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The Factors And Aspects Of Revenge In Medea

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Medea by Euripides is centered around a woman that ends up with a broken heart simply because she loved too hard. Medea, who is the protagonist in the play, gives up everything for Jason, who is her former husband and the man she was deeply in love with. However, her acts of love are only repaid with betrayal by Jason. This turns Medea into a woman scorned and she makes it her mission to seek vengeance against Jason. Consequently, this overwhelming desire to get revenge ultimately leads to her demise.

Medea is not capable of discerning the long-term consequences that she may face when making important decisions in her life. Consequently, she becomes fixated on what she desires by the moment. This is a recurring theme throughout the play. An example of this flaw would be agreeing to marry Jason. Medea was so blinded by love that she could not see beyond Jason’s ulterior motive for wanting to marry her. In the play, Medea even mentions how destructive love can be only after she realizes that Jason did not marry her for love. He married her because of what he would gain from the marriage.

Betrayal was another theme that I noticed in this play. All the violence and horrific acts that Medea commits is the result of Jason’s betrayal. Euripides depicts the pain that Medea is experiencing vividly. “There are no names for something as foul and spineless as you. A man who is no man at all. How dare you come to us here, where you are most despised. Is this your idea of courage or heroism, to wrong your family and visit them? Loathsome, shameless, evil man” (pg. 27)

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His unfaithfulness drives her insane to the point where she wanted to seek bloody revenge. I found it very ironic that after Jason’s betrayal to her, Medea begins to use manipulation and deceitfulness, which is a form of betrayal. Medea’s actions taught me a lot about the severity of being betrayed. Not just in romantic relationships, but in any relationship that you have with a person in your life. Betrayal is a violation of your trust by a person who turns out to not be worthy of it. I will not say that her actions are justified because killing your children simply to get revenge on a man that does not love you is not morally right. However, I understand why she committed this horrific crime. When people get hurt by someone that they love or trust, they tend to not think rationally in the decisions that they make.

I think the most shocking part of this play was Medea’s decision to murder her own children out of spite towards Jason. I found it quite interesting that the children’s murder was foreshadowed at the beginning of the play by the nurse. “She loathes to have her children near and cannot bear to look at them. I am afraid some plan is already forming in her mind.” (pg. 7) It seems Medea never loved her own children as Jason never loved her. Then, my suspicions were confirmed when she decided that murdering her sons was the only way to make Jason hurt the way she was hurting. “I’ll escape from Corinth, fleeing the murder of my own dear sons the most unutterable of crimes.” (pg. 45)

Medea understands that murdering her children is an unspeakable and shameful crime. However, her desire to seek revenge is so strong that she has lost the ability to think rationally. She is numb with pain from Jason giving his love to another woman and believes that this is the only way to get revenge. This also made me come to another conclusion about betrayal in this play. I realized that Medea is betraying her children by murdering them. Her children trusted her to protect them and love them unconditionally and she did the complete opposite.

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The Factors And Aspects Of Revenge In Medea. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from
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