Euripide

10 October 2017

& # 8217 ; s Medea Essay, Research Paper

Medea & # 8217 ; s Revenge Medea, a drama by the Grecian dramatist Euripides, explores the Greek-barbarian duality through the character of Medea, a princess from the & # 8221 ; barbaric & # 8221 ; , or non-Greek, land of Colchis. Throughout the drama, it becomesevident to the reader that Medea is no ordinary adult female by Grecian standards.Central to the whole secret plan is Medea & # 8217 ; s barbaric beginnings and how they are relatedto her actions. In this paper, I am trying to reply inquiries such as howMedea behaves like a female, how she acts heroically from a male point of position, why she killed her kids, if she could hold achieved her end without killingthem, if the slaying was motivated by her barbaric beginnings, and how she dealswith the hurting of killing her kids. As an debut to the drama, the position of adult females in Greek societyshould be briefly discussed. In general, adult females had really few rights. In theeyes of work forces, the chief intents of adult females in Grecian society were to make houseworksuch as cookery and cleansing, and bear kids. They could non vote, ownproperty, or take a hubby, and had to be represented by work forces in all legalproceedings. In some ways, these Grecian adult females were about similar slaves. There isa definite relationship between this subordination of adult females and what transpiresin the drama. Jason decides that he wants to disassociate Medea and marry theprincess of Corinth, projecting Medea aside as if they had ne’er been married.This kind of activity was acceptable by Grecian criterions, and shows thesubordinate position of the adult female, who had no say in any affair like this. Even though some of Medea & # 8217 ; s actions were non typical of the averageGreek adult female, she still had attitudes and emotions common among adult females. Forinstance, Medea speaks out against adult females & # 8217 ; s position in society, proclaiming thatthey have no pick of whom to get married, and that a adult male can free themselves of a adult female to acquire another whenever he wants, but a adult female ever has to & # 8220 ; maintain [ her ] eyes on one alone. & # 8221 ; ( 231-247 ) Though it is unlikely that adult females went aroundopenly stating things of this nature, it is likely that this attitude was sharedby most or all Grecian adult females. Subsequently in the drama, Medea debates with herself overwhether or non to kill her kids: & # 8220 ; Poor bosom, allow them travel, have commiseration uponthe children. & # 8221 ; ( 1057 ) . This shows Medea & # 8217 ; s motherly inherent aptitudes in that she caresabout her kids. She struggles to make up one’s mind if she can carry through her end ofrevenge against Jason without killing her kids because she cares for themand knows they had no portion in what their male parent did. Unfortunately, Medea & # 8217 ; sdesire to demand retaliation on Jason is greater than her love for her kids, andat the terminal of the drama she kills them. Medea was besides a faithful married woman to Jason.She negotiations about how she helped Jason in his pursuit for the Golden Fleece, thenhelped him flight, even killing her ain brother. ( 476-483 ) . The fact that shewas willing to bewray her ain household to be with Jason shows her trueness to him.Therefore, her choler at Jason over him disassociating her is apprehensible. On the other manus, Medea shows some heroic qualities that were notcommon among Grecian adult females. For illustration, Medea is willing to kill her ain brotherto be with Jason. In classical Greece, adult females and killing were likely notcommonly linked. When she kills her brother, she shows that she is willing todo what is necessary to & # 8220 ; acquire the occupation done & # 8221 ; , in this instance, to be with Jason.Secondly, she shows the bravery to stand up to Jason. She believes that she hasbeen cheated and betrayed by him. By be aftering ways to acquire back at him forcheating on her, she is standing up for what she believes, which in this instance isthat she was wronged by Jason, but in a larger sense, she is talking out against the inferior position of adult females, which efficaciously allows Jason to fling Medea at will. Third, she shows that she is cagey and resourceful. Ratherthan use physical force to carry through her programs, she uses her head alternatively: & # 8220 ; it is best to & # 8230 ; do away with them by poison. & # 8221 ; ( 384-385 ) While physical strengthcan be considered a epic quality, inventiveness can be every bit good. She does in factpoison the princess and the male monarch of Corinth ; interestingly, nevertheless, she doesnot toxicant them straight. & # 8220 ; I will direct the kids with gifts & # 8230 ; to thebride & # 8230 ; and if she wears them upon her tegument & # 8230 ; she will die. & # 8221 ; ( 784-788 ) Thisshows her inventiveness because she is seeking to maintain from being linked to the offense, though everyone is able to calculate out that she was responsible anyway.In a manner, though, she is about anti-heroic because she is non making the & # 8220 ; dirtywork & # 8221 ; herself, which makes her look slightly cowardly. Finally, there is therevenge factor. Many times heroes were out for retaliation against person who didthem or a friend incorrect, and in this instance Medea is no exclusion, since she wantsto have revenge against Jason for disassociating her without merely cause. There are two chief grounds why Medea decides to kill her kids. Thefirst, and more obvious one, is that she feels that it is a perfect manner tocomplement the decease of the princess in acquiring retaliation on Jason. When shetells the chorus of the programs to kill the kids, they wonder if she has theheart to kill her kids, to which she replies, & # 8220 ; [ y ] Es, for this is the bestway to injure my husband. & # 8221 ; ( 817 ) . This shows that she believes that by killingher kids, she will fundamentally destroy Jason & # 8217 ; s life, efficaciously acquiring herrevenge. The 2nd ground for Medea killing her kids has nil to dowith rhenium

