Jason and Medea Essay

Words: 874
Pages: 4

The Chorus delivers these final lines of Euripides’s Medea, “…the end men look for cometh not, / And a path is there where no man thought; so hath it fallen here.” (Euripides, 80) This quotation not only signifies the events, which have transpired in the plot of Medea, it also shows the recognition of a very curious aspect of Medea: that the protagonist of the play, Medea, is not the tragic hero. A tragic hero by Aristotelian standards is one who possesses a driving aspect– or hamartia – which causes his or her downfall, who endures a reversal of fortunes leading to immense suffering – called peripeteia, and who undergoes an anagnorisis: a profound change or realization. Medea does not have any of these attributes. Instead, it is …show more content…
He believes that he is fully in control of every action within the play. His tragic realization comes when he confronts Medea after he learns of the death of his children. He comes to terms with his children’s death and finally understands that events are not always within his control. “Thou, Zuis, wilt hear me. All is said / For naught. I am but spurned away / And trampled by this tigress, red / With children’s blood. Yet, come what may, / So far as thou hast granted” (79). Here, Jason relents the remainder of his life to the gods, asking not his own strength to exact revenge as he would have done in the past, but of the Gods to exact their own heavenly revenge. Jason is left alone to die at the end of Medea. He has no hope for a future, no happiness to revel in, and nothing to look forward to. He embodies every aspect of the Aristotelian tragic hero. While he is not the protagonist and, therefore, unsympathetic, the audience still feels fear that a similar fate will await them if they are too overconfident in their actions. Through a tragic flaw, immense suffering, and a tragic realization, Jason becomes the tragic hero of Euripides’s Medea

Works Cited

Euripides. Medea (G. Murray, Trans.). New York: Oxford University Press, 1912. archive.org. 1 June, 2008