In Greek literature, tragedies tend to have a traditional format: a tragic hero, reversal of fortune due to a tragic flaw, moment of recognition, and catharsis. In order to be considered a tragic hero, the character must be born noble, is usually a ruler, and has a tragic flaw which causes peripety. Typically, the hero’s realization of self-inflicted doom is what allows a release of emotions. This raises a question of who the tragic hero is in Medea. The tragic hero is thought to be Jason, however there is an argument that he has no realization that his demise is due to his own flaw which does not allow catharsis. In Euripides’ greek play, the audience experiences catharsis as they watch the secondary characters, Medea, Creusa, and Jason and Medea’s sons suffer as a result of Jason’s hamartia; striving for power. These secondary characters experience the true suffering and therefore they are what allow the reader to reach catharsis. In the beginning of the text, Jason abandons Medea for another woman. Medea feels an overwhelming sense of heartbreak and anger because she not only loved Jason but she did everything for him; she went against her father, ran away from her home, killed her brother, and helped him succeed on his journeys according to the readings of Edith Hamilton’s The Quest of the Golden Fleece. Medea also makes is clear how she was a loving and providing wife to him and definitely not deserving of abandonment. “And I have loved him and borne him sons;
For Medea must fall in love with Jason and then she will use her great skill with magic to help Jason acquire the fleece. Because of Hera’s hatred towards Pelias Medea’s life is now destined for extreme agony, shame, and guilt. Her love for Jason causes her to tear away from her loving parents and dishonor her father by helping his enemy. Hera’s plan to avenge Pelias also flood Medea’s head with thoughts to keep her from straying from Hera’s plan. Unfortunately for Medea her decision to help Jason was not her own and was a careful thought out plan by Hera. Her life would never again be the same. Even though Jason promises to love her always and promises that she will be his wedded wife, he breaks this promise as soon as she become old and he is given the opportunity to marry royalty. Medea decisions were not in any way wise but if it were not for the arrows of Eros she would have had better judgment on the stranger. Medea’s behavior in this story shows that of loyalty and confusion in her heart. She is in agony because she can not conceive as to why she feels so much love for a stranger and does not wish to dishonor her father by doing so. But then she is constantly
Jason’s apathy is a trait that enrages Medea. Jason thinks that he is always helping Medea for nothing in return when he tells her, “I can prove you have certainly got from me more than you gave.” (p.42). Jason could never have captured the Golden Fleece if it was not for Medea’s valuable assistance and he doesn’t give her credit for it. The only thing he gave Medea was an oath of fidelity, which meant nothing to him because he breaks it after two children. Jason just decides to leave Medea for a new bride and banish Medea after all that she has done for Jason such as killing her brother and disgracing her father. Those insensitive words from Jason deeply hurt Medea, who has sacrificed so much for
In the first conversation the reader sees between Medea and Jason, it is clear that Jason is not suffering from the situation at all and even goes to call Medea an idiot for speaking baldy of the king and his daughter, whom he is marrying. Jason claims that the reason he left Medea for the King’s daughter is because he is looking out for the best interest of Medea and their children. He even goes on to tell her, “However much you hate me, I could never wish you any harm.” Although his justification seems like a good excuse and a smart plan, it does not seem genuine seeing as to how quick he dismisses her and does not want to stick up for her by talking to the Creon about letting her stay and not exiling her and their
From the beginning of the play the conflict between good and bad where Medea and Jason are concerned has been ambiguous. Both characters have done terrible things in order to attain what they want. Nothing could stand in the way of them including Medea’s father, whom Medea betrayed and to pile on the grieve she kills her brother and drops parts of him into the sea so as to delay her father thereby ensuring that Jason and his Argonauts could fulfil their quest to attain the Golden Fleece. When Jason betrays Medea and walks away from their marriage we immediately identify him as the villain, yet the reader fails to understand that during that time when this play was written it was still socially acceptable for the man to walk away from his marriage provided he gives back the dowry he attained from the wife’s father. In this case Medea did not bring any such items so it was even easier for him to leave her so as to empower himself. It was Medea’s role as a woman belonging to that age to accept Jason’s decision however she feels betrayed that he would break a vow made in front of the gods, and apparently she was not a regular woman even by the standards of that time as she had an intellect that could rival that of scholarly men. So to exact her revenge she destroys everything Jason loves leaving him to regret ever betraying the marriage.
In Medea, by Euripides, the two main characters Jason and Media are forced to leave Lolkos and have taken refuge in Corinth. Jason has the possibility of establishing a position of standing in the community by marrying King Creon’s daughter. Medea is enraged by Jason’s betrayal of her and their two children and she vows to stop the marriage and exact revenge. In the play, Medea and Jason are set up as foils. Medea is completely dependent on the dominance of passion over reason. She is depicted as conniving, brilliant and powerful. In contrast, Jason is portrayed as a a character of little feeling; he is passionless, obtuse, witless, and weak.
