Julian Figueroa’s Thoughts on Medea

I found Medea to be a very interesting play. For something as short as 40 pages, it seems to have even more themes than The Odyssey to it. Don’t get me wrong (and again, this is just an opinion) but  there is such a vast range of mature themes found in Medea (Passion, Revenge, Pride, Manipulation, etc.) that it almost makes The Odyssey seem like a children’s tale. Death doesn’t play near as big of a role in The Odyssey as it does in Medea, and the characters in Medea seem a lot more morally ambiguous in comparison to Odysseus, Penelope, or Telemachus.

Enough with comparisons though… let’s get into the meat and potatoes of what stood out to me in Medea.

One major thing to touch upon is the history behind this play. It was written by a man, and for the longest time, all the female characters were still played by men. For Euripedes to write lines about a character more willing to fight three wars than to give birth shows how clever he is at writing for a powerful female character. And that is what Medea is; powerful, cunning, and vengeful. In fact, one could touch upon how she seems more of a man than Jason; she’s much more intimidating, she doesn’t get to keep control of her children (which in case of divorce nowadays, it is almost unheard of for men to have custody of children under the age of 12). So what spoke to me about this play is how it really defies the history of the time; Medea doesn’t play into any of the tropes of the classic female.

Another aspect that stood out to me was the theme of pride that Medea encompassed throughout the play. Her pride drove her to make irrational decisions and drove her to cause unnecessary bloodshed. There is a tremendous sense of waste to her actions, as she fully exacts her revenge on Jason with the poisoning of Glauce and her father, and then takes the brutality a step further, beyond the bounds of myth, by slaying her own children. She has the damaged and twisted pride of a woman, condescended to for her gender and her barbaric roots, who is nonetheless superior to everyone around her. After all she has suffered, in some ways Medea is most perturbed when she is ridiculed by fools. Her pride only adds to the tragedy in this play as well, and I almost felt sorry for her actions by the end.

A really good television show that encompasses the theme of pride in Medea is “Breaking Bad”. Yes, if you know me, you’ll know that I gawk over every second of the show. But it is true; how Medea starts out as a simple character, and grows into a murderous fiend by the end, in similar ways that Walter White turns from an innocent chemistry teacher in Albuquerque into the most powerful, callous drug lord in the south-west. Pride gets the best of both of these characters, and the influence of Medea is definitely in Breaking Bad. It further proves the point that Medea is great piece of literature and I am very thankful for this course for introducing me to it among other things.

And it’ll only get better from here :) .


Euripides’s Medea is a story which really highlights a lot of dark traits within humans. It’s difficult to find a protagonist in the story. While at first I thought it was Medea, because I felt sympathy for her, but as the story progressed, and she sought out her revenge, I slowly began to think of Jason as the protagonist. I felt like Euripides left the viewer (he intended it to be performed as a play) caught between these two sides, forced to pick one. Jason was doing his best to look out for his children, while Medea is completely left out in the cold, alone, without support.

While Medea’s actions could be categorized as an overreaction, Jason’s can definitely be seen as selfish and driven by a desire to be accepted. While we could try and answer the question “Who is wrong?”, it seems like everyone is wrong in a way. That’s what makes this play very realistic, there’s no righteous and pure character. Jason is an oathbreaker, betraying the love of his life without even blinking. On the other hand, Medea not only murders Jason’s future wife, she murders her own children, taking the lives of maybe the only innocent characters of this play.

While there’s plenty to think about regarding the play, I definitely liked it. The interaction with the chorus was very interesting, and I liked how at a certain point the chorus wasn’t just cheering on Medea. When she brought up the idea of killing her children, the chorus took the other side, trying to convince her that maybe murdering her children wasn’t the best idea. Another aspect of the play I really enjoyed was how Medea and Jason truly argued with words. We got to see both sides, Jason’s reasons, as well as Medea’s emotions reflecting her abandonment.

I think Euripides wrote this very much to make people think. To make them think of what humans are possible of when put under pressure. He wanted to show the monstrosity behind Medea’s actions, but especially the monstrosity behind Jason and all the others who rejected Medea. There was one thing however that I didn’t like very much, it was the way Medea is able to escape. Using Helios’s chariot as a free escape left me a little unsatisfied. I wanted to see repercussions regarding Medea’s actions. In the end, I guess I was left wanting more.

Double Standards within the Odyssey or Why Jason is an ideal “D-bag”

To anyone who apologized for their late posts, fear embarrassment no more. I am officially the last to post my interpretation of Medea.

