Medea; Element of Human Passion

Topics: Love, Medea, Argonauts Pages: 4 (1456 words) Published: January 23, 2007
Human Passion; A Driving yet Destructive Force

Life without passion is equivalent to a dry piece of toast. Although still edible, toast requires elements such as butter and marmalade to make it tasteful and therefore enjoyable. Likewise, life without passion is still livable; yet it is neither as enjoyable nor as fulfilling. Passion is usually considered to be an invigorating and desirable trait; however, when uncontrolled it can also serve as a dangerous and destructive mechanism to mankind. It can lead to hardships or devastation for oneself and for others. Literature is made appealing to audiences by capturing this distinct essence of passion in its characters. Medea, Beowulf, and The Once and Future King, are all works of literature that encompass characters who allow their human passions to stream out of control, causing the eventual ruin of one or more individuals. The ancient Greek play "Medea" is a most fitting example of uncontrolled passion and the dire effects that can result from it. Medea is a character that exemplifies a vast amount of passion throughout the text and whose impulsive violence causes the suffrage of her self and others. The driving force of Medea's unruly actions stems from her passion for Jason and the overwhelming desire for revenge once he betrays her. First, Medea's immense passion for Jason causes her to lose her sense of self, betray her family, and harm Pelias. After having fallen deeply in love with the Greek prince Jason, Medea stops at nothing to help and please him; as she hopes to obtain his love and affection in the process. In the opening scene, Medea's nurse proclaims, "How I wish the Argo never had reached the land of Colchis, for then my mistress Medea would not have sailed for the land of Iolcus, her heart on fire with passionate love for Jason…And she helped him in every way…this indeed the greatest salvation of all" (Euripides 1). The nurse states that it would have been better if Jason had never entered...

Bibliography: Euripides. Medea. Translated by Rex Warner. New York: Dover Publications Inc. 1993.
Thompson, Eileen, Ed. "Beowulf". Translated by Burton Rafael. Prentice Hall Literature: The English Tradition. 2nd Edition. Needham, MA: Prentice Hall, 1991.
White, T.H. The Once and Future King. New York: Vintage. 1997.
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