Effect of Love, Lies and Infidelity in Medea

What is love after the heart is broken? The best way, but not the most legal way today, is to follow the footsteps of Euripides’ character, Medea. In the story Medea, love makes a person do crazy things and when love is torn apart, the fire becomes more intense. During the time that the story was written, women and men did not have equal rights. Women were looked down on and treated poorly by men. However, Medea is a character that overcame that mistreatment as a woman. Love can be sweet and bitter. In the story, Medea, it can be argued that love, lies, and infidelity can have a psychological effect on the mind.

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 Based on the story, Medea, love can have a psychological effect on the mind. It is true. Love can make a person do crazy things. In the story, the past of Medea and Jason is mentioned because it is significant to the rest of the psychological breakdown. The nurse of Medea says that “My mistress then, / Medea, never would have sailed away to reach the towers of Iolcus’ land, / the sight of Jason never would have stunned her spirit with desire. / She would have never persuaded Pelias’ daughters to kill their father, / never had to come to this land-Corinth” (Euripides 7- 13). This is a perfect example that explains how a person will go head over heels to have someone that he or she can love with a hope to feel the same affection. The primary purpose of love is to give and to receive the same in return, but when that person does not care to show that same affection that is being given, then that is when the issue begins. With Medea, love made her do things that are hateful and deceitful to her family. According to Susanna Federici-Nebbiosi, Ph.D., Medea, the character, suffers from a rage of love. In her article, “Earth, Speak to Me, Grass, Speak to Me!” Trauma, Tragedy, and the Crash Between Cultures in Medea, she states that “Medea’s actions are irrational, meaning that they do not follow the logic of reason, but they are driven by a powerful logic of passion” (Federici-Nebbiosi 465). Is a man that worthy to make a woman despise her loved ones? Jason never loved Medea. If he did, then he would have never put her through such a tough and depressing situation.

 Lies are told everyday by almost everyone, but are they worth telling? If Jason would have known that it would end every good thing he had, then he probably would have never lied to Medea. Lies can tear a person apart because of the hurt and pain that is caused from it. Not only does it cause hurt and pain, but it makes people do things that they would normally not do, like Medea. While speaking aloud, she says that “The pain that I have suffered, I have suffered so much, / worth oceans of weeping. O children, accursed, / may you die- with your father! Your mother is hateful. / Go to hell, the whole household! Every last one” (Euripides 117-120). Therefore, being lied to is a stimulant that pushes the mind to react differently. When a relationship is first formed, there are a ton of promises that are made, but these promises are usually not all the way carried out. Lies began to form which causes those promises to be broken. With Jason and Medea, Jason found it easier to lie to Medea in hopes to make her fine with the situation. However, his plan did not work. She even mentions to Jason that if he was marrying another woman to help his family live a better life, then he would have spoken to her about it before deciding on it beforehand. Because Medea’s mind was already aware that Jason would be moving on to marry and live with another woman, nothing he says can be used to make the situation better or change Medea’s attitude about the mess that Jason has stirred up.

 Infidelity is when there is an affair between a spouse in a relationship. However, the definition for everyone is different because each circumstance varies. Often, infidelity causes a rage of jealousy. According to the statement by Daly, Wilson, and Weghorst used in the Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, “…jealousy is defined as an emotional ‘state that is aroused by a perceived threat to a valued relationship or position and motivated behavior aimed at countering the threat’” (Urooj 422).  When a couple is about to get married, each person says their vows to one another. Those vows are made to ensure to both people in the relationship that they will always be there for each other, no matter what. When Jason broke those vows by having an affair, he tried making excuses for it to make it seem like a good thing. He tries to explain to Medea and says to her that “It is not that I despised / your bed- the thought that irritates you most-/ or trying to compete with anyone-/ to win the prize for having the most children. / I have enough- no reason to complain. / My motive was the best: so we would live well/ and not be poor. I know that everyone/ avoids a needy friend” (Euripides 569-577). Medea did not handle the infidelity lightly, and it almost seems as if Jason tries to blame Medea for all the horrific destruction that happens. Jason coldheartedly says, “But you’re a woman-and you are all the same! / If everything goes well between the sheets / you think you have it all. / But let there be / some setback or disaster in the bedroom / and suddenly you go to war against / the things that you should value the most. I mean it- / men should really have some other method / for getting children. The whole female race / should not exist. It is nothing but a nuisance” (Euripides 587- 595). Isn’t it like a man or anyone to find someone else to blame other than themselves? With all of this occurring and being said to Medea, in the inside she is losing her mind, but on the outside, she is keeping her composure and reassuring herself and Jason that everything will be okay, when it is going to be the total opposite of “okay”.

