Medea Euripides Analysis

So long as the enormous passion of the tragic heroine of the play is known as, Euripides's Medea is a work of pathetic tragedy from Aristotle's viewpoint. It opens up with a major conflict between your heroine and her husband; the anger of a female hero for her dishonest hubby.

Throughout the play, we see the culmination of anger and hatred rising to a spot where everything dissolves and an anticlimactic end is accomplished through the deposition of revenge in Medea. This is really a shortcoming for a piece of tragedy since it does not reach to optimum quality and complexity from a story as Aristotle would term it. The most important essential aspect in tragedy is its story, the imitation of action. Due to the faulty treatment of the subject in hand, Euripides does not achieve a intricate storyline in Medea. When Aristotle plunges into the components of a plot that make it intricate, he cites three necessary elements successively; reversal of objective, identification, and catastrophe. Accordingly, both reversal of intention and popularity must go hand in hand in a cause-and-effect string that ultimately subsequently creates the catastrophe in the play to discover the best effect. Yet, in Medea, we can view no real reversal of motive as Medea is well identified for taking revenge from Jason in some way or the other from the very start. Although there can be an event where Medea directs her anger over her own children, this occurs in this unexpected manner that it is difficult to contemplate it as a reversal of goal because there is no reasonable justification or recognition for it to come afterwards. This unquestionably ends in Medea lacking a recognition as there is absolutely no reversal of goal that precedes it. Medea already knows about the marriage of Jason to Creon's daughter, and there is no other slight recognition that may be said to change the lot of money of the tragic heroine. One could say that Aegeus's confidence of security in Athens for Medea is a breakthrough that allowed Medea to further carry on with her programs, but this is somewhat questionable even as can clearly notice that she is driven to perform her planned situation whether or not Aegeus's quick appearance was included. The sole surprising event that people can find remarkable is when Medea slays her own children. This action is the one and only tragic occurrence that Aristotle would see as tragic. If this one in support of tragic element did not exist, we could hardly say that Euripides's Medea was a tragedy even with a simple storyline. But again, a unusual event can be favored only when it includes relevance and a cause-and-effect relationship with the plot. That's however nearly the situation for Medea's decision to kill her children. Nevertheless, the intended action is carried out in the long run by the heroin, an action that is preferable to intending and not doing. When Aristotle involves the skill of your tragedian to create a perfect unified play, he stresses the importance of firstly the complication, and second, the unraveling of the story. To him, the best tragedian is person who can succeed in making both of these parts evenly well. But as long as in Medea there is no reversal of purpose and recognition except for a simple catastrophe, the unraveling lacks the magnitude of the problem where Medea strategically makes plans, prepares for revenge, and tries to survive the pain.

Moreover, the denouement of the play by the Deus ex lover Machina, a God interfering and allowing Medea to escape with a chariot, is very irrational for Aristotle as it does not arise from the plot naturally. The Deus ex Machina found in Medea can be seen as faulty from another point which features to Aristotle's moral understanding. Medea's get away or somewhat success is morally not satisfactory as she commits a cruel deed in eradicating her own children. We know that she actually is a descendent of a god and it is the daughter of a king. But apart from such circumstances she actually is in, she is in reality no much better than us. Her tragic flaws such as extreme enthusiasm and anger all surpass being small frailties nonetheless they are rather vices. Though we see Medea's feelings of suffering through the noticeable evils of Jason, it is not possible for the audience to sympathize with a kid murderess. Additionally, days gone by life of Medea is also packed with blood and sin that are reminded to us every once in awhile either by the Chorus and even Medea herself. This finally results the significant problem of Medea as a tragedy, as it fails in invoking catharsis to the audience only a small amount thoughts of pity or fear can be aroused by the downfall of utter villain.

In Medea there is merely one major story which gives it a credit as a tragedy in Aristotelian terms. The struggle between a dishonest man and a sorceress feminine is the best simple basis of the plot. We don't see the level of intricacy and perfection that Aristotle would seek, but our attention is not lost as Euripides will do well us to be centered on the keen angers and emotions of Medea throughout the whole play. Thus, the effect of tragedy is to a somewhat certain extent achieved in Medea but nonetheless fails in the main and most important goal; the emotional cleansing that the audience is meant to feel towards Medea.

Statement of Intent

Euripides's Medea revolves around the central love of revenge towards her adversaries by the key protagonist, Medea because of this of her husband, Jason's betrayal towards her by an proposal to the princess of Creon, King of Corinth.

I made a decision to write a critical overview of Medea through an Aristotelian perspective as to how Aristotle would criticize it if he previously the opportunity. As Medea was dissimilar to the Aristotelian tragedies of the time, I expected that the Athenian audience would have responded in confusion and disfavor. I required Aristotle's works of the Poetics as a backbone to my criticism.

I tried to help make the review critical in the sense which it not only only explains as to the way the elements in Medea differ from Aristotle's theory of tragedy, but endeavors in exploring as to what results were lost and just why it mattered. In the early stages of my review, I criticize how Euripides's failing in building a complex story of the one that Aristotle would expect leads to how Medea's personality is portrayed in a very limited and monotone way her fate is seemingly doomed to lead to the final catastrophe from the very start. By splitting up the composition and analyzing its lack of Aristotelian principles of tragedy in Medea, it allows someone to lead to the discovery that the common understanding of Medea as a tragedy is really an oversimplification and you can even come to the final outcome that it hardly qualifies to be even a tragedy by Aristotelian understanding. The criticisms on the structural element of storyline in Medea hyperlink into the characteristic flaws of Medea through my criticisms towards Euripides's use of the Deus former mate Machina to resolve the storyline in the final moments of the play. This immediate denouement in the play would strongly matter to Aristotle as its irrational manner would lack a unity where in fact the action of each event leads undoubtedly to another in a structurally self-contained manner that is connected by internal necessity, not by external interventions including the one used by Euripides. Additionally, the Deus ex girlfriend or boyfriend Machina gets the strongest effect on the audience in which it ultimately fails to invoke the tragic thoughts of pity and sympathy in the form of a catharsis towards protagonist despite Euripides's endeavors at doing this through the easily noticeable exposures of Jason's atrocities. This failure isn't just just simply due to the immoral nature in which Medea kills her children, but from the fact that her life is packed with atrocities which she does not seem to feel guilty as she confesses in her quarrel with Jason, "I lit the way for your get away. . . I betrayed my father and my home. . . I killed King Pelias. . . All this I did for you. Therefore you, foulest of men, have betrayed me". (P33, Lines 460-468)

Despite all the criticism that I have directed at Euripides in my review, I do give credit to Euripides as to how he still handles to grasp your hands on the audience's attention and involvement in the play.

Nevertheless however, I still conclude with the Aristotelian perspective that the play still lacks the magnitude and excellence that Aristotle could have expected, which eventually lead to my greatest criticism that Euripides fails in creating the result of convincement towards his audience to sympathize with Medea's emotions through catharsis.

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