English Medea Essay

888 Words Jun 4th, 2011 4 Pages
“It is impossible to take sides at the end of the play; both Medea and Jason are equally guilty. Is it possible to feel sympathy for either of them?”

Medea is the tragic story of a woman desperate for revenge upon her husband, after he betrayed her for another woman’s bed. It was written by Euripides, a Greek playwright, in 431 B.C. Throughout the play each character shows us their inconsistent and contradicting personalities, in particular, Jason and Medea. The play opens with the Nurse expressing her anxiety about Jason betraying and leaving Medea for another, wealthier, woman. Our initial reaction is to feel empathetic towards Medea, who has been abandoned so conveniently. But towards the end of the play, when Medea takes revenge on
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This leads us to feel sympathetic for Medea.

There are also parts in the play where one may begin to have an understanding of Jason’s motives. In Jason’s first argumentative speech to Medea, he claims that money, possessions and social status is of no importance to him. He declares that his choice to marry the royal Glauce is of good intention, not merely because he is bored with Medea’s bed. Later, when Medea begs Jason to forgive her for her foolishness, he shows kindness and understanding towards her. After all that Medea said about him and his new wife-to-be, Glauce, he states that he is still willing to provide Medea and their sons with anything they may need. Medea pleads for Jason to convince Creon to let their sons stay in Corinth and Jason agrees to try to convince both Creon and Glauce to allow the boys to stay. Jason is still compassionate, showing at least some loyalty to Medea and his family. At the very end of the play, after Medea has killed Glauce, Creon and their two sons, Jason admits that she has ‘destroyed’ him. Jason is completely shattered; everything has been ripped away from him. It’s also unfair when Medea refuses to let Jason bury and mourn the bodies of their sons. Some may feel it is impossible to feel no sympathy for him.

Medea has sacrificed everything for Jason, yet he shows no gratitude. She has been abandoned without a home, seen as an outsider from a

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