Medea Criticism Review
In the article The Secret of Medea's Success by J. O. De G. Hanson, it is explained why Medea is the only wicked character in a Greek drama who does not suffer a penalty.
Hanson further describes his main idea that Medea is able to avoid penalty for her actions by analyzing and using examples of Medea’s use of her “awareness of a soft spot to her immense advantage.”(55) Hanson explains how Medea escapes from penalty from her father by using his love of his children to her advantage. Medea murders her brother Absyrtos, chops him to pieces, and scatters him across the ocean because she is aware of “a loving father's grief and no doubt the importance of a proper burial in the ancient world.”(56) She knows her father will try to collect Absyrtos’s pieces and try to give him a proper burial, which will give her and the Greeks the opportunity to escape. Absyrtos’s murder and Medea’s escape results in Medea’s discovery “that parents, especially fathers, have a great affection for their children.”(56) Her understanding of this discovery as “their weakest spot” (56) provides her the opportunity for further exploitation. Hanson also explains how Medea uses the appeal of her own children to execute her plans of vengeance. In order to persuade Creon into giving her another day to stay in Greece, Medea “directly appeals to Creon's own fatherhood and concern for his children.”(58) Medea’s persuasive strategy proves to be successful because Creon is another man who proves that his affection for his child is his weakest soft spot. His approval of the extra day also gives Medea a chance to plot her escape after she kills her children, Creon, and his daughter. Her use of children proves to be “cardinal in the successful accomplishment use of her purposes.”(59) Medea once again uses her own children to deliver the Corinthian princess’s death in the form