Medea s Revenge
The category of this reading is tragedy and tragic it is. There is no doubt that we are dealing with a life and death situation here. A few questions need to be answer from the moral standpoint. Can we defend Medea s actions in any way? I Jason free of blame? What is the moral of the story?
Medea did not fit the mold of the typical Greek woman, a princess from the "barbarian", or non-Greek, land of Colchis. Throughout the play, it becomes evident to the reader that Medea is no ordinary woman by Greek standards. Central to the whole plot is Medea's barbarian origins and how they are related to her actions. Jason decides that he wants to marry the princess of Corinth, casting Medea aside as if they had never been married. This sort of activity was acceptable by Greek standards but not by Medea. She has betrayed her country, her father, even killed her own brother while helping Jason accomplish his goals. Jason would have never achieved the glory and hero status without the help of Medea. Furthermore, he would have been killed without her help. Now as a result of Jason s decision Medea with Jason s two boys have been banish from the kingdom. From this point forward she only does what she feels needs to be done and in her own mind is justified.
She would have never done all this without provocation. Jason s greed is what starts the chain of events that leads to the murders. He underestimated the results of his own actions. Maybe she went too far while seeking revenge by killing her own children. Unfortunately, in her mind this was the only way she could get back at Jason for what he did to her.
It is difficult to know what Euripides intended the moral of the story to be. It all depends on from which point of view is the story analyzed. There are a few lessons to be learned from this tragedy. One could be; be careful with what you ask for, because you may get it ; Another one is, don t bite more than you can chew ; and my favorite don t underestimate your adversary . Either one of these could serve as the moral of the story. Perhaps, depending on your own point of view it may be a different one. The bottom line is that Jason s actions started a chain reaction that he could not stop. He underestimated Medea s resolve therefore he was forced to live with the consequences for the rest of his life.