Medea: Passion vs. Reason
“The passions are like fire, useful in a thousand ways and dangerous only in one, through their excess,” stated Christian Nestell Bovee a famous mid-19th century author. “Logic, like whiskey, loses its beneficial effect when taken in too large quantities,” stated Lord Dunsany a famous Anglo-Irish writer during the 1900s. These quotes demonstrate a strong theme in the Greek play Medea written by Euripides. In the play Medea, the protagonist Medea learns that her husband Jason breaks every vow and betrays her by taking another woman to bed. Feeling outraged and hurt, Medea decides to take revenge. She carries out her plan successfully and the play concludes with Medea escaping off to Athens. Throughout the play, two distinct concepts of beliefs and point of views are revealed in the two main characters of the play, Medea and Jason. Medea sees the world through the views of passion whereas Jason sees the world through the views of reason. The main characters express an extremity of either passion or reason which leads them to their own downfall; moreover, through both Medea and Jason's actions, the strength and weakness of each attribute is revealed.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, passion is defined as a “strong and barely controllable emotion and a state or outburst of strong emotion”. The protagonist of the play, Medea, demonstrates an excessive passion which leads her to destruction. The strongest factor that contributes to Medea’s unreasonable passion is her extreme love for Jason. In the beginning of the play the nurse mourns that, “[Medea’s] heart on fire with passionate love for Jason; nor would she have persuaded the daughters of Pelias to kill their father… and she herself helped Jason in every way” (P.1). The protagonist passionate love for Jason deceives her thoughts and leaves her with nothing but hope for Jason’s love. However, Medea’s hope strips and shatters to pieces when she learns that Jason has left her for...
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