Medea is an extreme depiction of just how bad a marriage can go. It really doesn't get much worse than the marriage seen in this play. When Jason takes a new wife, Medea, his former wife takes revenge by killing four people, including their two sons. Indeed, the play doesn't exactly have a bright outlook on matrimony. In Medea the severing of a marriage releases the same destructive force as the sundered atom of a nuclear bomb.
Questions About Marriage
- How were ancient Greek ideas of marriage different from modern concepts? How are they similar?
- What overall view of marriage does the play seem to take?
- Was Jason's second marriage truly a betrayal? Why or why not?
- What power dynamic was present in ancient Greek marriages?
Chew on This
Medea can be interpreted as a searing indictment of the institution of marriage.
Euripides's two divorces are perhaps reflected in his cynical portrayal of marriage.