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Medea. Throughout the play Medea experiences many agon within herself and with other characters. Medea is in constant conflict with herself over the matter of wether to kill her sons or to let Jason get away with his betrayal

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Introduction

'Medea' is an ancient Greek tragedy written in 431 BC about a woman, Medea, who is left by her husband, Jason, for the king's daughter, Glauce and seeks vengeance. The plays protagonist, Medea, can be defined as a tragic hero for many reasons. A tragic hero is a person who is basically good, yet to whom terrible things occur. The person must overcome great odds and the play always ends in their downfall. Medea can be considered a tragic hero as, although she does not possess all the qualities a tragic hero normally does, she holds many of the most important qualities. She experiences agon, goes through catharsis, has a hamartia, demonstrates hubris and the play even finishes in a peripeteia which leads to her emotional destruction. Throughout the play Medea experiences many agon within herself and with other characters. Medea is in constant conflict with herself over the matter of wether to kill her sons or to let Jason get away with his betrayal by not destroying him emotionally. This is shown on pages 49 and 50 where she says: "Why should I hurt them, to make their father suffer, when I shall suffer twice as much myself?" ...read more.

Middle

(Euripides, 431 BC, p59). This proves that she did not care about herself, only his pain. Medea's method of catharsis, revenge, brings about her spiritual renewal as it gives her a sense of compensation. It is one of the traits that define her as a tragic hero as her method is violent and causes her pathos; it is also linked very strongly to her fatal flaw. Medea's hamartia is her distorted morality, her belief that no matter what, people who have done her wrong must be punished. Her need for revenge is fuelled by her betrayal and it is her hamartia that causes her to kill the best thing she has left, her children. Medea believes Jason has done the wrong thing by leaving her, even though he claims it was so he could support her and their sons financially. She even states; "to my mind... you are acting wrongly in thus abandoning your wife." (Euripides, 431 BC, p 34). Because he has betrayed her Medea sees it as her job to cause him pathos. Killing him is not enough and she decides that the only way to really cause him pain is to remove his new wife and their children. ...read more.

Conclusion

raised hand against her own children... being defiled by the murder of her children; from the steep cliff's edge she stretched out her foot, and so ended, joined in death with her two sons." (Euripides, 431 BC, p 57). Although they are not talking about Medea this shows how one woman's life was after she murdered her sons, implying that Medea's life would be similar and that she too will be emotionally shattered. The chorus also express that peripeteia has occurred stating: "the things we thought would happen do not happen... and such is the conclusion of this story." (Euripides, 431 BC, p61). This shows how the story does end in an unexpected way, even for the characters that experienced or watched it. The peripeteia that concludes the play makes Medea a tragic hero as it causes her emotional destruction. Medea experiences a lot of agon in the play, both with other characters and herself. She also goes through a process of catharsis, possesses a hamartia and hubris with the play ending in a peripeteia. Medea can be considered a tragic hero because she displays many of the traits of a tragic hero and must conquer overwhelming odds. The play is tragic and although Medea gets her revenge, her emotional pathos is still great. ...read more.

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