Medea

Medea: Euripides and Questionable Narratives College

Despite her violent transgressions, Euripedes paints Medea as a victim from the start to the end of the play. Even Medea’s most violent act, the murder of her own children, is made complicated by Euripides’ appeal to the reader’s sympathy for her situation. Medea’s goal for revenge is permanently intertwined with the sympathetic presentation that Euripides shows at the start of the play. By introducing readers to Medea first as a victim, Euripides paves the way for a complex but indeterminate line of thought regarding the morality of her actions. Euripides ensures that the reader will question not only Medea’s gruesome revenge, but his or her induced sympathy for Medea as well. Euripides employs this manipulation by presenting Medea as victim to Jason’s cruelty and indifference. The reader’s response is complicated by the fact that, with respect to Euripides’ initial portrayal of Medea, her actions may sway towards justified.

By presenting readers first with the image of Medea suffering a great loss, her later plot for revenge is made less black and white. Euripides opens the play with a nurse lamenting Medea’s current morose state. Through this nurse’s monologue Medea is described as the once compassionate wife of Jason, who...

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