 In conclusion, it can be argued that love, lies, and infidelity can have a psychological effect on the mind. Medea was driven to a very darken place from being in a relationship and marriage with someone who did not appreciate her value as a wife and mother. Because of this, she did things that most people may argue against after reading the story, such as killing her kids, which is the best revenge anyone can give back to their spouse. If the whole situation is really thought out, then it can be understood that Medea’s damaged mind was in control of all the terrible things that happened. She suffered from heartbreak which caused her to react differently in her surroundings. Medea did what she had to do and went away leaving and gaining much pain from it all.

Works Cited

Euripides. “Medea.” Translated by Diane Arnson Svarlien. The Norton Anthology of World Literature: Volume 1. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. pp. 528-564.

Federici-Nebbiosi, Susanna. “‘Earth, Speak to Me, Grass, Speak to Me!’ Trauma, Tragedy, and the Crash Between Cultures in Medea.” Psychoanalytic Dialogues, vol. 16, no. 4, July 2006, pp. 465–480. 

Urooj, Anum, et al. “Perception of Emotional and Sexual Infidelity among Married Men and Women.” Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, vol. 30, no. 2, Winter 2015, pp. 421–439.

 

Medea by Euripides | Plot Summary

Crazed Mother
Medea relates to real life if you watch the news and hear about ex-lovers ending their relationships with murder or suicide. Medea is willing to sacrifice everything to make her revenge perfect. Medea shows her complete necessity for revenge when she says, “anyone running between me and my justice will reap what no man wants.” Not only does she kill two children, she kills her own two innocent children, because she does not want the kids in Jason’s hands. This type of crazed revenge is seen too often in today’s society. The play Medea can be interpreted as a crazy mother who takes her heart broken anger out on her own innocent children.

