Medea and Divinity

Euripides portrays his character, Medea, through a combination of sometimes contrasting traits. She is female in gender yet is largely responsible for the glory achieved by her husband and has achieved Kleos, an honor usually reserved for men. She is both powerless in her relationship to Jason, and powerful in her accomplishments and wit. She is a foreigner, yet, through her marriage to Jason, she is a Greek. Finally, she is both mortal, and because of her grandfather, the sun god Helios, immortal. This relationship to the gods is highly present in Medea. Throughout the play, Medea is often presented, both by herself and others, as the agent of divine will.

Euripides uses storm imagery to connect Medea's rage and revenge to the will of Zeus. As both the "Keeper of Oaths" (170) and the God of Thunder, Zeus becomes representative of Medea's rage. Describing Medea's ominous situation, the Nurse frets over "add[ing] new [sorrows] to old... even before the present sky has cleared" (78 79). This metaphor simultaneously forebodes the inevitable trouble that spawns from Jason's actions, Medea's own darkening will, and Zeus's anger. Like rain from the stormy sky of the Nurse's metaphor,...

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