Passage Analysis – Medea
This passage occurs near the beginning of the play and is part of Medea and Jason’s first encounter in the play. Medea, the protagonist, confronts Jason, her husband who has abandoned her. It is the first time Medea shows Jason the rage she has for him, and he responds with rhetoric and logical argument. This passage is important to the audience’s perception of the relationship between Medea and Jason, and their similarities and differences which make up the main themes of the play.
One of the most important features of this passage is that is the main part of Medea’s only interaction with Jason in the play. This is, therefore, one of the main sources of information on Jason’s personality and point of view. It is clear that Jason feels that he is in control of the situation – he is a respectable Greek man, and Medea is an exiled barbarian, now with no home to return to. In the first paragraph of the passage, Jason announces his misogynistic views and belittles Medea by putting her anguish down to ‘sex-jealousy’. We can see from the use of italics in the fourth line and the exclamation point in the seventh that Jason feels very strongly about this and cannot accept or even attempt to understand Medea’s point of view. Throughout the passage, he counteracts Medea’s passion with logic and rhetoric and maintains a patronising tone – ‘No doubt, if I had mentioned it, you would have proved most helpful.’ Although we can sympathise with Jason somewhat, his patronising tone and insistence that his was made ‘to ensure your (Medea’s) future’ ensure that Medea’s passion will seek revenge.
If Jason represents the respectable, logical, often selfish husband, Medea is the smart, passionate and driven by emotion wife. In this passage she faces Jason as an equal, and repeatedly insults his search for power and wealth. We do see, though, that Medea is able to use logical argument for her own purposes, especially in the third paragraph – ‘To me, a...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document