Medea The Innocent Essay, Research Paper
The tragic tale, Medea, by Euripdes proposes a certain question which creats speculism. Wether or not Medea is the villan, or is she a product of her environment, is frequently crictly analyzed. Medea, in the tale, committs a series of evil actions against the people which betrayed her. The cruel betrail which Medea endures can be interpreted as motif for her actions. Critical analysis of the circumstances surounding Medea can help explain the vile deeds she comitted. In order to fully understand the actions taken by Medea we must grasp the socialogical postion of woman and men of the time. The culpret of the betrayal is Jason, Medea’s former husband. In many ways the entire play has to do with the growing empowerment of women.
Jason and Medea disagree about what Jason’s new marriage means. Jason seems to be using that argument that he did it out of benefit for her and her children. This is obvoiusly a lie though because we know that Jason will know that Medea will not be able to enjoy the full right of citizenship that her children might. Medea has sacrificed and killed for her husband. She is the reason that he has survived his trip to search for the Golden Fleece. Jason does not repay her altruistic spirit though. She kills her own brother to help Jason escape. Jason doesn’t even have the goodness to let his wife know about the impending marriage, more evidence that he is doing it for more reasons than just his son. Jason tells her she should think of the marriage purely as a good thing. Medea, clearly, can only see the dark side of it. This injustice committed upon her is why she is able to commit such a travesty upon her own children. Medea tries to appeal to her husband that she should not be exiled from the city of Corinth. She brings up the fact that he has betrayed her in their marriage?Jason retorts that the reason she is being exiled is because of her threats against the king. Jason has a very patriarchal feeling about society. At one point he goes so far to say that he wishes there was some other way to go about getting children, then women would not be needed. This entails that he feels that women are only useful for bearing children. Medea senses the foul ingratitude in Jason with these words: “…I think that the plausible speaker who is a villain deserves the greatest punishment. Confident in his tongue’s power to adorn evil, He stops at nothing. Yet he is not really wise.” As well as: “If you were not a coward, you would not have married behind my back, but discussed it me first.” Jason’s ideas about women in society, and hence Medea’s role in society, should be one of adoration and supplication towards men. The statement later on the in the play that the world has turned upside down, results from the fact that Medea has taken on the actions and qualities of a brutal and barbaric man. We have to ask ourselfs, if this were a man committing these acts would he still feel she was so brutal and unnatural? One would most likely have to say that a man killing his children is a bad thing, but it would seem more natural since we are use to men being pictured as brutal and warlike.
In the final scene, the princess recieves a gift suitable for a royal mistress. As an engagement gift Medea offers the princess a golden vestiment in exchange for her sons’ approvale. Little did the princess suspect that this gift was her doom. As she tried the beutiful peice she was burned alive along with her father by the gift. This vengance repaid Medea, in blood, for stealing her bed and betraying the santity of her marrage. The same loyalty and trust which the princess expects from marrage, she herself betrayed by sleeping with Jason. The princess was consumed bye the flame of justice. What other fait can she expect for herself after such a sin? With the death of the princess, the king, for a few moments felt the despair of her burning daughter, just as Medea lived day through day, knowing her life was taken from her.