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At the beginning of the play, the Nurse talks about the years when Medea and Jason were in love. She mentions how she was broken by saying, “but Jason has turned from her; he calls the old bond a barbarian mating, not a Greek marriage.” Jason harshly betrays Medea and it is obvious that it is going to lead to violence and rage when Medea says, “And when I have ruined the whole of Jason’s house, I shall leave the land and flee from the murder of my Dear children, and I shall have done a dreadful deed.” Medea has set her plan to ruin Jason’s life by taking her childrens’.
Jason is very arrogant, but is he really the hero he is made up to be? Medea knows she made Jason who he is when she says, “I gave him success and fame; I saved him his precious life, not once, many times…I betrayed my father for him, I killed my brother to save him.” The reason why Jason is where he is at in his life is because of Medea. She did all the dirty work for Jason, but he repays her by running off and marrying the beautiful girl. Jason does not understand that the reason he holds power is from Medea. This arrogance is one of the reasons why Medea is so enraged at Jason.
Medea gives many hints throughout the play of her final act of retaliation. As the story progresses the need to seek revenge also builds inside of her. The initial signs of Medea’s potential behavior appear at the beginning of the play when the Nurse tells how Medea is emotionally hurt. The Nurse says, “But Medea lies in the house, broken with pain and rage; she will neither eat nor drink.” It is completely natural to want revenge on something that has stung you in the past. Medea comes right out and tells Jason that something is going to happen, “Something might happen. It is…likely…that something might happen to the bride and the marriage.” Medea bluntly tells Jason that something will happen to disrupt his marriage and she will have revenge for what Jason has done to her.
Medea showed her first signs of craziness when she killed her family members and others to get what she wanted. She offers more signs of her future behavior when she 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.” Medea wants all that have betrayed her to be dead. Even though Jason is still living, his pride and everything he had, like his children and the princess, is dead. She says that once it has all been completed she will be proud, and noble. This self-reflection is a major give away toward her crazy inner soul.
In Medea, the three Corinthian women often show signs that they are afraid of Medea. One of the Corinthian women says, “They say she is dangerous. Look at her eyes.” The women tell us that Medea is filled with crazed rage and will do something dangerous. One of the Corinthian women says, “Women hate war, but men will wage it again. Women may hate their husbands, and sons, and fathers, but women will never hate their children.” This statement says that Medea will hate her husband, but she did not hate her children even though she killed them, and this is ultimately what makes her crazy.
Medea also shows many heroic qualities, especially when she is willing to kill her own brother to be with Jason. When she kills her brother, she shows that she is willing to do whatever is necessary to get the job done. Medea has been not only cheated, but also betrayed by Jason. She will not tolerate this abuse from him and does something about it. Medea says to Creon, “You see a woman driven half mad with sorrow, laboring to save her little children.” Medea builds up enough courage to confront Jason and get revenge.
There are two main reasons why Medea decides to kill her children. The first is that she feels that it is a perfect way to complement the death of the princess in getting revenge on Jason. When she tells the chorus of the plans to kill the children, they wonder if she has the heart to kill her children, and Medea answers, “yes, for this is the best way to wound my husband.” This shows that she believes that by killing her children, she will basically ruin Jason’s life and succeed in her revenge. The second reason for Medea killing her children has nothing to do with revenge. If she left her children with Jason, they would be living in a society that would look down upon them since they do not have pure goddess origins. Since she does not want to leave her children with Jason, they really have no place else to go, “my children, there is none who can give them safety.” Medea decides that killing her children is the best way to get both revenge, and the assurance that her children are not in Jason’s hands.
Medea ends the play with her crazed mind when she stabs her two innocent kids to death. She confronts Jason with the dead children and taunts him as she walks on saying, “I do not leave my children’s bodies with thee; I take them with me that I may bury them in Hera’s precinct. And for thee, who didst me all that evil, I prophesy an evil doom.” Medea shows her craziness throughout the entire play.
 

The Role of Women in Medea by Euripides

In the ancient Greek tragedy Medea by Euripides, Jason is given the task to capture the Golden Fleece and needs Medea’s help for this task, so she helps him using her magical powers. Not only does she help him, she falls in love with him, and marries him. She also went against her family and left them “All those she betrayed / when she left with the man who now rejects her” (lines 32-33). Medea then makes plans to murder Pelias and the couple becomes exiled from Corinth. They have two children together, but Jason wants to become more powerful. He then leaves Medea to marry the princess of Corinth. He says he wants to give his children protection by fathering royal siblings. This leaves Medea feeling betrayed. From then on, she wants revenge. She planned to kill the mistress and her children to hurt Jason. Women of ancient Greek have limited roles and this makes Medea angry. These limitations causes her to act out. The role of ancient Greek women are not on the same level as Greek men.

