Medea's murder of her children means that she cannot be regarded as a tragic hero.To what extent do you agree that Europidies's presentation of Medea in the exodos agrees with this view.

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‘Unclean, abhorrent child – destroyer.’ Medea’s murder of her children means she cannot be regarded as a true tragic hero. To what extent do you agree with this in view of Euripides’s presentations of Medea in the exodos?

The image of Medea presented by Euripides in the exodos is undoubtedly largely horrifying and appalling to the audience. Medea manifestly presents her desire for revenge and it is difficult to sympathise with her character. However, in many respects her character fits the image of a tragic hero. Although, it is widely controversial to associate Medea with heroic aspects in modern days, from an ancient Greek’s perspective her actions and personality might well match aspects of the tragic hero such as consistency, appropriation, noble state, and tragic flaw. This essay will explore whether her presentation in the exodos as well as her actions in other circumstances justify her tragic hero status.


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First of all, Medea has always enjoyed a good reputation and high-rank in society. Her heroic identity symbolises the fact that she is a grand- daughter of the Sun. Moreover, Medea was a princess of Colchis and displayed a vast knowledge of enchantments and medicine. When Jason abandons her in a foreign land she becomes a ‘stateless refugee’ and her pride suffers. It has also been stated by the Chorus in the play:

‘Of all pains and hardships none is worse

Than to be deprived of your native land’. [L.651-652]

It seems intolerable for her to be rejected ...

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