Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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Euripides wrote a story of reason versus passion. The play goes by the name of Medea. He writes in a way that uses the myth in order to engage in an intellectual debate. He uses two particular characters to represent two responses to life; he uses Medea and Jason as the two representatives.

The play endorses the premise that only by abiding the will of the Gods can a man live safely. The Nurse's choice, ``the middle way'', keeps her safe in this world, but when we look at Jason and Medea, we see characters who represent extremes: one of icy pragmatism un-tempered by human emotion, the other of emotion un-moderated by the veneer of civilization.

Both Medea and Jason constantly appeal to the gods; each is convinced the gods must be on their side. Euripides makes it clear, though, that it is Medea who instinctively knows what the gods require.

Medea is cruel, primitive, irrational, passionate, and lays waste the respectable, prosperous life that Jason aspires to. Words such as right and wrong are used clearly, but these words are used to describe Jason's actions. Jason's control is cold and inhuman, his plans are self-seeking.

In Medea, Euripides creates a very strong sense of place and of what those places represent. In the play's first speech, the Nurse regrets not only the voyage of the Argo, but also Medea's presence in Corinth. Medea's loss of her home becomes as an issue of less importance. She is ``mad with love'', and this has quenched her fires for many years. This loss of herself is suggested when the Nurse describes her married years; she has been ``all/obedience''. This line emphasizes how she has submitted herself to Jason. Euripides suggests that by transforming herself into the sort of wife required by...

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