The Wicked Character Medea in Euripides' Medea
The character Medea is disliked by many that read Euripides' Medea. She is not really given much of a chance. It is difficult to read the tragedy without having negative feelings towards the main character. Some readers are content to just hate Medea, while others want to know what would compel a mother to come to be able to commit these crimes. Sara Warner writes, "Transgression must be built into any system in order for it to survive. For example, patriarchy, for lack of a better word, could not and would not exist if it simply operated on the brutal oppression and domination of the female sex" (Warner p. 159). Transgression is defined as an act, process, or instance of transgressing:
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Many of the crimes that Medea took part in did not make her out to be an evil woman by her peers. It was known that she was a dangerous woman. The nurse of her children states, "She's a strange woman. I know it won't be easy to make her an enemy and come off best" (Euripedes p. 643). Jason loved her when her crimes benefited him. After she had helped Jason attain the fleece she killed her own brother and cut him into pieces so that she and Jason would be able to get away. Jason did not seem to have much of a problem as long as he bested from her transgressions. "One way in which the system enlists the cooperation of women is to provide them with sanctioned and controlled forms of transgression that create the illusion of agency and autonomy" (Warner p. 159). Warner believes that society allows and even desires some sins so that the society as a whole can benefit. Medea is an example of this. Kreon is afraid of the wrath of Medea, "I tell you I prefer to earn your hatred now than to be soft-hearted and afterwards regret it" (Euripides p. 648). It almost seems that Kreon feels that her recourse is legitimate as long as it does not affect his daughter Creusa.
While talking to Kreon, Medea says, "A person of sense ought never to have his children brought up to be more clever than the average" (Euripedes p. 648). Dr. Lucas states in his blog that, " Reason became the new intellectual standard that tried to displace fear and emotion: rely on