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Medea (Ancient Greek: Μήδεια, Mēdeia) is an ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides, based upon the myth of Jason and Medea and first produced in 431 BC. The plot centers on the actions of Medea, a former princess of the kingdom of Colchis, and the wife of Jason; she finds her position in the Greek world threatened as Jason leaves her for a Greek princess of Corinth.
· Jason has survived again, but Medea, who is now wholly on his side rather than on her father’s, finds out that Aeetes will renege on on his pledge and refuse to hand over the Fleece. So, at night, she leads Jason to the sacred grove where the fleece is nailed to a tree, guarded by a dragon.
· Medea saw and fell in love with the handsome young hero, and so, despite her father’s desire to retain possession of the precious object, helped Jason to escape. The couple fled first Medea’s Colchis, and then after Medea was instrumental in the death of King Pelias at Iolcos, fled that region, finally arriving at Corinth.
Jason points out that she has wounded herself in the process, and Medea, while acknowledging the pain her children’s death has brought her, finds it a price worth paying to see Jason suffer. Jason puts in one last request: to be allowed to see over the proper burial of his children.
The kingdom of Colchis, from which Medea sailed with Jason after helping him steal the Golden Fleece, was viewed by the Greeks as a land of uncivilized barbarians. Jason’s reasoning that he did Medea a service by freeing her from a life of savagery is one that would resonate with Euripides’ audience.
Pelias, our readers will recollect, was the usurping uncle of Jason, and had kept him out of his kingdom. Yet he must have had some good qualities, for his daughters loved him, and when they saw what Medea had done for Æson, they wished her to do the same for their father. Medea pretended to consent, and prepared her caldron as before.
However, when Jason breaks the oath of marriage, Medea becomes heart-broken and her grief turns into bitter anger. No one sympathizes with Medea and she bears the pain alone. Medea is misunderstood by others for they only see the enraged Medea and not the crushed heart behind. Euripides portrays Medea just as how the ancient Greeks saw foreigners.
Jason consented to take her away from her father and also to marry her. The Golden Fleece was nailed to a tree in a small garden and guarded by the Sleepless Dragon. Orpheus, the great music player who was one of the Argonauts, and Medea, in a concerted effort of music and sorcery, put the beast to sleep while Jason quietly took the Golden Fleece.
· Medea is the epitome of the poisonous nature of a woman scorned. Her anguish, originally caused by Jason’s ignominy of their marriage vows, is amplified by alienation due to her intelligence, will power, and cleverness seen as perilous characteristics throughout the play. Devoid of her husband’s love and society’s acceptance, she is …
Even Medea recognizes this when she says, “Why damage them in trying to hurt their father?” (173). In the end, though, revenge is more important to Medea than maternal love, and she kills her children in order “To get at [Jason’s] heart” (233). Her methods are …