Medea: Catalysts of Revenge

Topics: Medea, Social status, Jason Pages: 3 (969 words) Published: June 10, 2013
Revenge is the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for a wrong suffered at their hands. It is seen as a ‘wild justice’, and as revenge is entertaining (also allowing us to consider our own morals and beliefs) it is an enduring interest in literature. The desire for revenge is an evolved outgrowth of our human sense of unsatisfied reciprocity. Revenge has been evident in the early years of human life. For many tribal cultures, is one member of the family was killed or injured, it was the obligation of the other family members to exact revenge. If revenge wasn’t successful, it would be passed through each new generation. As a result, human history reflects a long period of tribal vendetta and blood revenge. In this century, views of revenge have been influenced by many social factors including: laws, religion, peer opinions, etc. Euripides’ Medea is a play of its time as it is influenced by the social influences of its time. Medea, sacrifices her family and country for Jason, but the situation is accentuated when Jason abandons her and her children to obtain a higher social status. In this period of time, oaths were very valued. These oaths were made under the gods’ name and respected. In this context, the roles of women were marginalised. The role of women was to look after their husband and their children, and did not attribute to anything more significant. Most women couldn’t get an education and the men earned the money. In this social period of time, Medea could not resort to anything as she was merely insignificant when compared to men. She could not return home and she is an outsider in Greece. She has no one to turn to and as men were idolised, she was worthless. The process of Medea’s revenge was very accurate and thought to detail. She planned to kill Glauce and her husband, but after an encounter with King Creon, she re-adjusts her plans. She continuously plots ways in which to kill her enemies, confiding everything to the chorus. She...
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