Themes In Medea

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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In EuripidesMedea the character of Medea portrayed women in a light that was way beyond the time that the play was written. In the play she is characterized as a strong willed and intelligent women that outsmarts and manipulates the men in her life. She talks Jason into not only fighting to have her children stay with him, but also to let them take the deadly gifts to the princess. She also manipulates King Aegeus of Athens to bind to a promise to shelter her prelude to committing the awful murders of Creon, his daughter and Medea's own born. Medea though Euripides has her commit these awful crimes, he also weaves in sympathy for her plight and in the end saves her by creating an unusual exit, in a chariot drawn by dragons. He also makes her god like by adding that her grandfather is a God himself that supplied her with this improbable moment of escape.

Euripides seems to sympathize with all women of his time, for in the first choral ode he speaks of a time when women will get the respect that they are owed. Which proves that though an unpopular playwright he seems to be a very modern scholar for his time. The theme that I found most apparent throughout the play was that the women shouldn't be treated as in equals, for they can rise up with deadly scorn. Medea wanted to make sure that Jason understood that he had degraded the wrong person by denying the marriage with Medea and marrying Creon's daughter. She avenged his deed in a very well thought out and intellectual manner. She wasn't just going to kill him. She was going to hurt those that meant the most to him, so that he would have to live with the anguish of their deaths. In comparing this with Sophocles Oedipus, the protagonist, Oedipus, cannot escape his fate, which is the main theme throughout the play. Whereas Medea does the exact opposite she escapes her fate and even ends up at the end of the play ahead. She accomplishes her goal to hurt Jason and even has a place to retreat to, Athens.