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The Tragic Hero Of Euripides ' Greek Literature

Decent Essays
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;
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