Medea, a pat by the Greek playwright Euripides, explores the Greek-barbarian dichotomy through the character of Medea, a princess indigenous the “barbarian”, or non-Greek, soil of Colchis. Throughout the play, it becomes obvious to the leader that Medea is no simple woman by Greek standards.

Central to the totality plot is Medea’s barbarian origins and also how they are pertained to her actions. This write-up will answer concerns such as just how Medea behaves prefer a female, just how she acts heroically native a male allude of view, why she killed her kids if she might have accomplished her score without death them if the killing was motivated by her barbarian origins, and also how she encounters the ache of killing she children.

As an introduction to the play, the standing of females in Greek society should be briefly discussed.

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In general, women had very few rights. In the eye of men, the key purposes of females in Greek culture were to execute housework such as cooking and also cleaning, and also bear children.

They can not vote, own property, or select a husband, and had come be represented by guys in all legal proceedings. In some ways, this Greek ladies were almost like slaves. Over there is a definite relationship between this subordination the women and what transpires in the play. Jason decides the he desires to divorce Medea and marry the princess the Corinth, spreading Medea aside together if they had actually never been married.

This sort of activity was agree by Greek standards, and also shows the subordinate standing of the woman, who had no speak in any type of matter choose this. Also though few of Medea’s actions to be not common of the average Greek woman, she still had actually attitudes and also emotions common among women. Because that instance, Medea speak out against women’s standing in society, proclaiming the they have no choice of whom to marry, and also that a man deserve to rid themselves of a woman to get one more whenever he wants, yet a woman constantly has to “keep eyes on one alone.” (231-247)

Though the is improbable that females went roughly openly saying things of this nature, the is most likely that this perspective was shared by many or every Greek women. Later on in the play, Medea disputes with herself over whether or not to death her children: “Poor heart, let them go, have actually pity upon the children.” (1057). This reflects Medea’s motherly instincts in the she cares around her children.

She struggles to decision if she can achieve her goal of revenge versus Jason there is no killing she children because she cares because that them and also knows they had actually no part in what their father did. Unfortunately, Medea’s desire to specific revenge ~ above Jason is greater than she love for she children, and also at the finish of the play, she death them. Medea was additionally a faithful mam to Jason.

She talks about how she helped Jason in his quest for the gold Fleece, then assisted him escape, also killing her own brother. (476-483). The fact that she to be willing to betray her own household to be with Jason mirrors her loyalty to him.


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Therefore, her anger at Jason over him divorcing she is understandable. On the other hand, Medea reflects some heroic attributes that were not common amongst Greek women. Because that example, Medea is willing to death her very own brother to be through Jason. In timeless Greece, women and also killing were most likely not typically linked.

When she kills her brother, she mirrors that she is willing to do what is necessary to “get the job done”, in this case, come be v Jason. Secondly, she shows the courage come stand up to Jason. She believes the she has been cheated and also betrayed through him.


By planning ways to get ago at him because that cheating top top her, she is was standing up for what she believes, i m sorry in this case is the she to be wronged by Jason, however in a larger sense, she is speak out against the inferior condition of women, which effectively allows Jason come discard Medea in ~ will.

Third, she reflects that she is clever and resourceful. Rather than use physical pressure to achieve her plans, she provides her mental instead: “it is finest to…make away with them by poison.” (384-385) While physical strength deserve to be considered a heroic quality, cleverness deserve to be as well. She does in truth poison the princess and also the king the Corinth; interestingly, however, she does not poison castle directly.

“I will send the kids with gifts…to the bride…and if she wears them upon she skin…she will certainly die.” (784-788) This mirrors her cleverness because she is do the efforts to save from being attached to the crime, though anyone is able to number out that she was responsible anyway. In a way, though, she is nearly anti-heroic since she is not doing the “dirty work” herself, which renders her show up somewhat cowardly.

Finally, there is the revenge factor. Numerous times heroes were out for revenge versus someone who did them or a friend wrong, and in this case, Medea is no exception because she wants to have actually revenge versus Jason for divorcing her without just cause. There room two key reasons why Medea decides to death her children.

The first, and much more obvious one, is that she feels the it is a perfect method to enhance the death of the princess in getting revenge on Jason. As soon as she tells the chorus that the plan to kill the children, they wonder if she has actually the heart to death her children, to which she replies, “es, because that this is the best means to wound mine husband.” (817).

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This mirrors that she believes the by killing she children, she will certainly basically ruin Jason’s life, effectively getting her revenge. The second reason for