Is Medea A Sympathetic Character Analysis

1150 Words3 Pages

Sympathy is a feeling of understanding which cannot be easily denied. Feeling sympathy towards someone or something comes naturally to humans. It is not required that one must undergo the same challenges to understand a person’s struggle. The extent of one’s sympathy depends upon the extremity of one’s plights. Regardless of who or what, everyone has felt sympathy or has been given sympathy. Euripides, a famous Grecian playwright wrote Greek tragedies known for eliciting sympathy from the audience. An example of this is Euripides’ play Medea. Medea is one of Euripides’ most well known characters Euripides created Medea to be a sympathetic character. Medea was originally published in Greek; therefore many aspects of the play may have been lost in translation as it is difficult to translate both the literal and implied meaning of the original play. Although many may dispute that Medea is a sympathetic character it is evident through, various sacrificial acts of love, Medea’s unstable mental state and role as a foreign woman in the ancient Greece society help Euripides portray Medea as a sympathetic character as conveyed by his social commentary.
Sacrifices are often made in one’s everyday life. However, it is the repercussions of these sacrifices that elicit sympathy from one’s peers. Medea with, “...her heart unhinged in her love for Jason...persuaded the daughters of Pelias to kill their father” (Euripides 8-10). Euripides uses a mythological allusion by briefly referring to the legendary journey of Jason and the Argonauts. Euripides portrays Medea as a character who selflessly victimizes herself. Through this sacrificial act of love Medea, victimizes herself by acquiring enemies on Jason’s behalf. Furthermore, Medea betrays her...

... middle of paper ... to further develop a clear understanding of her motives. Although Medea’s actions were arbitrary and illogical, the reasoning behind her actions was completely selfless and motivated by love. Additionally, Medea’s irrational state of mind contributes to her illogical selfless actions. Euripides demonstrates how Medea allows herself to be a victim to her anger which overpowers her rational thinking. Furthermore, Euripides’ social commentary on the role of women and foreigners in the ancient Greece society display how Medea is poorly judged due to both these factors and her disinterest in conforming to societal norms. Therefore, it is apparent that Euripides created Medea as a sympathetic character. Although many aspects of the original play may have been lost in translation, it is proven that Medea is in fact a sympathetic character as shown through her plights.

Open Document