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed Medea. I think there is something about tragedies that captures the several aspects of the “Human Condition”, such as jealous, hate, envy ect.
Such is the case in Medea, it is a tale of mutual destruction.

Both Medea and Jason are at fault for the plays climax. Neither party has any form of gains or resolution. However, I make the distinction that while Jason may have drove Medea to her vengeance, it was Medea who took her actions to far. Jason is embodies exactly what an “ideal man” should not be. He takes credit and the status of a hero for actions that weren’t his own. He manipulates Medea into carrying out his dirty work. It was Medea’s actions- not his, that resulted in his triumphs. Euripedes takes his own spin on the classic tale of Jason by stating that it was Medea (not Jason) who slayed the Dragon for the Golden Fleece, and she who bloodied her hands in order for him to succeed his uncle. Jason is a coward, blessed with unsown merit.

Furthermore Jason has no sense of responsibility or duty to his family. Although he claims that his marriage to Creon’s daughter is a strategic act to allow his sons to be placed into a family of royal blood, he still attempts to cast them out of Corinthis along with Medea. He is the definition of a hypocrite. It is only after his sons become corpses that he demonstrates a duty to his maternal obligations. He demands Medea give him their bodies so he can carry out his responsibility to bury them. But he only arises to this occasion after his chance of royal lineage is destroyed. When Medea brutally conjures the murder of both Creon and Creon’s daughter, she inadvertently kills Jason’s unborn child. Only when Jason has lost all opportunity of ascension to aristocratic society does he come crawling back to his family.

Euripedes’ Medea-not unlike Homer’s Odyssey, is filled with empathy towards the inequity of women. Even in her rage, Medea acknowledges that Jason would have had a fair excuse for his abandonment if she were infertile. To Greek society, women were only an extension of property to men. They were valued for only their beauty and ability to create further male heritage. For women, marriage was not for love, it was never consented by them. Medea states that if she as a woman recreated Jason’s abandonment she would be perceived as “a whore”, while Jason maintains his hero status. Jason even goes to such lengths as to say that he wishes he could ” Banish women, send them away with all there trouble. Then children would come from a better source.” Pretty bold statement…
As we can see from today’s context; their are obvious double-standards present with gender inequity in Ancient Greece. For it’s time, the plays criticism of Greek culture was greatly suppressed. Euripedes laughed in the face of social taboo.

In conclusion. Euripides… Whatta’ rebel.

Thoughts on Medea by Euripides

Sorry about the late post!

Even though Medea was much shorter and to-the-point in comparison with the Odyssey, I can still safely say that I enjoyed reading the Odyssey much more. The Odyssey may have been a much more difficult and time consuming read, but I think that Medea is a lunatic, and the fact that she was going to kill multiple people was almost too obvious from the very beginning.

Medea made it abundantly clear early on that she was going to kill in order to get revenge on her husband that broke her trust. With comments such as “Children of a hateful mother! Perish with your father!” The nurse seemed aware that Medea was going to resort to drastic measures too, “Go into the house, children, all will be well. And you (to Tutor)… Don’t bring them near their angry mother. For I just now saw her casting savage looks at them”.

I found the plot device known as Deux ex machina very interesting, because I did not know of its existence until after it was explained in yesterday’s lecture. Deux ex machina is when an apparently unsolvable problem is abruptly and unexpectedly solved. After Medea kills Jason’s wife, father-in-law, and his two children, Jason finds Medea to punish her. Medea seems hopeless, but seemingly out of nowhere, a chariot sent by Helios the sun-god appears and takes her to safety. This plot twist was certainly strange and unexpected.

I honestly found the story to be pretty strange, and I think that Medea is a total nutcase. The appearance of the chariot at the end of the story also definitely confused me. I look forward to hearing everyone else’s opinions about the story in class.


            Medea is a woman who has been scorned by her husband and decides to ruin all his worth by murdering his new wife and their children. What was interesting about Medea is that it is about one’s word and one’s honor, and how when Jason breaks his word and faithfulness to Medea her honor is all lost so to balance her loss of dignity she chooses to destroy his legacy. Although a particularly short read, it provokes you to think of status, pride, and promises.

