Medea and the revenge
It would not have been enough for her to have just killed Jason in retaliation for his abandonment of her, she wanted to make him suffer and leave him to live in the world that was now devoid of all the things he cared about.
Thus Medea is both mother and murderess, both defender and destroyer of marriage, both creator and destroyer of life, both the champion of the justice that protects the rights of the household and the perpetrator of the most flagrant crimes against the household.
Like Sophocles' Trachiniae, the Medea offers a commentary on marriage as an institution in this society and on the violence that it can contain.
What makes you cringe? In the previous scene the mother's lament is over sons, not daughters, sons whom she will herself kill She concludes her last iambic trimeter speech in the play not with the children's future burial on Acrocorinth but with the prophecy of Jason's death from a remnant of the Argo, "seeing the bitter conclusion of marriage with me" Third, she shows that she is clever and resourceful. Yet in the next line, repeating the same root, seb-, she acknowledges that the murder itself is "unholy," dussebous phonou These reversals move in a direction exactly the opposite of the reversals in the social order that the chorus imagined in the first stasimon, the change of the infamy of women to glory The play also conveys the shattering effect that criminal violence brings with it when it irrupts into our world. Revenge and Reversal The violent acts that Medea commits inside the house expand to threaten other areas of the social and moral order. Described as duskatapaustos, "hard to bring to rest," in the following line, she seems like a force of nature, a hurricane or lightning storm, that must expend all of its violence before it can become quiet. Yet from the beginning we also glimpse darker aspects of her nature. So Medea is outraged by this and is set on seeking revenge on him because she killed her father and brother for the love of Jason. Similarly important, Medea is a princess from the barbarian land of Colchis. On the other hand, she resembles the Aeschylean Clytaemnestra, whom Jason is probably evoking when he inveighs against Medea's monstrosity f.
Since he hurt Medea, he must not be pleasant even tough, he is enjoying his exuberant life. He reaches up helplessly toward the bodies of his sons in Medea's celestial chariot; and his empty hands are a powerful physical manifestation on-stage of the refusal of ritual solace in the here and now.
Medea, however, has severed all her ties with her natal family and destroyed its male heir by killing her brother, Apsyrtus, to secure her own marriage with Jason.
Her language here echoes her earlier "heroic" concern not to be mocked, laughed at, or "insulted" by her enemies.
The first stasimon takes the unusual position of recognizing the androcentric bias of the literary tradition. The new bride is a "stranger" in a foreign house; Medea is also a stranger in a foreign country. Still what can I do that I will do: I will lament and cry upon heaven, calling the Gods to bear me witness how you have killed my boys" lines When citing an essay from our library, you can use "Kibin" as the author. On the other hand, she resembles the Aeschylean Clytaemnestra, whom Jason is probably evoking when he inveighs against Medea's monstrosity f. Pages Saturday, March 27, Themes of Revenge in Medea The main theme of this drama, Medea is that of revenge with love as the motivating factor. Medea's changes come from an evolving process of thought and feeling. To a Greek audience in BC, Medea might not have seemed unordinary at first. These reversals move in a direction exactly the opposite of the reversals in the social order that the chorus imagined in the first stasimon, the change of the infamy of women to glory Medea's situation embodies in extreme form the problems of virilocal marriage. The best is the direct way, which most suits my bent: To kill by poison. Glauce's death conforms to what Richard Seaford has labeled the "tragic wedding," a situation in which the actual death of a bride reflects, in exaggerated form, the young girl's desolation as she leaves her family for her new home, and the mother's mourning for the daughter she has lost. I shall see my enemies punished as they deserve She describes her plan in the way: I 'll send them children to the palace bearing gifts ,a dress Of soft weave and a coronet of beaten gold.
More important, she seems to operate at a more intense level of energy, while the others seem to belong to a lower, more ordinary mode of existence. One of the characteristics of a tragic hero according to Aristotle is that the protagonist must come from nobility, so that the downfall of the character is greater than an average person 's, and should have some type of unique skills or abilities.
Even this ritual foundation is imbued with the passions that have characterized Medea throughout play, for she gives as her reason for the remote burial "that none of my enemies may insult them, tearing up their graves" f.
