Medea's Compelling Character

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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The play Medea, by Euripides, incorporates many techniques to increase the forceful persona of the protagonist, Medea. She has an overpowering presence, which is shown through the use of imagery, dramatic suspense, and the chorus.

Medea is frequently shown with images of violence and rage. ?She?s wild. Hate?s in her blood. /She feeds her rage?Stormclouds of anger.? (Warner, ?) These images suggest hatred and anger. They are powerful emotions and portray a strong illustration of Medea?s personality. Like nature, Medea is perceived as commanding and also unpredictable; this creates uncertainty as to what she will do next and so it intrigues the audience. Comparisons between Medea and wild animals are to portray her as wild and untamed, such as: ?Bullglares, lions claws? and ?you hellhound, you tigress.? (page #) These comments draw attention to Medea?s animalistic side, increasing her onstage presence and compelling persona. Medea?s two-fold personality is discovered through imagery of harshness.

She is both emotional and manipulative, depending on which helps her cause. ?Cold as stone, cold eyes,? in 5th Century B.C. the eyes were considered of great importance, reflections of the soul. Therefore, to have cold eyes is the same as having a cold soul (page #). This notion is confronting to the audience and adds to Medea?s onstage presence.

Dramatic irony is a technique, very important to Medea?s forceful character. While Jason is oblivious to Medea?s true intentions, the audience is aware of what she plans to do. Medea appears to be the leader of a ?feminist movement? with the chorus and audience as followers. Therefore, that places her on a pedestal, which is higher than a normal human being. Dramatic suspense is used throughout the play to draw interest to Medea?s persona. Her true power and presence is revealed through her will to...