Medea Analysis

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Medea Response Paper

Alex Barba

3/26/13

The character Medea can easily be seen as the villain of her own play having brutally murdered her own children as well as King Creon and his daughter. It is difficult to understand why someone would go to such lengths of revenge for someone divorcing them but Medea is a complex character whose unyielding motivation is what drives the play. It is also tempting to dismiss her actions as crazy, however using the word crazy implies that there are no reasons for the things she does when in fact there is. Throughout the play Jason acts as a manifestation of everything Medea sees wrong with regards to the male-female relationship. If anything Medea is a calculating and cunning individual who puts her own principles above anything else including her own children. In fact the underestimation of her by other characters often leads to their own doom.

Right off at the start Medea’s first few lines can mislead the audience into thinking that Medea plays into the stereotypical image of an overdramatic woman when she says that her children may die with their father and that her suffering is, “worth oceans of weeping” (118). The Nurse helps further play this up by seeming like this is a normal thing for Medea to do saying, “Oh, Lord. Here we go” (121). However the Nurse also seems to know another side of Medea as well when she says that she fears for the children. She then follows this by trying to reason with Medea by going on how rulers are naturally stubborn and that they, “will not be governed” (125). In a sense the Nurse is saying “men will be men” and to get past it and be content with what you have. This sentiment of “men will be men” however is what creates the core of what could be considered a manifesto of sorts for Medea.The next time the audience sees Medea after she swears to Artemis to exact revenge on Jason, is when Medea steps outside to make a well thought out and logical speech. With her speech the...
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