Medea Essay

Medea is a woman overcome with madness. Discuss, referring to revenge tragedy, values and context.
The self-titled play Medea is an Ancient Greek, revenge tragedy by dramatist, Euripides. It depicts the downfall of the relationship and bloody consequences between Medea and Jason, continuing from the infamous play of Jason and the Argonauts. The statement that Medea is overcome with madness is disagreeable due to the facts that Medea demonstrated the ability for violence in earlier life, the murders were premeditated and Medea was able to control herself. Due to these aspects Medea is not overcome with madness.
Medea is not overcome with madness at that particular time in life as she has demonstrated the ability for a similar violence earlier. Preceding Medea and Jason’s arrival in Corinth, she lived in Colchis with her family. Upon falling in love with Jason she murdered her brother and betrayed her family in his aid. This demonstration of unfaltering murders of her loved ones illustrates she is capable of such violence later in life. However, the line ‘O my father, my city, you I deserted; my brother I shamefully murdered!’ shows some self realisation later on in the future. This key convention in revenge tragedy would not exist if Medea was overcome with madness.   In this line, spoken by Medea, the dramatic technique of evoking sympathy in the audience enhances the dramatic atmosphere. The rhyming couplet compliments the flowing line and Medea’s gift of speech. Also Medea’s excessive use of personal pronouns communicates to the audience her self-centred nature, a factor which prolonged the time till self-realisation of her deadly acts. Due to Medea’s past acts of violence, she is not overcome with madness.
All the murders Medea committed were premeditated, therefore making her completely sane. The ability to plan the deaths of the innocent is one only a person who is not overcome with madness would posses. This scheming is evident in the line spoken by Medea,...