Medea Mental Illness Analysis

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Medea: Mental Illness & Free-will Euripides Medea is a classic tale of revenge, as a helpless woman named Medea avenges her husband’s betrayal. Medea contains several elements of a Greek tragedy, such as fate and revenge. Medea, the main character of the play, commits several villainous acts that are “outside of the norm” and forbidden by society. She is a woman who kills her husband’s second wife and also kills her children just to avenge her husband’s betrayal. Her willingness to commit these monstrous crimes is attributed to her being oppressed in a male driven society. Over the years, Medea has also been viewed as a sympathetic figure because of the injustice she faces. However, Medea is someone who has committed crimes before …show more content…
It is important to analyze how the events of her killing her brother and being betrayed by her husband have impacted her mentally. Medea struggles with pain as she is constantly crying and avoids her friend’s advice. The nurse is able to give insight as she states, “I’ve seen her: she looks fiercer than a bull: he’s giving them the eye, as if she means to do something. Her rage will not let up, I know, until she lashes out at someone” (Euripides 233). Medea’s constant rage can be identified as an unstable state of mind. Constant rage is also an attribute of Achilles in the Iliad and his rage is the reason behind his success in battle. Similarly, Medea’s rage is the reason she is able to commit such horrendous crimes. Medea’s unstable state of mind is a combination of Jason’s betrayal, isolation from her loved ones, and trauma. Medea’s trauma can be linked to warriors taking part in a battle. Medea commits several inhumane acts for Jason, which is similar to warriors taking part in battle for political agenda’s of monarchs. In the play, Medea shows regret over the violent acts she has committed on Jason’s behalf. Lush describes her condition as someone with chronic PTSD as he list three observation, “(1) the violation of one 's own moral principles for the sake of the mission. (2) Participation in the sacrifice or victimization of others in the theater of conflict; (3) the betrayal of one 's own basic human attachments in order to advance a military – strategic objective” ( Lush

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