Why Medea Is a Tragedy Worthy of Studying

Published: 2021-06-29 07:01:36
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Category: English

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Medea' is a tragedy worthy of studying as certain elements of tragedy within the play deal with the fundamental aspects of human tragedy within modern society, which allows the audience to relate to it. Euripides' use of the fatal flaw is an essential key element of tragedy, which suggests whether all who we perceive to be 'great' has a weakness that will inevitably cause their downfall. Despite a change in context, the audience of a modern society is still able to relate to this notion as our society often questions whether humanity itself is so flawed that we will inevitably cause our own downfall. Furthermore, Euripides' play conveys the idea that human life was not controlled by our choices but rather it was the Gods who orchestrated lives. This question still arises within the modern society as we often wonder whether our destiny is made up of human choice or whether it is controlled by the Gods. The questionable nature of the 'heroes' within 'Medea' concludes that tragedy and suffering are the hallmark of our lives. The audience of the modern society can also relate to this, which is shown through the terrible wars and destruction of nature in the last century.

Euripides' use of the fatal flaw within his play suggests that even those who we perceive to be great will have an inevitable 'flaw' that will ultimately cause their downfall. This concept arises in the modern audience as we wonder if humanity is flawed enough for us to be the architects of our own tragedy. Medea's tragic flaw of excessive passion ultimately leads to her downfall and is constructed by her anger and selfishness. Her anger is triggered through Jason's abandonment and the degree of her flaw is represented through her emotive outbursts as she claims to "work revenge on Jason for his wrong to [her]", which emphasizes her determination to take revenge on Jason. It is through Medea's passion, driven by her rage that causes her to commit murder with "a deadly poison". Medea's other tragic flaw, her selfishness, is illustrated through descriptive language as she decides to wreak a "fearsome deed upon [her] sons" in order to "deal Jason the deepest wound". She does not consider the lives of her sons or the pain that may derive from her act as she is too concerned with taking "away [Jason's] smile". Both of these factors contributing to her tragic flaw ultimately lead to Medea's downfall as she escapes from Corinth, flying from her "darling children's blood".
Euripides use of pathos throughout his play is evident, which is another key element for the plot of a tragedy. Medea expresses she is going to "kill [her] sons" in the process of her plan as she is able to "endure guilt, however horrible". However the chorus, symbolizing the modern audience's thoughts and questions about our own humanity, evoke emotions of anger and disgust from this decision as they emotively question how Medea can "dip in their blood" with her hand when they are "at thy feet for mercy", representing the question drawn from the audience whether we are destined to cause our own downfall. Aristotle's conventional aspects of tragedy, the tragic flaw and pathos, are seen within Euripides' play which can be related to by the modern audeince, making it a tragedy worthy of studying.


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