Sunday, December 8, 2019
Medea in Full Control of the Events free essay sample
Gustavo A. Carrillo Humanities 111 June 25, 2008 Medea in Full Control of the Events Euripides plays are about the emotions and reactions of ordinary people and social issues rather than with deities and their adventures. His collection of plays, approximately 90 of them, includes Electra, Trojan Women and Medea. This last one is the most controversial play during Euripidess time, because portraits Medea as a heroine in a time where only man can be heroes. Medea is an easy play to read that includes not too many characters. Anybody could relate to the events in this play because they can happen to any ordinary person. This essay answers the following question: Are Medeas actions inevitable and beyond her control, or is she able to choose? Medea has many opportunities to change her fate and she knows that it is against the moral standards of her time, but she decides to take the necessary actions to do it anyway. Medea is a tragedy about a woman looking for revenge. She wants to punish her ex-husband Jason by murdering his new wife Glauce, Kreon (King of Corinth) and ultimately her own children. Jason abandons Medea to gain more power by taking the Kings daughter in marriage leaving her alone with two boys. This event transforms Medeas happiness into agony, and from the beginning of the play she is suffering so much that she wants to die instead: I wish, I wish I might die (Euripides 97). At least four more times she expresses her desire to find release from her pain through death. Is death a way of escape for this womans affliction, or can she does something differently to keep herself alive without feeling this way? Medea is a woman in total control of her actions, and she is willing to kill even her own blood. She is not going to die without knowing that her ex-husband has paid for his disloyalty. Medea is angry and full of hate and she will not overestimate the price of her revenge, even if this price could be her own children. She shows this hate by cursing her children and ex-husband: Children of a hateful mother. I curse you and your father. Let the whole house crash (Euripides 113-114). At this moment she is already challenging destiny. Her fate is to live with her two children in exile by herself. Kreon, King of Corinth, orders her exile because he is afraid that she might do something to harm her daughter: I am afraid of you Afraid that you may injure my daughter mortally (Euripides 280-281). After a fake dialog between Medea and Kreon, where she pretends by telling him that she is not going to harm anybody, the King allows her to stay for another day so she can find a place to go. Medea doesnt want to follow the Kings orders, and she decides to take some action to change her fate. She knows that she has nothing to lose, I have no land, no home, no refuge from my pain (Euripides 783). If she does take the exile without vengeance, her enemies will mock at her, so she decides to continue with her plans of revenge. She knows the humiliation she is going to face in front of her enemies because Jason just uses her as an object to gain more power. The decision to continue with the plan is another reason to proof that she is in total control. She knows that she is not responsible for the separation, so she is not willing to take the consequences. For instance, Jason tries to blame Medea for her future exile: It was what you chose yourself. Dont blame others for it (Euripides 593). She defends herself by responding with a clever question: And how did I choose it? Did I betray my husband? (Euripides 594). Her fate is to finish living in the exile, but she denies taking that path of her destiny. Fate and destiny is important in all these tragic plays. Destiny is what the gods have predestined for someones future. Therefore, she knows whats coming and she is willing to do anything to change it. Medeas suffering might be tangible, but her actions and their outcomes are never beyond her vengeful control. She prepares a step by step plan for revenge, arranging first a secure refuge to stay after her plans are over: And now I shall tell to you the whole of my plan (Euripides 756). Her plan is to convince Jason to bring the two boys into the palace. Once there, the boys will give two special gifts to Glauce: a finely woven dress and a golden diadem. These gifts are in fact poisoned so when the princess wears them, not only she will die, but also her father the King will. There is a moment in Medeas life that clearly shows her humanity through an expression of love for the children. While she is watching the childrens eyes she renounces her plans: No, no, I will not do it. I renounce my plans. Ah, What is wrong with me? (Euripides 1022-1023). Here is one opportunity for Medea to escape from the fury of revenge. Perhaps starting a new life in another place will help to forget what happened, or she can educate the boys not to follow their fathers footsteps, instead teach them how to live a respectful life. But there is something bigger and more powerful inside her heart that can rule over any feeling of love, her fury: I know indeed what evil I intend to do, but stronger than all my afterthoughts is my fury, Fury that brings upon mortals the greatest evils (Euripides 1051-1053). She has the chance to change her intentions, but she decides to continue with what she originally planed. Finally Medea has her ultimate touch of revenge, not allowing Jason to burying his own death children. Once again she is in charge of the whole action. Medea understands her fate and thats why she feels that is necessary to change it by executing this evil plan. She loves her children and her husband truly, and she suffers for the inevitable separation. For a moment she wants to stop this evil plan, but every time she remembers her enemies as her ultimate humiliation, this fires up her initiative to do as she has planned. Deeply inside of herself she doesnt want to commit such a drastic plan: And do not be a coward, do not think of them (Euripides 1220).