Discovering Who We Are and Where We Belong: A Challenging Task

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Discovering who we are and where we belong can be challenging.
When Leunig proclaims “It is the supreme way to hurt my husband,” she reveals to the audience her inability to concede defeat, ultimately leading to the destruction of Jason’s happiness and the City of Corinth’s order. On the surface, it may appear that Medea’s actions are driven by her homelessness and hereditary ties; she faces being left vulnerable with no “native land” to take her back. Yet, ultimately it is Medea’s pride which leads to her exacting revenge. Through her language and character development, Euripides paints the picture of a scorned woman, who must make others share in her own suffering to feel at peace. Medea will ignore the advice and pleas of the Chorus and Nurse, seeing her revenge out until the bitter end.
As the play opens, we hear Medea wailing in misery, “I…want to die…leaving behind this loathsome life.” Whether Medea is making an attempt to gain sympathy from the Chorus and the audience or she is genuinely in despair, it becomes apparent that Medea’s previous life with Jason was forged in circumstances of violence and betrayal, sowing the seeds for tragedy. The Nurse strings together a sad story of all Medea has done for the sake of Jason and their relationship, making us witnesses to how unjustly Medea has been treated. While Medea bears a sad history, Medea and the Nurse’s recount of the facts demonstrate how personally Medea has taken Jason’s actions, “I want you to die, along with your father.”
As the play progresses, Medea’s misery deepens when Creon declares her banishment. Calling for mercy, Medea bemoans, “I am suffering; why, Creon, are you sending me away from this land.” Furthermore, Medea declares, “there is no easy place for [her] to reach and escape ruin.” Through this dialogue, it becomes apparent that Medea is desperate as she, “begs,” Creon to reconsider. However, we also witness Medea’s well practiced manipulative skills, as she, “sinks to her

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