            The status of women and a woman’s place in society is what I found to be of particular interest. Medea speech to the Chorus is worth noting. She not only shares with us the role of a woman, but also how they are used as means for bettering a father’s or husband’s status. Those women not only give their lives to men, but status, riches and children. I believed it to be a lesson on not only vows, but what could happen if you dishonored your family by abandoning them. Later in the play Jason mentions that Medea was infatuated with him though he dismisses it as Aphrodite’s meddling, I thought about this a lot and wondered if this was accurate and if she really did love Jason. Medea was certainly fixated on him, but more than being upset at the fact that he no longer loves her but another woman she fixes on the fact that he left her and shamed her honor. To the extent that she later feels that if she does not murder her own children that they would be ridiculed or slain. It could be argued that she does love him as fiery passion could turn into wrath.

            Medea’s pride was certainly of an interest to me as I did not think women would be as affected by honor as men were. Medea’s dignity hung in limbo as she is left by Jason. What struck me as strange was that now that she was completely alone with the world as Jason, her family and her friends all have their backs turned on her that you would believe she would want her children to comfort her.

            The end of the play where Medea murders Jason’s wife, father-in-law, and children it brought me back to Orestes.
            I look forward to the discussion on Medea.

Medea Response

So I definitely forgot to post my response on reading Medea… but here it is! Sorry for submitting this late!

But anyways, in comparison to The Odyssey, I definitely thought that Medea was an easier read. Upon reading Medea, the most prominent thought I had was, “Wow… this woman is seriously messed up.” From reading this, I learned of how crazy Medea is. Initially I feel for her. I understand and sympathize for her, because being left for another woman must be a really awful thing to get over. I thought Jason was in the wrong for the pain he had caused Medea, but that opinion quickly changed.

I understand why Medea seeks revenge on Jason, his new wife and her father, but she handles the situation in such an irrational way. She resorts to deceptive tactics, and trickery to get rid of her “enemies.” By making her children give the princess gifts that will lead to her demise, Medea basically reveals her ruthlessness. Clearly, she will stop at nothing until she receives vengeance.

What stood out most for me, was how Medea thought that taking the lives of her children was an effective way to get back at Jason. She talks of wanting to kill her two sons as punishment for the pain that Jason has inflicted on her. She reveals her sadistic and definitely irrational mind, to say the least. Honestly though, what kind of mother is heartless enough to take the lives of her any child, let alone her OWN children? Prior to committing the murder, she even hesitates and questions whether or not it is the right thing to do. She drifts in and out of rational thinking, which shows that she knows that desiring to kill her children is wrong. But she still does so in the end, and flees from the crime scene as well.

In my opinion, Medea is an irrational woman who needs a wake up call. She does things purely out of anger without really thinking about the consequences of her actions. Rather than handling the situation better, she goes insane and seeks retribution.


Hello all,
I finished reading Medea yesterday, but completely forgot about writing this post until today, when we were seated in our lecture. Oops. Alas, better a bit late than not at all, and it was a bit of a surprising read.

I love pretty much all aspects of theater and so reading a play was easy for me to visualize. I found that the characters turned from men in masks in my head to just normal people, and with new dynamics of the characters personality the face and/or body would change for me. The maid who first came out looked small and hunched over, and as I continued to read the play the more hunched over and frail she appeared in my imagination. Other characters went through a similar metamorphosis. Medea became taller, with sharper features and brighter eyes, and Jason went from having a very composed look to his clothing and face, to looking torn apart and distressed. I had completely forgotten by the end of the play that they were supposed to be wearing masks, and found it interesting in today’s lecture to hear Caroline talk about the reasoning behind the masks.

To me, Medea started off as a character who felt hurt and betrayed by the man she loved. As the play continued, her reasoning of her actions made less and less sense to me. I find the fact that her hatred of Jason outweighed the love for her children difficult to comprehend because it is so intense. We hear of “a mother’s love” being incredibly strong, with tales of mother’s who would lay down their own lives to save that of their children. With Medea however, it’s almost as if she is bending to Jason saying that the father loves his children the most, and is trying to forget her own pain in order to cause him the *most* grief. I suppose she succeeded in adding insult to injury through their deaths, but it seems incredibly unnecessary to me. This has been an issue for me to think about after hearing of present day murders of the same circumstance.


This play did not end as I expected to say the least. I thought at first that in some way Medea would suffer and be unsuccessful in her plots, but instead she carries out her exact plan and even has a gift from the divine for her troubles, whereas Jason is left to suffer. Before her true insanity and grotesque desire for vengeance are revealed she seems to be nothing but an intensely depressed woman, at a loss for lack of a husband. Her nurse seemed to have such pity for her, I didn’t take her fears so seriously about Medea harming the children. However, after the gruesome description of how Jason’s new wife and father-in-law are killed, I was much less surprised by the atrocity she commits.