In Medea, a woman betrays her homeland because of her love for a man. Jason is the husband that she ferociously loves and makes sacrifices for. They have two children together: Antigone and Ismeme. In Jason's quest for the golden fleece, Medea assists him in multiple ways. One of the things she does to help their cause is bring
In pursuit of greater social status within the Greek community, Jason betrayed Medea “for a royal bed” by marrying Glauce. Medea has a hard time coping in society, as the role of women is very low compared to men. They are forced to become their husband’s possessions in marriage. Once Medea was betrayed, she was left with nothing and forced by Creon “to leave this land and become an exile” as Creon was afraid Medea would “do some irreparable harm to [his] daughter”. Her psychological state
Tragic Greek dramas featured tragic heroes, mortals who suffered incredible losses as a result of an inescapable fate or bad decisions. According to Aristotle, a tragic hero is a character, usually of high birth, which is pre-eminently great, meaning they are not perfect, and whose downfall is brought about by a tragic weakness or error in judgment. The three Greek heroes Oedipus, Medea and Agamemnon, who each killed a member of their family, carry most of the qualities that make up a tragic hero: being of noble birth, being surrounded by an extraordinary circumstance, and gaining self-awareness or some kind of knowledge through their downfall. There is an important need for the audience to identify with the Aristotelian hero through
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.
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.
The Chorus delivers these final lines of Euripides’s Medea, “…the end men look for cometh not, / And a path is there where no man thought; so hath it fallen here.” (Euripides, 80) This quotation not only signifies the events, which have transpired in the plot of Medea, it also shows the recognition of a very curious aspect of Medea: that the protagonist of the play, Medea, is not the tragic hero. A tragic hero by Aristotelian standards is one who possesses a driving aspect– or hamartia – which causes his or her downfall, who endures a reversal of fortunes leading to immense suffering – called peripeteia, and who undergoes an anagnorisis: a profound change or realization. Medea does not have any of these attributes. Instead, it is
Medea was a troubled soul once Jason left her for a younger princess. When the nurse says “Rulers are fierce in their temperament; somehow, they will not be governed;”, it rings very true of Medea (Puchner 531). Someone so accustomed to getting her way will by no means let anyone, including her beloved Jason, treat her with any disrespect. She not only felt dejected by Jason, but she felt she could do nothing to change her circumstance but take out deadly vengeance against those that committed such a hiatus act towards her. With all things considered, Medea felt Jason took everything from her when he left. Jason became her everything. When she
Aristotle cites that, "A man cannot become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall." Consistent to Aristotle’s characteristics of a tragic hero, the tragic hero must fit the requirements of being noble and employed in a high standing position of society. There should be a tragic flaw that ultimately leads to his downfall, and those reading the play must feel pity for this character as he goes through necessary changes as a result of his flaw. Aristotle illustrates a tragic hero as one who falls from grace into a state of acute misery. In Euripides’ Medea, the tragic hero is Jason, a man of noble birth who falls from being honored and respected due to a flaw in his character, that flaw being adultery. His adultery leads to terrible outcomes, the deaths of many people, and his loss of all the things he loved.His character is an excellent example of the heroes who rise high, then ultimately fail due to their own nature. By the end of the play he realizes his errors and becomes negligible. Some may argue that Medea is the tragic hero in the play, but this reasoning is flawed because Medea has no single flaw, she has exuded a sadistic nature from the start, from her actions involving the Golden Fleece to her killing her own offspring. Jason suffers from the fatal flaw of adultery that ultimately destines him for ruin, making it is clear that he serves as the tragic hero in Euripides '
In the tragedy Medea, Jason is faced with realization of the death of his twin sons who were killed by their, mother, Medea; he falls into agony as he laments, inspiring a katharsis in the reader. Jason cheated on Medea, assuming that it was okay with her, saying, “…I/ Grew tired of your bed and felt the need for a new bride” (18). Jason desired a bride of title so that his current children and future children could be brought up “worthily” (26). He betrayed his family and Medea’s love for another woman, causing Medea began to seek revenge. She decides to do two acts: kill her husband’s fiancée and kill her own sons. “…I shall kill my own children. /My children, there is none who can give them safety,” Medea expresses, as she plots her plan (26). Jason is unaware of this act that his wife is ready to commit. No longer does he have a fiancée, but now he has lost his heirs to the kingdom. The tragic act occurring among family members, happens in Medea, which was highlighted in Poetics. The death of Medea and Jason’s sons leads to Jason’s