The Medea By Euripides: The Greek Tragedy

1550 Words7 Pages
The Medea, one of the most famous ancient Greek tragedies produced by Euripides, has left audiences in a state of shock through its unconventional distinctions that guide the audience into an emotional roller coaster. The Greek tragedy unconventionally tells the story of Medea who is left behind by her husband, Jason, in favor of a young princess. Emotionally distressed, Medea attempts to seek justice, which ultimately leads her to the unjust killing of four characters. In the end, the audience is left questioning the underlying message or purpose of the tragedy. A key aspect of the tragedy is the idea of seeking justice. In Medea, Euripides attempts to persuade the audience that justice and revenge are not equal. Those that have been wronged…show more content…
By the end, Medea has essentially committed all of the injustices bestowed upon her, and more, to Jason. Medea left behind her entire family for the love of Jason, in return Medea killed Jason’s future family, the princess and Creon, and went further by killing his past family, their sons. Similarly, in exchange for Medea’s exile from Corinth, Medea’s entire scheme of killing the king and princess is bound to get Jason either exiled from Corinth or killed by the supporters of the king. This can be inferred because one of Medea’s justifications for killing her children is that her enemies would kill them otherwise, which suggests that Jason would get the same treatment. Therefore, Jason is ultimately treated with more or equivalent injustices that Medea has endured. Keeping this in mind, the real victim of this tragedy is debatable. Euripides further stirs sympathy for Jason when Medea heartlessly refuses to allow Jason to give his sons a proper funeral. Jason desperately begs Medea by saying, “Let me, I beg you, touch my boys’ delicate flesh… I will lament and cry upon heaven, calling the gods to bear me witness how you have killed my boys and prevent me from touching their bodies or giving them burial” (314). This begging causes Medea to seem heartless, while Jason is the victim. The effect this…show more content…
By the sympathy for Medea that the audience is introduced to during the initial parts of the tragedy, Euripides is explaining that the oppressed are wrong for seeking justice. However, he also explains through the rest of the story that people should not become so emotionally carried away by their plea for justice that fiery revenge begins to blind them into committing unexpected and evil acts. When this occurs, the unraveling of Greek society follows. For example, Medea’s scheme to avenge herself causes a mother to kill her sons and a citizen to kill the king, both of which are acts that defy the natural laws of society. Similarly, when Medea, a foreigner, brandishes her magical chariot drawn by dragons, she is overshadowing the inferior power of Greek society and culture, which was unheard of for the Greeks during their golden

More about The Medea By Euripides: The Greek Tragedy

Open Document