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

hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. is this a more apt description of medea or clytemnestra?

Extracts from this document...


"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". Is this a more apt description of Clytemnestra or Medea? Both Clytemnestra and Medea are tragic characters who have been deeply hurt at the hands of their husbands. Clytemnestra's much loved daughter was sacrificed by her husband for reasons that debatably weren't necessary. And Medea's husband left her for another woman, leaving Medea without anything. Both these acts cause the women to cite revenge. On top of the sacrifice of their daughter, Agamemnon had left Clytemnestra to fend for herself while he went off to war. She hasn't seen her husband for the ten years he's been awa, and when he finally does come home after being victorious, he brings with him a sex-slave; Cassandra, so not only does Clytemnestra have to live with the knowledge that her husband has been unfaithful, she gets the privilege of meeting the woman that has been entertaining him. Even though this unfaithfulness does little to enrage her in comparison to the sacrifice, it does push Clytemnestra over the edge, and so with her lover she plots the murder of Agamemnon and his concubine. She seems like a level-headed character because her ten year planning appears to be justified because she has been hurt in the worst possible way; by having her child murdered. ...read more.


They both feel that death is the only justifiable action for what their husbands have done. The big difference is that Medea doesn't want to kill her husband. She wants him to live a long life of pain- pain caused by death that will occur around him, his new wife, his step-father and most importantly, his sons. I feel this is a worse punishment than the quick way out through death. In her opening speech, the Nurse tells the audience that Medea is unstable. She is presented more like a dangerous character than a tragic one. Any of her tragic flaws could damage other characters more than herself, and that's exactly what happens. Later on the Nurse warns the children to avoid their mother because of her dangerous mood, and soon after, Medea even curses the children herself. She's clearly in a hazardous state. After this, before she has even committed her biggest crime we can see that she should not be scorned. Someone so unstable could do anything to get their revenge, and that's exactly what she does. After killing Glauce and her father, she has left Jason without the spouse, and the royalty of Creon's kingdom. This seems like an apt punishment, because Jason deprived Medea of her spouse and royalty too. ...read more.


This may make her seem like a more frightening and cold character, but because Medea does show regret, I feel it makes her actions seem more unjustifiable, because she has done things that she knows she would suffer for, but she does them anyway. We can also forgive Clytemnestra more easily because her main victim was guilty of wronging her. It's fair to say that Cassandra did nothing to upset Clytemnestra of her own freewill, but as a slave she isn't taken into account in this context. The repercussions of Medea's actions however are felt on a much wider scale. She kills her husband's new bride, she kills Creon; and later she kills her children. It's hard to sympathize with these acts because for the most part, the victims are innocent, and the murders are all out of proportion to Medea's reasoning. They show Medea to be unstable, dangerous, and clearly out of her mind. While Clytemnestra comes across has sympathetic, and maybe in some opinions heroic, Medea seems to be a barbaric, cold-blooded killer, killing innocent people that don't need to killed for her revenge to be effective. There are more deaths and more repercussions, in the short term at least [i.e Agamemnon and Clytemnestra won't die until much later on], for everyone as a consequence of Medea's scorn. As a result, I feel the quote is more apt to Medea. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Classics essays

  1. Science case study

    This table shows the relation of death caused by lung cancer to smoking males and non-smoking males. As you can see from looking at the table, the more cigarettes someone smokes the higher the chance of death compared to a non-smoker.

  2. Medea - A study of the character of Jason.

    He has given unnecessary effort to aiding Medea, and she has not helped. His continuos help to her, which does nothing to change her mind or alter the cause of the dreadful fate of the children, is wholly genuine. The problem though, is that he is stupid in his actions

  1. What was life like in the Roman Army and what made them successful?

    It was a metal point attached to a wooden rod. The pilum, when jabbed into the shield of an enemy, would split the enemy's scutum, meaning that the enemy would no longer be able to use his scutum, making him more vulnerable to impact from further attacks.

  2. Citizenship coursework - Planning

    We had to have a vote to rank the issues which we felt really concerned the community. The following issues were the top three: * Healthy school meals (as there have been more and more children in the UK becoming obese).

  1. Medea. Throughout the play Medea experiences many agon within herself and with other characters. ...

    (Euripides, 431 BC, p21). Jason does not believe he has done any wrong yet Medea states on page 24: "Jason was my whole life; he knows that well." (Euripides, 431 BC, p24). Medea's unprovoked betrayal by Jason makes her vengeful and essentially leads to the tragic end of the play.

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

    no intention to harm Creons daughter: "...I bear no grudge against your happiness: marry your daughter to him, and good luck to you both." But we know that in the previous scene she is not so kind about Creon's daughter: " Oh, may I see Jason and his bride Ground to pieces in their shattered palace..."

  1. To what extent would you agree with the idea that Chinua Achebe presents Okonkwo ...

    Had Okonkwo not been exiled this event may have occurred earlier but the sudden changes Okonkwo witnessed on his return were such a shock that the matter came to a head almost immediately. I think that it was Okonkwo who eventually led himself to his own destruction, though much of this was through his own free choice.

  2. Write a diary from the point of view of Achilles' during the Trojan War

    Well I was right. No sooner had I finished writing than Odysseus (slimy, snake like and cunning), Ajax (with the brawn and brain of a bull) and Phoenix (a good man who helped raise me) came to persuade me to come back.

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