Euripides' Medea
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Euripides' Medea

Everyone has heard of the story Jason and the Argonauts, but what many people do not realize is that Medea figures into the legend. Medea was married to Jason, who in turn, left Medea for the King of Creon’s daughter. Medea avenged her broken hear by committing some of the most hideous of crimes.

In Euripides's Medea, Jason leaves Medea when Creon, King of Corinth, offers him his daughter, Glauce. The play tells about how Medea avenges her husband's betrayal. Medea was married to the hero Jason with whom she had two children, Mermeros and Pheres. The myth of Medea figures in the legend of Jason and the Argonauts, which was essentially discussed by Apollonius of Rhodes in the 3rd century BC and called the Argonautica

Medea was a foreigner and everything about her was alien. She swore a marriage oath to Jason and is betrayed; therefore she believes she has a claim to justice. She endures humiliation and is brave in her actions according to many, but brave for her is extreme. Yet, her personal honor is at stake here.

Her true intentions are shown from the beginning of the story. King Aeetes possesses a Golden Fleece, and when Jason and the crew of the Argo arrived at Colchis seeking the Golden Fleece, Aeetes was unwilling to relinquish it and set Jason a series of seemingly impossible tasks as the price of obtaining it.

Medea falls in love with Jason and agrees to use her magic to help him, in return for Jason's promise to marry her. Jason flees back to Argos with Medea and her brother, and Aeetas swiftly follows. In order to detain the king, Medea kills her brother, cuts him up, and scatters the pieces, thus forcing the pursuers to stop and collect the body parts in order to give it proper burial. This allows for Jason, Medea and the Argonauts to escape.

After the murder of Pelias, Jason and Medea had to flee Iolcus; they settled next in Corinth. Medea bore Jason two children before Jason forsook her in order to marry the daughter of Creon, the King of Corinth. Medea got revenge for Jason's desertion by killing the new bride with a poisoned robe and crown, which burned the flesh from her body. King Creon died as well when he tried to embrace his dying daughter.

Medea continued her revenge, murdering her two children by Jason. Afterward, she left Corinth and flew to Athens in a golden chariot driven by dragons sent by her grandfather Helios, god of the sun. Medea then took refuge with Aegeus, the old king of Athens, having promised him that she would use her magic to enable him to have more children. She married Aegeus and bore him a son, Medus. But Aegeus had another son, Theseus. When Theseus returned to Athens, Medea tried to trick her husband into poisoning him. She was unsuccessful, and had to flee Athens, taking Medus with her. After leaving Athens, Medus became king of the country, which was later called Media.

Eros' destructive nature is to blame here, as it inspired Medea to fall in love with Jason. She is cast aside and Eros is in alternative form, allowing lust to promote Medea’s desire for revenge. Consequently, we also see the idea of moderation and acceptance “Sophosyne”. Medea should have accepted that her husband had taken another wife, but Jason had violated an oath, and she believed she should have recourse.

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Comments (2)

Lauren, I submitted this to stumble, recommended and tweeted.

Thanks Chris. I appreciate it!

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