Vengeance In Medea

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As Aristotle so aptly declares in The Poetics, tragedy “arouses the emotions of pity and fear, wonder and awe.” Through the use of his titular character, Euripides explores this definition of tragedy through the pernicious aftermath of a relationship destroyed by an extramarital affair. The ravaged relationship serves as the basis for Medea’s rage; consequently, the playwright shows that breaking the sanctity and duties inherent in marriage can have extremely far-reaching consequences. (consequently?) In his tragedy, Medea, Euripides uses the tragic eponymous figure to explore the relationship between the devouring nature of vengeance and the suffering that ensues. Despite offering her the choice of exile over death, King Creon’s first…show more content…
Although Medea claims to love her children dearly, Euripides foreshadows their horrific death through the Nurse’s thoughts in lines 35-36, “…and she hates her children... I'm afraid of her, in case she has some new plan in mind.” (cited properly?) Medea reasons, however, that a life in exile would be far more difficult for her children than simply ending their lives prematurely. Euripides’ provides this stark example of Medea’s convoluted reasoning as a way to shock readers into understanding the impact that revenge can have on human rationale. While the playwright suggests that Medea believes herself to be performing a selfless act by killing her own children, as indicated by her explanation “for I shall kill my children,” (Euripides' Medea, 791), the reference back to getting revenge on Jason, “…and after confounding Jason's whole house I shall leave the country,” (Euripides' Medea, 793-794) shows her true motives. (2 citations in one giant sentence?) Medea’s desire to deliver a counterblow to Jason so severely clouds her judgment that she commits one of the most heinous of crimes, in addition to etching a her own name in infamy. Through this horrific instance of rage, Euripides clearly shows the virulent effects that a desire for revenge breeds within the human
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