This article will answer questions such as how Medea behaves like a female, how she acts heroically from a male point of view, why she killed her children, if she could have achieved her goal without killing them, if the murder was motivated by her barbarian origins, and how she deals with the pain of killing her children.
Medea and the revenge
So Medea is outraged by this and is set on seeking revenge on him because she killed her father and brother for the love of Jason. Even though Medea emphasizes her total victory through the suffering and humiliation that she inflicts on Jason, her earlier conflicts have revealed the terrible suffering that she inflicts on herself. So too at the end of the Heracles Theseus escorts Heracles to Athens for purification and thus opposes human friendship and compassion to the cruelty of the gods. At how many crimes do we finally balk? Hate's in her blood. Within the time enacted in the play itself she destroys the houses of both Creon and Jason; and in the future, she will threaten the house of Aegeus, in a portion of her story that Euripides dramatizes in his lost Aegeus. She throws back upon Jason his reproach that she has brought her troubles on herself by her curses on the ruler 7 , adding, "And I am a curse on your house" And by doing these killings, she proves that how cruel she is in her passion of revenge. What Is a Woman? The closing scene replays the accumulated bitterness of an unhappy marriage where the children are literally sacrificed to their parents' battles with one another. Pages Saturday, March 27, Themes of Revenge in Medea The main theme of this drama, Medea is that of revenge with love as the motivating factor. As an introduction to the play, the status of women in Greek society should be briefly discussed.
While a mother's murderousness toward her child is horrible enough when it is concentrated on a single child, as in Procne's killing of Itys, the double killing emphasizes the annihilation of a whole family and the entire male line, a pattern of female vengeance paralleled by Hecuba's murder of the sons of Polymnestor in Euripides' Hecuba.
In the midst of her domestic quarrel with Jason Medea recalls the outlandish Colchian monsters against whom she helped him, the fire-breathing bulls and the ever-wakeful serpent, with his "much enfolding coils," that guarded the Fleece Just before his reference to Scylla, he taunts her with the claim that no Greek woman would venture on such deeds as she has done
Medea revenge quotes
This death-scene is not narrated but woven into a choral ode, the fifth stasimon. I shall see my enemies punished as they deserve She describes her plan in the way: I 'll send them children to the palace bearing gifts ,a dress Of soft weave and a coronet of beaten gold. We feel both the horrific determination of Medea's wrath and the cost to herself. Medea thus has it several ways at once: she appeals to a common bond of female helplessness and victimization by men; she suggests that she is even worse off than most Greek married women; and she ends by appealing to women's solidarity in their desire and capacity for punishing their male oppressors. In killing her children, Medea attacks the males of the household at their weakest point, their need for children and their dependence on women for offspring. Does the play challenge the male domination of song and poetry, as the first stasimon suggests, and so makes us better able to understand the voice of the Other, that is, woman, in a patriarchal society? The seductive "ambrosial gleam" of the robe and the crown that Glauce will find irresistible soon becomes the deadly brightness of the fiery poison , This ode uses the figure of the reversal of the processes of nature "The sources of the holy rivers run backwards," to suggest that women have been misrepresented by male poets and to intimate that this injustice will end when women gain control of song When she tells the chorus of the plans to kill the children, they wonder if she has the heart to kill her children. In saying this, she is openly claiming revenge since she feels she is justified in committing murders for the sake of her own lust for retribution against Jason. More important, she seems to operate at a more intense level of energy, while the others seem to belong to a lower, more ordinary mode of existence. The address to heart and hand is also the definitive answer to the chorus's question in the third stasimon as these Corinthian women find the killing of the children unthinkable: "Where will you take the boldness of mind or in hand and heart," they ask, to perform the deed? It can, of course, be argued that the appeals to Justice, Zeus, and Themis throughout the play, especially by Medea initially, are fulfilled at the end and that Jason is deservedly punished for his violation of the oaths;69 but the horrible deaths of Creon, Glauce, and Medea's children certainly make this punishment an ambiguous form of justice. This scene prepares the way for the much stronger pathos of their presence when Medea herself embraces them for the last time as she hesitates about her plan , especially , and of course for the culminating pathos of their off-stage cries as Medea kills them No one shall take my children from me.
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