"The real interest in Medea is that Euripides can make Medea so appalling without losing our sympathy for her." How far would you agree with this comment?

Essay by lemonsunriseHigh School, 12th gradeA, March 2008

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

Downloaded 22 times

Euripides' Medea confronts the moral theme of vengeance and justice. Its central character Medea is a passionate woman whom strides on fury and irrationality. In this play, the battle between passion and cold logic takes place through Medea and Jason, each attempting to convey their own arguments to the audience (the Corinthenian women). Euripides, however, succeeds in attaining our sympathy towards Medea despite witnessing the appalling crimes that she commits in taking revenge upon Jason.

Medea is the princess of Colchis and in her veins flow the streams of royal Colchesian blood. Falling in love with Jason would have been the happiest moment of her life, deciding her own fate in helping him battle the King of Colchis, her father. The background legend of Jason and the Golden fleece forms the basis of Euripides' play Medea. It serves an important role as the audience is told of Medea's irrational nature as she murders her own brother, and the extent to which she is willing to aid her love.

Subsequent to all the sacrifices that Medea has made to assist Jason in his journey for the Golden Fleece, she is dealt the ultimate injustice. Her husband abandoning her, as "old love is oustered by new love" and leaving her to suffer an eternal grief. Already there arises the potential for us to sympathise with Medea, taking into consideration her courageous deeds and the prejudice she receives in return.

Euripides positions Medea as the central character of the play representing the battle between the cold logic of civilization with the intense passion of the barbaric warrior. As a foreigner, Medea is considered to be "barbaric" in the "civilised" city of Corinth. She battles the royal family of Corinth totally alone with no one to aid...