Medea, the ancient Greek tragedy, written by Euripides opens in a state of conflict. Jason abandons Medea, his wife, and their two kids. He remarries with the daughter of Creon (the King of Corinth) in the hope of advancing his station. Series of events in the play ensue out of this initial dilemma, and Jason, Medea, and Glauce (the King’s daughter) become the fundamental characters. In terms of the social and human significance, the play has captured the inhumanity within individuals in a societal setting. Incidentally, the very inhuman nature of an individual can convincingly wear an immediate and a rather human face of someone of Jason, Medea, or Creon’s personality. It further underscores how people abuse or reject the social conventions of hospitality, gift-giving, and non-social forces.
Three main characters abuse these fundamental aspects of social convention in pursuit of discourteous and insulting ends. Their quests culminate in atrocious and horrendous outcomes and acts of inhumanity. Language is clearly the paramount social convention in the play, and functions as a means or medium for the optical illusion of civilization that envelops humanity. Jason and Creon undermine the basic privileges of a conventional social life by rejecting, expelling and extinguishing Medea’s capacity to belong.
Medea is conceivably one of the Greek tragedy plays with an outstanding artistic quality. As a terrific masterpiece of classical Greek theater, it is considered in modern times as one of the finest feminist plays. The author of Medea has managed to build a great plot, a collection of dynamic characters, thought process, spectacle, and melody. The tragedy has a comprehensible arrangement of events, which include an opening, the middle, and an ending. The characters themselves such as Jason, Medea, Creon, Glauce, and the children are true to their social class, roles, and nature. They play significant role in building of the plot through mistakes and choices that they make that trigger a chain of events. Medea is the princess and sorcerer from the territory of barbarians, Jason as the adventurer and villain in the play, children as green and oblivious to tribulations that surround them, whereas Glauce is the beautiful princess whose acceptance of a dress and coronet results to first murder of the drama. They contribute to the development of popular themes of Greek plays such as manipulation, cleverness, passion and rage, and revenge.
The tragedy is closely related to the theater going by the elements of characterization, plot analysis, the melody, thought, genre, and setting. Characters reveal their true nature, and this helps in articulating themes of Medea. Just like many other classical plays of the ancient Greece, the play exhibits a choral element during interludes. The chorus serves the role of another character and besides, it contributes to plot unity and comment or ridicule the action.
Two main characters, Medea and Jason, have shown exemplary performances throughout the play. Jason and Media were once married, and had two children between them. Medea used the influence and powers that she had to help Jason secure the Golden Fleece. Although a disputed villain of the play, Jason’s evil is primarily a result of a weakness rather than strength. He abandons his own family for another woman, and Medea (his estranged wife) immediately begins a revenge mission that results to series of killings and a sad ending to the play.
Both performers convey a convincing interpretation considering their movements, gesture, and voice. Medea’s interaction with other characters is a reflection of a suicidal despair that transformed to sadistic fury. She kills her own brother and children. The first significant interaction between Jason and Medea resulted to the former securing the Golden Fleece. Jason’s troubles begin the moment she decides to abandon his wife for Glauce (Creon’s daughter).
I liked Medea the most and Jason the least. She displayed a breathtaking performance, which was typical of a furious mother on a mission to tame her opportunistic and inconsiderate husband. Jason’s decision to leave the mother of his children for Glauce does not reflect true picture of a responsible and caring husband.