Medea As A Tragic Hero Analysis

Better Essays
“Medea” is an Ancient Greek tragedy based written by Euripides, based on the myth of Jason and Medea. Tragedy is a type of drama that conveys a serious and dignified style about sorrowful or terrible events encountered or caused by an individual. Most definitions of tragedy that we use today come from some parts of the work “The Poetics” written by the philosopher Aristotle. In the simplest terms, Aristotle defined tragedy as a form of drama whose plot is centered on human suffering for the purpose of evoking feelings of pity and fear in the audience. Aristotle goes on to state that a tragic play is more than just a play about suffering. In his work “The Poetics” Aristotle claims that the plot in a tragedy is more than just the story itself; …show more content…
A tragic hero is a literary character who makes a judgment error that inevitably leads to his or her own fall. A tragic villain is a character that is usually an antagonist that does not intend to be a villain. They are perhaps misled or not entirely in control of their feelings or actions. Medea is a play about a woman, Medea, who is betrayed by her husband, Jason, and expelled from the city. In an outburst of cleverly planned rage, she avenges herself by first poisoning Jason 's new fiancé and then killing her own children. In her plan Medea pleads that she is very and offers Jason’s wife "gifts," a coronet and …show more content…
Medea, who is a victim that has certain qualities of a hero, becomes the villain due to her fate and anger. However, the question still remains, is Medea the hero or villain of the play? To answer this question one must follow her development from victim to villain. One must look at her motives behind her terrible actions. Medea killed her brother and left her family in order to be with Jason, only to be left to live by her own in a foreign country. Not only is Medea put in vulnerable position when Jason leaves her, then the king forces her into exile. Medea being in this situation causes her plot her revenge against Jason. It is easy to judge whether or not Medea is the hero or villain by the chorus. In the beginning the chorus views her as the victim of the tragedy. They follow her around and support her plan of revenge against Jason. However, the opinion of the chorus and the audience shifts when she decides to murder her children. When this occurs Medea reaches the climax of becoming the villain of the play. In conclusion certain traits, such as Medea’s anger and her willingness to sacrifice her own children to get back at Jason, can be considered to be both heroic and

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Medea changes her mind several times before finally deciding that killing the children will be one of the last ways to make Jason suffer. She proceeds with this horrendous action knowing that if she doesn't kill them that they will in turn be killed in revenge for the murder of the king and princess. Another reason for this action is to prevent Jason’s name from living on through the children. This makes the play as a whole a tragedy because not only is Medea suffering , but Jason is as well knowing that he has lost everyone dear to…

    • 555 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Media then assists Jason in obtaining the thrown by tricking the daughters of the King into killing him. Medea and Jason have to flee to Corinth because of their actions. Jason then decided he wants to leave Medea and his children for the princess of Corinth. Medea being prideful and unable to let go of Jason’s deceit will do whatever it takes to have revenge of his betrayal. Medea uses her children to poison and kills the princess, and in the process kills the King of Corinth, whom had wanted her to leave knowing she would kill his daughter.…

    • 1092 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Medea Vs Oedipus Essay

    • 929 Words
    • 4 Pages

    With Media, we have a woman who loses her husband and becomes murderous, hateful and dangerous. Oedipus who learns that he murdered his own father and married his mother, becomes self-destructive. In Sophocles story, Oedipus is very intelligent and civilized. In his search for truth, he leads himself to his own demise and loses everything. Oedipus and Medea’s stories both have life changing events but they handle the…

    • 929 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    At the start of the play, he provides the audience with an understanding of events that had occurred previously. The audience learns that Medea murdered her brother, betrayed her father, and persuaded two children to murder their father all for the love of Jason. Clearly, Jason stands as a major priority in Medea’s life. Conflict inevitably arises as Jason “cast(s) Medea like a harlot”, leaving her “broken with pain and rage” (Jeffers, 10). Jason’s decision to leave Medea for a younger and more powerful woman leaves Medea enraged.…

    • 1208 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Medea has a monologue (lines 1039-1080) in which she decides whether she wants to kill her kids or not. The purpose of killing the kids would be to exact revenge on Jason for leaving her for the king’s daughter. The desire for revenge arises from a feeling of hate towards Jason, because Jason abandoned her in order to marry the king’s daughter. The passage is very significant to the text…

    • 1187 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    All tragic heroes must exhibit a tragic flaw. In Medea, Jason and Medea share a common tragic flaw—selfishness. Because of Medea’s devotion to loving Jason many years ago, she left her family and her home to follow him, even killing her own brother. This begins Medea’s lifestyle of thinking of no one but herself. In following with Jason and Medea’s story, Jason leaves Medea to marry Megareus because he desires to marry into a royal family instead of Medea’s barbaric lifestyle.…

    • 863 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Ultimately marrying his mother and because of this, his mother committed suicide. Not able to bear the fate that he had just undergone, he exiles himself and removes both of his eyes. All the fame and glory that he had then suddenly his pride, which is his flaw, took over and “the terrible fate that befalls him is alleged to be the consequence of a flaw in his character and here appeal is made to Aristotle and tragic flaw” (Bain…

    • 1358 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    “I’ll ruin Jason’s household, then I’ll leave this land, I’ll flee the slaughter of my children. I will have the nerve for this unholy deed.” This excerpt highlights Medea’s plan to ruin Jason’s life by taking her children’s. Medea’s revenge leads to violence and rage when she plans to, “Send her bearing gifts, a delicate robe and a garland worked in gold. If anyone who touches her will die a painful death.” Once the princess and the kin die, she takes a sword at her children’s throat. By doing these killings, she proves that how cruel she is in her passion of…

    • 842 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Phaedra, however, “in fear that she would be found out, wrote lying letters and destroyed [Theseus’] son by her tricks but still she persuaded [Theseus]” (Euripides 2001: 55). Moreover, in The Odyssey, Clytemnestra causes an “outrage she committed, killing the man she married once” (Homer 1997: 474) in order to be able to be with her lover Aegisthus. Athena also plans for the destruction of men. She disguises herself as mentor and uses Telemachus and Odysseus to create a battle. Overall, women in ancient Greece were portrayed as destructive and deceitful beings who plot against men to fulfill their desire and ultimately benefit…

    • 1266 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    What is Medea’s main conflict, how is it tragic, and why does she escape unpunished? I SHALL ARGUE THAT Medea’s main conflict IS that she must try and reclaim her honor, after Jason disgraced her. Her conflict IS tragic because Medea tries to reclaim her honor by committing evil, and with full knowledge. She escapes unpunished because Euripides wanted a woman to win in his play, something uncommon in ancient Greek works. As the play begins, we immediately learn that Jason betrayed his wife, Medea, and abandoned her and their two children, so that he could marry the princess of Corinth (16).…

    • 488 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics