Medea's Identity

How far is it true to say that Medea loses her identity throughout Euripides' Medea.

Perhaps in order to address this title, it is necessary to look for a definition of 'identity'. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as 'individuality, personality... absolute sameness'. The question now becomes firstly does Medea the character change fundamentally in the course of the play, and secondly do all the aspects of her character remain constant. The answers to these questions lie in an analysis of Medea's character and a comparison of the eponymous villain at the beginning and end of Euripides' masterpiece.

Definition of character can be said to lie partly in perceived social status. Primarily, Medea is a woman, and so falls into traditional Greek stereotypes of the 'weaker sex'. Clearly this core characteristic of Medea cannot change in the course of the play. In the same way, she is irrevocably a witch both at the beginning and at the end of the play. She has been able to rejuvenate Aeson, half-brother of King Pelias of Iolcus, with magic herbs, and here is able to skilfully poison Glauce and Creon. Characters who weild magical powers in Greek Mythology usually set aside from society. Medea...

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