Medea — Medea’s Inability to Control Her Emotions Is the True Reason for the Tragedy in This Play.

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Created for the festival of Dionysus in 431 BC, Medea is a controversial study of impassioned love turned into furious hatred. It examines the liability of various characters for the final tragedy of the play, whence Medea butchers her two innocent children. It also disregards the concept of ‘heroes’ common to dramas in Euripides time. The clash of two contrasting characters — one, a barbarian woman with extreme emotional reactions, and her husband, a vain man of civilisation who lacks empathy — allows Euripides to explore whether it is the heart or the head that drives humans to commit inhumane acts. Medea’s extreme emotional attachments can only be expressed through extreme measures. Circumstance causes her to fall in love with Jason, and when she does, he becomes the centre of her emotional universe — even when he spurns her and that love turns to hate, the man continues on as the zenith in her heart, the motivation behind her actions. When Jason takes another wife, Medea can no longer justify the wrongs she committed in the name of their love. The sheer force of her grief and remorse inspires her to ‘surrender to anguish’, and she gives voice to wretched lamentations that outline her vicious intent towards the royal house. Fearing that Medea will do ‘some irreparable harm to (his) daughter’, Creon banishes her from his land, setting in motion a chain of events that lead to the final tragedy of the play. If Medea had reigned in her emotions when she first heard the news of how she’d been betrayed, she would never have been exiled or prompted to take sword to her children. Medea’s emotions can be found at the root of the troubles in the drama. However, there are situations where Medea is able to exercise control over her volatile feelings with relative ease. This is made evident in the first act, when she ‘walks out (of the house)’ after her lamentations ‘and

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