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Critical Analysis of Medea

Critical Analysis of Medea

In the play Medea, the character gives many hints throughout the play of her final act of vengeance. As the story progresses the necessity for Medea to seek revenge also builds inside of her. The first signs of Medea’s potential behavior appear at the beginning of the play when the Nurse tells how Medea is terribly hurt. The Nurse says of Medea’s behavior, “But Medea lies in the house, broken with pain and rage; she will neither eat nor drink” (I 14). When someone is as badly hurt as Medea, it is only natural human behavior to want revenge. In her past, Medea has killed her family members and others to get what she wants. Although the clue is subtle, it is the first signs of her potential behavior. Continuing, further through the play, Medea offers more signs of her future behavior. Medea screams out in her mind about what she will do, “What I need: all dead, all dead, all dead, under the great cold stones. For a year and a thousand years and another thousand: cold as stones, cold, but noble again, proud, strait, and silent, crimson-cloaked in the blood of our wounds” (I 57). Medea wants all that have betrayed her to be dead. She is saying that once it has all been completed she will be proud, strait, and noble. This self-reflection is a major clue earlier in the story about what her later actions will be. Furthermore, Medea comes right out and tells Jason that something is going to happen. While Medea and Jason are talking about their children Medea trembles and says, “Something might happen. It is…likely…that something might happen to the bride and the marriage” (I 278). In this conversation, Medea bluntly tells Jason that something will happen to disrupt his marriage and she will have vengeance for what Jason has done to her. The final behaviors of Medea can be seen throughout the story on several occasions.

The three Corinthian women in Medea are similar and dissimilar to the Chorus/Choragus in Oedipus Rex. First, the two share common responsibilities as they both contribute to foreshadowing in the plays. In Oedipus Rex, the Choragus speaks after Jocasta storms out of the room, “Why has she left us Oedipus? Why has...

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