Medea, a play by the Greek playwright Euripides, explores the differences between Greek and Barbarian through the character of Medea. In ancient Greek times, men had right to revenge on another man for betrayal or hurting him. The man who caused the misery had to take the revenge from the other man. In the play ‘Medea,’ Medea kills Creon’s daughter and her own children to get revenge on Jason for betraying her for Glauce. Because of the Greek Society and Jason’s betrayal, Medea feels she needs revenge to relieve the pain that Jason caused. As it is stated in the book, the cause of Medea’s grief is Jason.
Therefore Medea’s revenge was acceptable because of the hardships that Jason left Medea after he got all the help from her. To begin with, the reader can see how lonely she is and what she has done to be with Jason when the Nurse says, “She is learning what it is to be a foreigner, cast out, alone and despised. She will never learn to be humble, she will never learn to drink insult like harmless water. ” (pg86) As it is said, Medea could not bear the pain that Jason gave her, therefore, she thinks there is only one way to get rid of the pain which is to do the same thing to Jason.
Since Jason gave her so much hardship, Jason should have the same as Medea. Therefore, Medea finds a perfect way to make Jason collapse which is to kill their children. When she tells the chorus of the plans to kill the children, they wonder if she has the heart to kill her children. Medea says to Aegeus, “you’d kill the man’s children first. Unchild him, ya? ” (103) this quote shows that she believes that by killing her children, she will basically ruin Jason’s life, effectively getting her revenge. Also, since Medea gave up many things that she had, Jason must lose things that he really cares.
Therefore, it was right for Medea to revenge. Similarly important, Medea is a princess from the barbarian land of Colchis. Throughout the book, it becomes evident to the reader that Medea is not an ordinary woman by Greek standards. From this quote, “I do not know what other women-I do not know how much a Greek woman will endure,” (pg 90) the readers can see the difference between the Greek Women and Medea. Since she is from the land of barbarians, she is not good at enduring things and she is very intemperate, however, she is also clever. As mentioned aboce, she had another reason to kill her children.
If she left her children with Jason, they would be living in a society that would look down upon them because they have partly barbarian background. She did not want her children to have to suffer through that. Also, if her children are made fun for being outsiders, then this reflects badly on Medea because Medea thinks they are part of her and she does not want to give her enemies any reason to laugh at her. For this reason, Medea decides that killing her children is the best way to accomplish her plan. Lastly, Medea has right to revenge for her family in Colchis.
Some might say that she cannot get revenge on Jason for her family, however, since Jason took the golden fleece and took Medea’s brother, Absyrtus with Medea, Medea had right to punish Jason. Since it wasn’t Medea’s decision to fall in love with Jason, she can take everything from Jason when the love is shattered. Medea devoted herself for Jason to get the Golden Fleece by telling him hints for the requests that Aeetes gives him. Therefore, her revenge on Jason is acceptable because it wasn’t her decision to help him out or not. The play, Medea, progresses with strong events. It also shows character’s inner aspect through the monologue.
There are vengeance, love toward children, collapse in Medea’s mind. At the end of the play, Medea says that the gods are the witness for her because they saw what she gave Jason and what he gave her back. Since he hurt Medea, he must not be pleasant even tough, he is enjoying his exuberant life. Philosopher W. Congreve once said, “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned. ” As it is said, the ones that are always in worry are women. However, when there is a person who hurts woman in love, then the gods will be on her side and defend her.