venge. If she left her children with Jason, they would be living in asociety that would look down upon them since they have partly barbarian origins.She did not want her children to have to suffer through that. Also, if herchildren are mocked for being outsiders, then this reflects badly on Medea, andshe said that she does not want to give her enemies any reason to laugh at her.(781-782) Since she does not want to leave her children with Jason, they reallyhave no place else to where they could go, being barbarians in a Greek city:”[m]y children, there is none who can give them safety.” (793) For these tworeasons, Medea decides that killing her children is the best way to accomplishher plan: getting revenge and keeping her children away from Jason. Whether or not Medea could have accomplished her goal without killingher children is debatable. On one hand, if we look at Medea’s objective only asseeking revenge against Jason, then she could have accomplished that withoutkilling her children. Killing the princess, Jason’s new wife, would causeenough grief for Jason so that her goal would be accomplished. We can inferthat the death of Jason’s wife would be more damaging to him than the deaths ofhis children because Jason was going to let Medea take the children with herinto exile and did not try to keep them for himself. Therefore, once theprincess was dead, killing the children, while it causes additional grief for Jason, really is not necessary. Even though Medea does not seem to believe it, killing her children probably causes more pain for her than Jason. She justdoes not see it because she is so bent on revenge against Jason. On the otherhand, if we define Medea’s objective in two parts, one being revenge, and theother to keep the children away, then it is possible that she had to kill herchildren. As for the revenge part, it was not necessary that she kill herchildren for the reasons just discussed. However, she may have needed to killthem to keep Jason from getting them. If Jason decided he wanted his children,there is not much Medea could do about it, other than kill them. Also, it ispossible that she did not want to take them with her into exile because theycould make it more difficult for her to reach Athens. For whatever the reason,however, it is probable that she needed to kill her children to carry out herplan, since she accomplished two different goals through their deaths. The murder of Medea’s children is certainly caused in part by herbarbarian origins. The main reason that Jason decides to divorce Medea to marrythe princess is that he will have a higher status and more material wealth beingmarried to the king’s daughter. (553-554) In other words, Jason believes thatMedea’s barbarian origins are a burden to him, because there is a stigmaattached to that. In his mind, having the chance to be rich outweighs the loveof a barbarian wife. Medea’s barbarian status is a burden to herself as well.Once separated from Jason, she becomes an outsider with no place to go, becausethe barbarians were not thought too highly of in Greek society. Had Medea notbeen a barbarian, it is likely that Jason would not have divorced her, andtherefore, she would not have had to kill her children. But since she is abarbarian, this sets in motion the events of the play, and in her mind the bestcourse of action is to kill her children. Just because she is non-Greek doesnot necessarily mean that her way of thinking would be different from theGreeks; in other words, her way of thinking did not necessarily cause her tokill her children. Medea deals with the pain that the deaths of her children cause herquite well. She does this by convincing herself that her revenge against herhusband was worth the price of her children’s death. When asked about killingher children, she replies, “So it must be. No compromise is possible.” (819)This shows that she is bent on revenge, and that she is justifying their deathsto get her revenge. However, she does struggle with her decision to kill them.She is sad that she must take their lives, but also tells herself that it is intheir best interests, as evidenced by what she says to her children: “I wish you happiness, but not in this world.” (1073) She does not seem to have a problemwith killing her children once it comes time to actually carry out the act. Buther motherly instincts will not allow her to totally abandon her children afterthey are dead, as she decides to hold a yearly feast and sacrifice at theirburial site. (1383-1384) But in the end, we can see that she dealt with thepain surprisingly well. Two main themes are present in Medea: Medea’s barbarian origins, andher desire for revenge against Jason. Her barbarian status is really whatstarts the actions of the play. It is what makes her a less desirable wife toJason than the princess, and causes him to leave her. This then leads to herthoughts of revenge against Jason, and her decision to kill her children as away to exact that revenge. As far as revenge goes, Medea is heroic in that sheis standing up against an evil done to her. Throughout most of the play, shespends her time plotting her revenge against Jason, waiting until the rightmoment to unleash her plan. She uses her cleverness to trick Jason and theothers into believing that she was not upset with him. In the end, we can seethat Medea’s barbarian origins were a major factor in the play, and that Medeawas no ordinary woman in Greek terms. _

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