Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Euripides' Medea is a fascinating, infinitely faceted character who is strong-minded, clever, and passionate. Medea is very passionate about those she loves. As a result of her passionate nature, Medea seeks revenge against her husband. She is the main character in this play, and her trials and tribulations form the plot. Although her actions are evil, she is not at all a monster. Rather, possessing these three qualities makes her an example of a true human, perhaps even a tragic hero.

Medea is a young woman who grew up in Colchis. She is the daughter of King Aeetes, the ruler of her city. As a sorceress, she used her magical powers to earn the love of Jason. She assisted him in obtaining the Golden Fleece in order to win his affection. In doing so, Medea betrayed her family. Not only did she disobey her father in order to help Jason, she also violently killed her own brother.

After fleeing Colchis, Jason and Medea relocated in Corinth, where they wed and had two sons together. Sadly, Jason broke Medea's heart by leaving her for the daughter of Creon, the King of Corinth. Medea was extremely upset by this. Her tragic flaw (anger), led her to commit the ultimate sin, murder.

Even though some of Medea's actions were not typical of the average Greek woman, she still had attitudes and emotions common among women. For instance, Medea speaks out against women's status in society, proclaiming that they have no choice of whom to marry, and that a man can rid themselves of a woman to get another whenever he wants, but a woman must "set her sights on one alone" (256). Though it is improbable that women went around openly saying things of this nature, it is likely that many Greek women...