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Writing Medea


So, did Medea really do it because of who she was, or did she have a choice?  

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  1. 1. So, did Medea really do it because of who she was, or did she have a choice?

    • YES!
    • NO!
    • It depends....

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?They are gripped and shattered by something intrinsic to their own being,? writes literary critic Hegel in his Introductory Lectures On Aesthetics. This quote applies to the character Medea in Euripides?s classic Greek tragedy.

Medea the sorceress and estranged wife of Jason was both broken and bound by what she was. As a servant to Hecate, the goddess of both night and witchcraft, she was pledged to serve the gods no matter the cost. In addition, she was a descendent of the sun god Helius. When Jason was undertaking the quest of the Golden Fleece, Medea was the one who enabled him to accomplish his goals,?I saved your life, and every Greek knows I saved it,?(16). Through her magic, she aided Jason in every task her father, King Aetes, set before him before earning the Golden Fleece itself. When it came down to the actual test, Medea was the one who paralyzed the guardian serpent of the fleece and allowed Jason to complete his quest. As if that wasn?t enough, she also journeyed to Iolcus alone and slew the evil king Pelias before he could take Jason?s glory away from him. Her faithfulness notwithstanding, Jason soon sought to fulfill his other interests.

A soon as Jason left Medea for a royal bride, she was both hurt and incredibly furious. Not only had she left her own land, father, sister, and her birthright, she had done it all for someone she loved. Instead of being faithful to the woman he had married, Jason took another woman, the Princess Glauce of Corinth, for status, money, and job security. Completely ignoring the fact that he was married to Medea and even had two sons, he promised himself to Glauce. In Greece, Medea was displaced, with no home to call her own, ?When in misery I am cast out of the land and go into exile/Quite without friends and all alone with my children,?(17). That is, until her friend, King Aegus came for a visit and agreed to give her aid, should she need it. In the eyes of the Greeks, Medea was an outsider, a barbarian, and an outcast for her sorceress ways. To appease the laws of state and traditions, Jason acted out of both passion and duty. Not only was his new bride young and innocent, she also came with wealth and a position in the royal family.

This seemingly capricious behavior infuriated Medea to almost no end. As a servant of the gods, she saw absolutely no gain in being Jason?s doormat. In this line of thinking, she plotted her revenge as the King of Corinth, Creon, asked her to leave his kingdom, ?Now, friends, has come the time of my triumph over/My enemies, and now my foot is on the road,?(25). To make him suffer adequately she had her children sent to the palace with poisoned gifts, designed to destroy Glauce. Like all of her other plans, she was successful, even more than she had planned. When Glauce died, her father, King Creon committed suicide, and Jason was both heartbroken and at a loss for money and status once more. Then, after blasting the joy from the royal house, she murdered her two sons, ?I know indeed what evil I intend to do/But stronger than all my afterthoughts is my fury/Fury that brings upon mortals the greatest evil,?(35). All of this was done to strip Jason of all he possessed, bride, money, children, and the one woman that used her skills and wisdom to aid him in every way possible.

Medea?s connection to the gods overrode her connection to an unfaithful husband. She killed her own flesh and blood, then used the machinery of the gods, departed to King Aegus?s land, and lived a life bereaved of joy. Destroyed in spirit but still alive, Medea was left with nothing but the corpses of her two sons and empty promises to herself to mourn them with honor. As atonement, she pledged to set up holy graves to the both of them in the name of Hera, goddess of children and motherhood. But while she did these things, the ex-love of her life was cut out of the picture that was her life. They were no longer together as a family. The gods power in Medea was what she owed her allegiance to. And in that, she did what she felt was due, what was inside her, inescapable and unchangeable.
So, proofread this for me and make suggestions, it's for World Literature and Composition.[/COLOR]
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[color=red]Medea made a choice. she decided to revenge her wounded pride(and the betrayel from Jason, the scoundrel), she thought of how to go about it and then went through with her plan... fully aware of the subsequences I would say. it's easy to say that it was somehow "predestinied" or marked in her sould with fire, because of who she is/was. but I think that's an excuse. there are many who cry for forgiveness when judgement calls, and that makes all of the injustices even greater. if she had felt nothing, the sacrifices might have been only tragic, but now they only seem pointless. sure, she achieved an almost balance in the "you all did this to me, now I do this to you" department, but she ended up no happier, no more content than before the slaughter.
[color=chocolate][SIZE=1]this of course is my own humble opinion, and apart from that I think Jason is scum and deserved to be stripped of what he thought was untouchable (as Medea thought Jasons love for her was). it is a tragic and delightful piece of story. [/SIZE]

- Mimmi [/color]
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