The Depiction of Controversial Mothers in History
When describing the qualities of motherhood, one might say that a good mother is a woman who looks out for the well being of her children both mentally and physically. Mothers give their children the freedom to mature in their own way, so that they learn how to live and work out any problems they might have, their own way. They love their children unconditionally and try their best to spend time with them as much as possible. In the two plays, Medea and Oedipus the King, motherhood plays a central theme throughout the story. In both plays, both Medea and Jocasta appear to defy or violate themselves by challenging the traditional ideas and behaviors related to motherhood. Although they do more to violate the qualities of motherhood, both characters try to establish the importance of motherhood by justifying their acts as ways of loving their children. Medea is a sorceress in her home of Colchis, which is a territory for barbarians. She uses her influence and a power to help a man named Jason secure the Golden Fleece and later develops feelings for him. After falling in love with Jason, she decides to leave her home in order to escape with him to Iolcus, his homeland. In order to assure her escape Medea murders her brother, Absyrtus, and later tricks King Pelias’ daughters into killing their father to insure, Jason would become the King of Iolcus. They are instead cast out as murderers and settle to live in Corinth. In Corinth, they have two children and achieve a good reputation. Problems occur when Jason decides to divorce Medea in order to marry the princess of Cornith, Glauke, so that he would have better life and image for himself. This causes a series of events that leads Medea to getting revenge on Jason by killing their children. The obvious reason why Medea wants to kill her children is to torment Jason. Throughout the Ancient Greek times, the children were the father’s possession and only belonged to...
Cited: Clauss, James J. and Sarah Iles Johnston. Medea. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1997.
Corti, Lillian. The Myth of Medea and the Murder of Children. Westport, Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press, 1998.
Euripides. Medea. Trans. E.P. Coleridge. Online. Internet Classics Archive. Internet. 11 Apr. 2001. Available: http://classics.mit.edu/Euripides/medea.html.
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