Study Guide

Jason and the Golden Fleece Medea

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Medea is probably one of the most capable (and crafty) women in all of Greek mythology. If it weren't for this clever sorceress, Jason would never have been able to complete the three tasks that King Aeëtes sets for him and the hero never would have laid his hands on the Golden Fleece. Medea really gives up a lot for love of Jason, betraying her family and leaving behind the only home she's ever known. Medea reminds us a bit of Ariadne, the Cretan Princess who made it possible for Theseus to complete his quest to kill the Minotaur. Just like Medea, Ariadne gives up everything for a dashing young Greek hero. Also like Ariadne, Medea lives to totally regret it. (For more on Ariadne, click here.)

The tale of Medea ends up getting really dark. She's probably most famous for later killing her and Jason's children after he betrays her by marrying woman. (For more on this, click here.) Even this early in the tale of Medea, we can already see that she's willing to use some pretty grisly methods. When she kills her own brother so that she and Jason can make their getaway, it's clear that Medea isn't afraid to get her hands bloody in order to achieve her goals. What's clear, however, is that Medea doesn't do bad things for the fun of it. Pretty much every time she commits some horrible act, she does it for the love of Jason. In the tale of the Golden Fleece, we see how a virginal young princess can gradually grow into an a killer, all for sake of love. (For much more on Medea, click here.)

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