scene we also learn all that Medea did for Jason, we see that she really did love him by her acts. She killed her brother, betrayed her father made the daughters of King Pelias kill their father by mistake. We understand why she is angry with Jason because as she says " and in return for this you have the wickedness to turn me out, to get yourself another wife, Even after I had borne you sons!" Women especially would feel sympathy for Medea here; because she gave up everything for this man that she adored and gave him sons, which was very important in Greek society. ...read more.

Conclusion

But Medea doesn't even give him this comforts of buiring his own sons who have been taken from him. We also see that Jason now has nothing; he has lost his new bride, his old wife and his sons. Although in the beginning we see that Medea has lost Jason, she still has her sons, but now she has stupidly taken them away from both of them. I feel more sympathy now for Jason, than I ever did in the beginning of the play for Medea. Overall, I think that Euripides did not intend us to sympathise with Medea. But he could not paint her out to be the bad figure all along, as then it would not bring suspense into the story and we would not change our minds about the people so much, which makes it more interesting. We do have sympathy with Medea in some parts of the play, but it by her own doing that she makes things a lot worse for herself and many other people in the play, by the brutal murders she carries out. It is very difficult to expect an audience to sympathise with someone, who so readily is able to kill their own children. Especially when we see that she could have avoided doing it. Overall we are not as sympathetic to Medea in the end, as we are to the other charaters. ...read more.

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