Perhaps the most fascinating and complex character in Greek drama, is the of Medea. She is the ultimate combination of heroine, villain and victim, all displayed in a single play. Medea was married to a Greek named Jason, whom she followed from her foreign land, to Greece. Her love for Jason was deep, and when he elected to leave her to marry the daughter of Creon, Medea was furious (Euripides lines 1-24). In retaliation for his strayed affections, Medea sent Jason's bride a poison dress. She then murdered her children as a second form of revenge. While she loved her children, her hatred for Jason was greater than a mother's love could ever have been. These acts of murder were the ultimate revenge toward her ex-husband, leaving him brideless and childless. Despite these crimes, Medea is a character who can be sympathized with. She gave up all she loved for Jason: Murdering her brother and betraying her family
Leaving her home for a foreign land [Greece] that would not accept her Becoming a mother, when she had no desire to bear children. "I would rather fight three battles than bear one child" (line 248) Knowing of all the sacrifices Medea had made for him, Jason still felt no obligation to remain with her and left her for the promise of a "real" Greek princess. Medea's love for Jason was so great and his betrayal damaged her mind so drastically, that revenge was the only comfort she held in her power. She killed his bride, using the cleverest chess piece available, Jason's own children. When she realized the consequences of her actions, she was forced to make a harrowing decision. Ferguson elaborates,"[After sending the poison dress] Medea kills her children, partly to make Jason childless, partly because since they must surely die, it is better they should perish by her hand." (263). Mitchell-Boyask justifies Medea's actions in this way, "Medea may seem at time a frightening character, but compare her real, ethical concerns with the rather shallow and...
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