Character Analysis of Medea Essay

This essay has a total of 813 words and 4 pages.

Character Analysis of Medea

Tim Oleksiak
13 October 1998
ENGLISH 253

Medea was a devotee of the goddess Hecate, and one of the great sorceresses of the ancient
world. She was the daughter of King Aeetes of Colchis, and the granddaughter of Helios,
the sun god.

King Aeetes’ most valuable possession was a golden ram’s fleece. 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 fell in love with Jason and agreed to use her magic to help him, in
return for Jason’s promise to marry her.

Jason fled in the Argo after obtaining the Golden Fleece, taking Medea and her younger
brother, Absyrtis, with him. King Aeetes pursued them. In order to delay the pursuit,
Medea killed her brother and cut his body into pieces, scattering the parts behind the
ship. The pursuers had to stop and collect Absyrtis’ dismembered body in order to give it
proper burial, and so Jason, Medea and the Argonauts escaped.

After the Argo returned safely to Iolcus, Jason’s home, Medea continued using sorcery.
She restored the youth of Jason’s aged father, Aeson, by cutting his throat and filling
his body with a magical potion. She then offered to do the same for Pelias the king of
Iolcus who had usurped Aeson’s throne. She tricked Pelias’ daughters into killing him,
but left the corpse without any youth-restoring potion.

After the murder of Pelias, Jason and Medea had to flee Iolcus; they settled next in
Corinth. There 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 of her body;
King Creon died as well when he tried to embrace his dying daughter. Now, Medea had to
flee Corinth alone. She took with her the bodies of her two children, whom she had
murdered in order to render Jason further pain.

Euripides’ Medea was a truly evil character. My opinion in situations involving the
romantic interests of a man and a woman has changed drastically. Ordinarily, I would be
of the mind that says love conquers all. However, after reading of Medea’s treachery, I
can no longer believe that maxim. Although Medea’s love for Jason did conquer everything
in her path to obtain that love in return, it also destroyed many peoples lives, and, in
the end, turned even Jason’s affection towards other interests.

Medea violated several values that should have been held with much greater reverence. The
woman enabled Jason to steal from her own father. She brutally murdered her own brother,
Continues for 2 more pages >>




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