Study Guide

Medea Marriage

By Euripides


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

  1. How were ancient Greek ideas of marriage different from modern concepts? How are they similar?
  2. What overall view of marriage does the play seem to take?
  3. Was Jason's second marriage truly a betrayal? Why or why not?
  4. 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.