Love and Novel Medea

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Medea Essay- Year 10 English- Amanda Chong

Essay Question: “The real interest in Medea is that Euripides can make Medea so appalling without losing our sympathy for her.” Discuss

The novel ‘Medea’ written by Euripides is an ancient Greek tragedy. The novel and play is based upon the myth of Jason and Medea, and was first produced in 431 BC. The plot revolves around a love tragedy, and the revenge and jealousy of a woman betrayed by her husband. Medea is a novel which demonstrates the foundation of revenge, passion, rage, betrayal, pride and love. Euripides successfully intertwines these issues into the plot through the main characters, also managing to touch on the issues of marriage and sexism. The story of Medea was destined for destruction. Medea’s strong passion for Jason, whether love or hate is what evokes the readers sympathy for her, but as the book progresses the readers sympathy wears thin. She is portrayed both as a victim that has been wronged and as a cold hearted monster. The strong love and hatred that Medea had for Jason and the actions of betrayal from Jason were the tragedies that set off a train of other misfortunate events.

Medea begins her marriage as the ideal loving wife who sacrificed much for her only love and husband, Jason. “I am finished, my friends, and any pleasure I took in life I now renounce; its death I want.” In Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece, Medea assists him in multiple ways. She causes the death of her own brother, kills King Creon and the princess, and even kills her own children, all due to Jason. At the very start of the novel, the chorus, nurse and tutor undergo emotions of sympathy for Medea, and the reader is made to despise Jason. “Jason has betrayed his two sons, my mistress, for a royal bed.” At this stage of the book, the reader can’t help but to feel sympathy towards Medea’s situation. Even more sympathy is felt when the reader discovers that Jason has betrayed Medea because of his material values....
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