Medea Fifth Episode & Exodus

Fifth Episode:

Chart the vacillation of Medea in this scene.

Medea vacillates on her decision of killing her children, vacillating between her role as a mother or a wife being abandoned and betrayed. Although Medea is portrayed as a revengeful women throughout the play, emphasising on her miserable life, she is also a mother. The maternal nature makes her hesitate to kill her children as revenge, which can be seen from she weeping in front of when she mentioned their children. This reveals the softness deep in her heart that she still has love for her children, and she’s pitiful towards them. However, this love is then predominated by her hate and revenge, that she still decides to kill them to make Jason regret and grief for his whole life. This suggests that Medea is a self-centered woman who placed her emotions above all the other people and morals.



The final scene of Medea has been much debated. What are your responses to the ways in which Euripides ends the play?

Euripides ends the play with the chorus summarizing the tragedy – He’s the most objective person who didn’t actually involved in the conflict, so he acts as a bystander of the story. This suggests that Euripides doesn’t illustrate the story as either black or white, but leaving the room for the audience to have their own interpretations and judgments. He basically just presents the story without leading the audience to a certain perspective, which gives the audience more freedom in thinking. For me personally, I think the tragedy is caused by mutual parties – Medea, Jason, Creon, the princess, and the society at that time. Jason shouldn’t abandon Medea for his own goods; whilst Medea shouldn’t let her hatred dominate her rationality to kill her own children, and not even the princess or Creon. If anyone make a compromise or consider others’ feelings, the tragedy wouldn’t happen, but they all just cared about themselves, which makes the innocent children eventually being the ones who got sacrificed. This story really makes me reflect on how terrible things might happen if people let themselves dominated by extreme emotions, just like Medea.

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