I found it interesting how she is determined to place all the blame on Jason, even after she murders their children. She makes him out to be the villain with every breath and feels little personal responsibility for her actions. Perhaps she was happy in a way to be rid of her children who would only be a constant reminder of their father. The quick paced action was very affective in keeping me reading and the whole thing was over before I knew it, quite surprising considering the length of time I spent on the previous book. This was a very different feel from the odyssey, as the play is focused around Medea, a character we’re clearly meant to view as a villain, whereas Odysseus is one who we’re meant to see as the hero and protagonist of the epic. I suppose there was no hero to this play, as everyone had their flaws and none were able to save those who died at Medea’s hands.

As in the odyssey, the theme of deception was prominent, though it played a significantly different role. Medea lied without any trouble, and was hardly questioned at all when her nature changed from angry and bitter to accepting and pleading. It all seemed a bit too easy for her to complete her murders, and I wondered why she waited to extract her revenge. Was it really being exiled that pushed her over the edge and into scheming? Perhaps that was just the final motivation she needed to truly feel guiltless about killing.

I enjoyed reading it, and would definitely like to explore the portrayal of this betrayed woman who becomes a rampaging murderess.


After Homer this was – short. Yet at the same time just as exhausting and long. While the Odyssey had a relatively happy ending this play was just one big tragedy. After reading this I am rendered both thoughtful and without thought. As terrible as it is that Jason left Medea for another woman – and a kingship – Medea’s revenge and way of exacting her revenge did not exactly allow the reader to feel more than a little sympathy for her. She did not necessarily need to kill everyone nor did she need to bring her innocent children into the mess which was between her and Jason. Killing her own children just to spite Jason and save them from the peril she placed them in is a terrible and mad thing to do. To me her anger and sadness has driven her into a mad, rage-filled journey of her own where she goes from abandoned, exiled wife into a vengeful woman. While I think Jason was completely wrong to leave Medea and allow the King to not only take her husband away but also exile her – do all the years of togetherness just suddenly disappear at the sight or thought of something like a kingdom or a princess? Is that how shallow and selfish people can be? Perhaps I could say that Jason did not really have a choice because the King made it so, but every person has a choice as well. Its not as if he couldn’t have said no, or perhaps he could have, but at the same time he could have fled the country or found another way in which his family wasn’t broken, his wife wasn’t exiled.

Medea might have been a character to be sympathized with and she was even promised a house and a place to live and peace by a friend but instead she is just unwilling to accept defeat and in order to torture and hurt Jason like he has hurt her she plans something totally horrific and decides to not only kill the other woman (who being a woman in ancient Greece might not have had as much power over the decision as Medea gave her ) but to allow her children to carry the poison. By the end of the play you’re left with a kind of hollow feeling, there is no happy ending and both are made to suffer for the choices they have made. There is a dash of reality and a large amount of madness in the play and yet at the same time it is just one big disaster – none make it out alive or unhurt. It is thought provoking as to how some actions can lead to such large and disastrous consequences…


What a short read. I could truly appreciate the shortened work in contrast to the Odyssey. getting into the reading, what did I like about it? I thought the play was surprisingly interesting due to its intensity. I am not used to being presented with such aggressive reproach in plays i have seen and read. Medea shows the insanity that many of us have but escalated in a way that is not of the norm. i believe she makes it very clear to us as to who is the monster in this book. Upon first glance at the reading, one may think that Medea is the victim. She has been abandoned by her husband, Jason. However, we later realize that Medea shows levels of insanity. She turns herself into a villain by attempting to punish Jason. The conclusion of the play goes to show that Jason does not feel regret over leaving Medea; he feels regret over marrying Medea in the first place. This ironic twist shows insight into the idea of “having nothing to lose” which is often times false. Medea lost even more by attempting, and succeeding in the execution of her plan. she could have simply mourned the loss of Jason but she chose rather, to kill her children as well. This near-sighted approach left her in an even more emotionally entangled situation.

Another view one may take in discussing the implications of this novel is the dangers of divorce. Most would argue that divorce is a position one should make efforts to avoid. Back in the time that this play was produced, an even stronger view was placed on divorce. One could view the play as a  mild warning for those who take the route of divorce. Medea may simply be emphasized into a play in order to show the danger and possibilities for disaster proceeding from breaking the heart.

Again, although a short read, many fantastic ideas can be extracted and elaborated on within this play.