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Traditions have caused men and women to determine certain gender roles in society. Gender roles are defined as what a person does (duties) and how the person expresses their feelings (emotions). The duty of ladies in Greek society is an important subject in Euripides’ Medea. In old Greek society, ladies are fragile and willing as indicated by men. Their economic interest comes second. Woman’s rights is the idea of men being dealt with in comparison to ladies and the male strength over these women. When Jason betrays Medea, she is a test to the conventional perspectives on old Greek society dependent on her activities. Medea disregards female characteristics and questions Jason’s beliefs. It’s a battle on the inside between herself and being a mother. In tragedies women usually play the main role because the author tries to highlight how women were being treated in that society. Euripides uses this to show a feministic perspective in his play. Medea showed both male and female tendencies.
Women are under the politics and influence of men. They want to do more and are smart enough to do more, but they cannot. Medea says “I would rather face battle/three times than go through childbirth once” (246-247). Women have two roles, being a housewife and being a mother. They are expected to stay in and take care of the house and children, while men do whatever they please. Men get to have sex with whomever they want and women are expected to be ok with it. Men also can do whatever they want to these women. For example “To make things worse, he gets to be the master of your body” (230). They are being mistreated and are not getting any justice for it, which also makes them angry. Women are behaving this way because of the circumstances they can’t control, and also having no control over their future.
Jason promises to marry Medea, but ends up abandoning her and their two sons “Deserting his children along with my mistress, / Jason climbed into a royal bed, / with the daughter of Creon, king of this land” (16-19). He likes when Medea does wicked things for him, but does not agree with it when she does it for herself. She does many things for Jason, and he betrays her by marrying someone else and doesn’t reward her for helping him.  Jason tries to justify the abandonment by saying the only reason he is leaving is to provide protection for his children by fathering royal siblings for them. He thinks of himself as a hero. This abandonment leaves Medea emotionally unstable “She stays in her bed and won’t eat; she hurts all over.” (25). In Medea’s mind, Jason is betraying her and she wants revenge. She is fed up with his actions and sets a goal to punish him. Medea’s love for Jason is strong and she is willing to destroy anything or anybody that gets in the way of that, including him. She refused to back down no matter the circumstances. She says, “He won’t see the children we had grow up/ and he won’t be able to have any more/ with his brand-new bride: no, she’s doomed/ to an agonizing death from my drugs” (786-789).
Medea is expected to serve two roles, being a wife and a mother. Now Jason is taking one of those roles from her. He says everything she has gained is from him. When Jason leaves her to marry the princess of Corinth, the wife role leaves as well. Now Medea is left with just being a mother. Women are taken as a joke and not equal to men. They have limited roles in their society. Medea’s revengeful actions are caused by these limitations. In the book she takes matters into her own hands by killing her own children, poisoning the mistress who she felt had come between her and her husband. At this day and age, it was not uncommon for women to experience infidelity within their marriages. Women were usually home tending to their children, while fathers were out working and making a living for their families. This too edifies why women may have felt powerless and belittled. Socially, legally, and politically restraint Medea still finds ways to challenge the male dominated world. She possesses multiple characteristics which poses her as a threat to the women and men in her community. “We women are the most unfortunate creatures,” she claims. Practically defending the idea that women are usually left with the short end of the stick.
In ancient Greek society ladies lived hard lives because of men’s based communities. Ladies were treated as property. Until about a young lady’s adolescents she was “claimed” by her dad or lived with her family. When the young lady got married she was controlled by her significant other alongside the entirety of her things. An old Greece young lady would marry around a 30-year-elderly person that she most likely never met. Numerous men didn’t see women as human beings, they saw them as animals that were made to create children, please men, and to satisfy their family household duties. In this society they believed that women were supposed to birth babies to add to the population, it was their job Medearelates to this because her two roles were being a wife and a mother.
In ancient Greek a woman was not be viewed as part of the family until she delivered her first child.  After she her first child, which was a hard and difficult process for a young lady to do, the spouse gets the opportunity to choose if the child is accepting or not. An infant would be left outside to pass on if the spouse was not happy with the baby. For the most part this would happen in light of the fact that the kid was undesirable, distinctive looking, or a girl. Women had no rights, they lived as slaves and serving men 24 hours every day. Ladies were shielded from society, limited to their spouses and their husband’s houses, shouting out for help and justice but there was nobody there to hear their shouts.
