The Concept of the Tragic Hero: an Analysis of Jason and Medea in Euripides’ 'Medea’

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In ‘Medea’, Euripides shows Medea in a new light, as a scorned woman that the audience sympathises with to a certain extent, but also views as a monster due to her act of killing her own children. The protagonist of a tragedy, known as the Tragic Hero is supposed to have certain characteristics which cause the audience to sympathise with them and get emotionally involved with the plot. The two main characters, Medea and Jason, each have certain qualities of the Tragic Hero, but neither has them all. This makes them more like the common man that is neither completely good nor evil, but is caught in the middle and forced to make difficult decisions.
Euripides’ ‘Medea’ is a play based on the myth of Jason and the Argonauts. The play was
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No, no, I will not do it. I renounce my plans.” (34) However, her hubris comes in the way as she decides “Do I want to let go my enemies unhurt and be laughed at for it? I must face this thing.”
One of her motivations for killing her children is also that their death is inevitable; she reveals this when she says “This shall never be, that I should suffer my children to be the prey of my enemies’ insolence.” (34) She also shows that she loves them when she says “Force every way will have it they must die, and since this must be so, then I their mother, shall kill them... This one short day be forgetful of your children, afterward weep; for even though you will kill them, they were very dear – Oh, I am an unhappy woman!” (40) This dialogue makes her seem more humane, and arouses pity in the audience as they see her dilemma, and struggle to follow through with her task.
Although the audience does sympathise with her, at the end of the day to murder one’s children is an unforgivable act which is why the audience still views her as a monster. The tragic hero should ideally be someone who suffers because of a mistake. Initially, she suffers due to Jason, but in her act of killing her children, she is bringing suffering upon

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