Medea is a play written by Euripides is an ancient Greek tragedy. It was first produced in 431BC and it is based upon the myth of Medea and Jason. Centered on the barbarian protagonist, Medea finds her position in two areas. One, the revenge she takes against Jason her husband. Jason is found to have betrayed Medea and their children for another woman. To make her revenge perfect, Medea is willing to sacrifice everything. Secondly, she finally finds her position in the Greek world. Medea is a woman of extreme emotion and extreme behavior. She sacrifices everything for the love of her husband Jason. She commits terrifying acts on Jason’s behalf. A strong rage and passion are found to be part and parcel of Medea’s greatness. Arguably, she is an example of a craze carried too far.
Notably, revenge and power constitute the main action of the play as Medea plans to punish her husband for marrying another woman. Power, on the other hand, is largely developed throughout the play as a subjective judgment. To start with, Medea dominates Jason by her position when she appears on a Chariot. This scene shows that she is superior to him in height. The fact that the Chariot is a divine present from Medea’s Grandfather the Sun of God emphasizes that she is superior to him. Another scene where power is portrayed is when Jason kneels down holding his head in his hands. He is crushed to the ground with guilt, by Medea’s superiority, and despair. This is a confident situation for her. Medea undermines her feelings of power when she situate herself out of the house which symbolizing desolation.
There is a thin line between hubris and greatness. Regarding power, Medea has several makings of a real hero, her power of self-absorption and intellect are beyond doubt. Medea’s anger dives her brutal action that is unnecessarily. In addition, Jason opts to marry Creon’s daughter, Glauce in order to gain power. Despite their high statuses, Medea plots to have a payback for being abandoned by ruining their marriage and lives. By slaying her own kids, she takes her brutality steps further when she exacts her revenge. Medea finally manages to terminate Glauce’s life as well as her children’s.
After Jason abandons his wife and kids and later remarries, Medea is struck by grief and disbelief. Medea does not take such mistreatment when lying down; she swiftly plots on how to murder Jason and his new wife Glauke. Secondly, she wears a bloody revenge and initiates her plans. All this is aimed at finding a way to murder both of them. To start with, Medea convinces Creon, Glauke’s father and the King of Corinth to let her spend another day in Corinth. Although it is against his judgment and instincts, Creon allows them out of pity to spend another day in his empire. By allowing them to spend another day in his empire, Creon gives Medea adequate time and space to figure out her mission, and put her plot into motion. From this point, Medea’s ideas are clear as she secures a safe place to retreat to after committing the murders (Euripides 216).
Ideally, Medea plays a strategic game as she promises to cure Aegeus’ sterility (king of Athens) if he agrees to harbor her and her children. Still in this scene, use of power is evident as Medea uses a good trick to get Creon’s favor. After Creon gives Medea a palace to stay, Medea gets to work and behaves in a nice way that makes Jason believe that she is cool with all the drama and his new marriage. She approaches Jason and pleads him to ask his new wife Glauke if she is comfortable if they stay in Corinth. Confidently, Jason agrees and proceeds to ask Glauke about Medea’s request. To sweeten the deal for Glauke, Medea gives Jason a golden crown and a gossamer gown. With hope in their hearts, Jason and the kids walk briskly to the palace. Soon after entering the palace, a messenger returns and unfolds to Medea the dismay she has caused. Shockingly, after the princess puts on the crown and the gown, her flesh body catches fire and her flesh melts from her bones. On seeing this, Creon Glauke’s father runs to her and throws his body onto hers, they burn together and die. To a great extent, Medea has accomplished one mission she sets forth to execute the remaining plan of killing her kids.
It is not easy for Medea to kill her children. She contemplates for a while and makes up her mind. It is a tough battle for her to opt to kill her children. Although she struggles with her motherly instincts, her revenge is more important. After the contemplation, she drags the boys in the house, picks a sword and executes them. Jason arrives some minutes after the horrific incidence. He is too late to save his poor children. In a chariot drawn by dragons, Medea erupts into the sky as Jason bangs on the door to stop her (Medea 613). They curse each other as Jason is denied the children’s bodies after pleading for long. He requests to be left with the bodies so that he can bury them, but Media refuses and flies away exultant.
On the face of it, Medeas plans and execution is payback to Jason abandoned her and their children by remarrying Creon’s daughter, Glauke. Medea blames Jason for rubbing salt into the wound after he blamed her deportation on her own temper. She goes ahead and reminds her husband of the mess he has caused after all the sacrifice she has done for him. She adds that, moving out of that region is the biggest mistake ever. She is from Colchis and a foreigner in Greece. Subsequently, she would not be welcome anywhere else and it would be an uphill tasks settling in a foreign country. Medea knows well that both Creon and Glauce do not like her. She is very upset with the ill-treatment and plans to revenge (Lansky 45).
Despite being just a wife to Jason, Medea is influential enough to secure a place in Creon’s palace. She convinces the king to allow them to spend a day in the palace and Creon allows them out of pity to spend another day. By allowing them to spend another day in his empire, Creon gives Medea adequate time and space to figure out her mission, and put her plot into motion. From this point, Medea’s ideas are clear as she secures a safe place to retreat to after committing the murders. In this play, the theme of power is evident in many aspects. One, Medea uses power and influence to find her way to the king and the princess. She is able to terminate Glauke’s life by giving Jason a crown and gown as a present for his marriage with Glauke. Successfully, Medea accomplishes one of her missions after the Glauke, the princess puts on the crown but surprisingly, her body catches fire and her flesh melts from her bones. Medea uses her power to reach the mighty through Jason (McDermott 34).
Medea is a woman of extreme emotion and extreme behavior. She sacrifices everything for the love of her husband Jason. There is a thin line between hubris and greatness. Medea has several makings of a real hero. Her power of self-absorption and intellect are beyond doubt. She commits terrifying acts on Jason’s behalf. A strong rage and passion is found to be part and parcel of Medea’s greatness. Medea’s power dives her brutal action that is unnecessarily. By slaying her own kids, she takes her brutality steps further when she exacts her revenge. Arguably, she is an example of craze carried too far.
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Euripides, Stephen J. Esposito, Anthony J. Podlecki, and Michael R. Halleran. Euripides, Four Plays: Medea, Hippolytus, Heracles, Bacchae. Newburyport, MA: Focus Pub./R Pullins Co, 2002. Print.
Lansky, Melvin R. "The impossibility of forgiveness: Shame fantasies as instigators of vengefulness in Euripides' Medea." Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 53.2 (2005): 437-464.
McDermott, Emily A. Euripides Medea: The Incarnation of Disorder. Penn State Press, 2005.