Medea is an ancient Greek tragedy written by a playwright called Euripides. It tells the story of a woman, Medea, whose husband Jason leaves her for another woman. She gets revenge on him by murdering his new wife and her own two children.
It has been greatly debated who was right, Jason or Medea. On one hand, Medea literally kills people, but on the other hand, she feels very strongly that she has been wronged.
Here’s my take on the issue:
Medea didn’t choose to love Jason, she fell in love with him because Cupid shot her with his bow and arrow at the urging of Aphrodite. This happened because Jason needed help with his quest to get the Golden Fleece, and Medea was a gifted magician who could help him.
Her skills were a tool to help a man succeed, as she betrayed her father, her country, and killed her brother because of her love for Jason. She was made to love him, so she ended up loving him more than her own children.
Medea didn’t know about what Aphrodite did, and maybe Jason didn’t feel like he was obligated to tell her. In ancient Greek society, a woman’s job was to be a good wife, they didn’t necessarily need to have an intense emotional connection. That’s why most women were okay when their husbands fell out of love, but Medea didn’t have a normal human love for Jason.
It says on page 217 of Medea, “If your husband worships a new bride, it is a common event; be not exasperated.” Cupid and Aphrodite are only mentioned once in all of Medea and that’s when Jason is explaining why he doesn’t owe anything to Medea.
The truth of how her skills were manipulated was being ignored so that she was painted as the villain, and this is what happens to all women with power. On page 223 of Medea, it says, “…by our mere nature we women are helpless for good, but adept at contriving all manner of wickedness.” Although killing is under no circumstances acceptable, one can understand where she is coming from. It was not her fault that she was led on a dark path.
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