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The tragic play Medea is a struggle between reason and violence. Medea is deliberately portrayed as not a ‘normal woman’, but excessive in her passions. Medea is a torment to herself and to others; that is why Euripides shows her blazing her way through life leaving wreckage behind her. Euripides has presented Medea as a figure previously thought of exclusively as a male- hero. Her balance of character is a combination of the outstanding qualities of Achilles and Odysseus. The problem set at the beginning of the play is that Jason has decided to marry another wife, Glauce. Medea is angered and will not let Jason off without punishment. The loss of Jason is not only a matter of passion; Medea has been completely humiliated by Jason's decision to take a new bride. Her pride shows again when she refuses Jason's aid. Though her situation is difficult, she would rather destroy all than accept help from one who has wronged her so horribly. Living as a barbarian among Greeks has made her more defensive, more full of hurt pride. To punish Jason, Medea had her children deliver poisoned gifts to the new bride, to kill her children, Glauce, and Creon. . Medea is not without feeling, nor is she a sociopath. She comprehends the difference between right and wrong, but chooses to follow the dictates of rage. Medeas character can be portrayed as a combination of the outstanding qualities of Achilles and Odysseus. Medea was a sorceress and held political power, Achilles was the Greek armies’ best warrior and was well respected, and Odysseus was the king of Ithaca and had much respect. However each of these characters possessed weaknesses which eventually lead to their downfalls. Like Achilles and Odysseus, the gods for her betrayal punished Medea. Achilles and Medea were both tough and seemingly invulnerable characters yet both were wounded deeply by the actions of others. Achilles suffered a fatal shot to the back of his heel with an arrow that had been laced with the blood of the hydra while Medea’s heart was broken when Jason left her for another woman. Like Odysseus, Medea was separated from her family and loved ones because of actions she took against both her family and gods.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how euripides has presented medea as a figure previously thought of exclusively as male-hero.
  • Analyzes how medea is angered by jason's decision to marry another wife, glauce, and refuses to let him off without punishment.
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