While men had gatherings and examined matters of administration, legislative issues, and war, ladies in ancient Greece were banished from taking an interest and were not permitted to give their input on any issues. It is really unexpected that the older men from Greece adopted this one-sided strategy towards their ladies, while being in favor of Athena, the goddess of war, law, equity, and wisdom.
Ladies were neither permitted to watch nor take an interest in open diversion like theater. It is accepted that men dressed up as ladies to complete the job during plays. The life of a lady was tied to her being a household wife. There her primary job was to be a respectful girl, a great spouse, and mother.
Young children were raised and cared for by medical caretakers or other female workers. These little girls were not urged to go outside, with the goal that their skin would stay pale. Paleness was a sign that the young lady came from a decent family. Also, young ladies were the only ones that were permitted to bring water from the wellspring house. These water houses were taken care of by women, and no man was permitted inside. These regular visits for recovering water was the main open door for these young ladies to associate with each other.
These women were encouraged to respect and care for their dad and future spouses. They were to cook, clean, bring up youngsters, and make material. Little knew how to read and write. If they did it was used to manage the house and religious writing. Rituals were led for young girls to assist them with making a smooth progress from girlhood into womanhood. One such strict rituals necessitated that young girls go about as pure to find a great husband.
Marriage didn’t take place after adolescence, except if the young lady had a place with a respectable family, or when her marriage had been organized when she was still a kid. The perfect age for a young lady to get hitched is 15 years. Her consent was not looked for before marriage, and she was offered to the man her dad considered reasonable for her. She was forced to get married. After an agreement has been acknowledged between the male individuals from either families, it was time. After marriage, she was to be an effective homemaker. Women were to please their significant other, and complete the work that they were assigned. Her greatest responsibility was to conceive an offspring, and she was not officially acknowledged as an individual from the family until her first youngster was conceived. Just the youngsters conceived from the spouses were viewed as authentic by the state. The spouse was looked down upon and abused in the event that she couldn’t bring forth a child. As a rule, the dads would not consider their little girls as a part of their youngsters, proceeding with the cycle of disregard that women of antiquated Greece had to endure.
Women of old Greece were not permitted to claim property yet and were qualified to give up their share. A spouse could decline his wife’s share in the event that she had submitted infidelity. Separation occurred when the spouse announced his goal to desert his wife before of an observer. The resolution to a divorce is to return the spouse to her father’s home, in which the husband would need to restore the settlement to his father in-law.
In conclusion learning what women went through during these times makes it easy to understand why Medea did the things she did, not saying what she did was right. Medea does many things that society thought women weren’t capable of. In this society they didn’t associate murder with women. However Medea committed many acts of this. She was limited to serving two roles, being a mother and wife. Jason left her for another, leaving her with just the mother role. Medea felt betrayed and her feelings were hurt. She wanted “justice” on how she was being treated. Women are limited to certain roles. They are powerful, but can be destructive and ruthless when they feel betrayed. Medea’s revengeful actions are caused by these limitations. In Spite of the many trials she faced, Medea is the perfect example of a modern American woman today would be for her family. Although her actions were and still could be considered as drastic measures but were for a great cause. For multiple reasons we could deem Medea as a negative figure throughout the tragedy, however her drive to overcome the labels placed upon women was a remarkable accomplishment that can be remembered by readers today and to come. Recognizing the actuality of her mistakes, makes for great historic moments for women today.
Works Cited

Euripides. Medea . The Norton Anthology of World Literature Shorter Third Edition. Vol 1, edited by Martin Puchner, et al., W. W. Norton, 2013, pp. 441-472.
Goff, Barbara E. Citizen Bacchae : Women’s Ritual Practice in Ancient Greece. University of     California Press, 2004. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,shib&db=e000xna&AN=119335&site=eds-live&scope=site.
Karanika, Andromache. Voices at Work : Women, Performance, and Labor in Ancient Greece. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,shib&db=cat06566a&AN=mga.997011403502955&site=eds-live&scope=site.
Loncarevic, Katarina. “A Feminist Philosopher on the Fringe of History: Ksenija Atanasijevic and Ancient Greek Philosophy.” Monist, vol. 98, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. 113–124. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1093/monist/onu002.
Scott, Michael. “The Rise of Women in Ancient Greece.” History Today, vol. 59, no. 11, Nov. 2009, pp. 36–40. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,shib&db=rgm&AN=504344335&site=eds-live&scope=site.