Medea by Euripides
There are many elements in literature that complete a piece of work but a character gives reasoning and development to a plot. In a tragedy, we observe the characters thoughts, actions and words and usually, they add suspense to the story line and urge us to keep reading, especially in a tragedy. A tragic hero is defined as “a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy that is destined for downfall, suffering or defeat (Tragic Hero).” Medea is a tragic heroine but only to a certain extent because while she was courageous, it ultimately led to destruction.
A hero can be defined as “a man of distinguished courage of ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.”(Hero).” Medea portrays courage in many different ways. One way was by leaving her home to be with her husband. As she was not of high birth she had no guarantee of being able to provide food, clothing, or shelter to her children should a situation arise and she was left alone. She then found out that her husband had engaged in a relationship with the King’s daughter and intended to marry her. The King planned to exile her because of the way she behaved concerning the situation. She was expected to just step aside and watch her husband and children be taken away from her after she sacrificed everything to have a life with him. But, because of her courage, she stayed, and thus began the happenings that led to her downfall.
According to Aristotle, a tragic hero is a character, usually of high birth, who is neither totally good nor totally evil, and whose downfall is brought about by a tragic weakness or error in judgment. Medea’s downfall is brought on by a result of both. Medea exhibited hamartia here as she allowed the anger and bitterness she felt toward Jason, her husband, to convince herself that punishment, in any shape or form, was completely justifiable. She plotted to kill the King, his daughter, and both of her children to punish him for the way he...