There are the allegations that Medea was behind the murder the murder of her children. She kills the kids in order to revenge against her husband, Jason, who betrays her love for him. It is among Medea’s intentions to frustrate Jason’s plans to form a new family through killing the children. Medea is seen trying to establish a justification for her actions to Jason and this is a show of a person who lacks remorse in the unfortunate events that take place.
“I will slay the children I have borne,” are the words of Medea when she makes the decision to kill the children in order to hurt Jason for leaving her and marrying Glauce, the princess of Corinth (Svarlien 24). Her cruel and merciless actions towards the children result in her being classified as a murderous mother with the crime being branded as the work of a wicked witch. Rather than letting other people contribute to her choices, Medea takes matters into her hands and makes the decision to do what she deems as best for her children and herself. From the narrative, Medea is in a situation where she holds a debate within herself of whether or not to murder her children.
Case for Defense
Medea’s crime can be termed as that of passion where she has a strong love for Jason and cannot control her anger and envy after learning of his intention to replace her with Glauce in his life. The subsequent events are frustrating for Medea especially when Jason despises her barbarian descent and considers Glauce who holds the status of a princess. The spur of the moment results in Medea’s emotional breakdown and a brief state of insanity. There is the conflict between Sophia and Eros in Medea, and this distorts the perception she holds regarding reality. At this time, Medea’s reaction is normal for a depressed person because the human instinct outpaces wisdom.
As she advances the criminal activities, Medea is aware that she will not escape unpunished. After murdering Glauce, Medea has the idea that both she and her children are going to be attacked and harmed by the people who are loyal to Creon. Medea is portrayed vacillating regarding the decision to murder her children, but in her mind, she intends to do so in order to protect them. In Medea’s words, “This shall never be, that I should suffer my children to be the prey of my enemies’ insolence.” (Svarlien 25)
After learning about the death of the princess and Glauce, she applauds the suggestion that it is better if she kills her children herself than leave them to be murdered by the enemies. This does not speak to her pride; rather it is a justification for her actions since it could not be her sincere intentions to kill her young ones. Although there is the failure to develop some defense against the murder action, it makes some sense of Medea’s situation. She kills the children in order to hurt Jason although it was not very easy for her to commit the crime.
A plea of insanity in Medea’s case is hard to front due to her cunning nature; she intentionally establishes a plot to conduct serial killings including those of Creon, his daughter, and her kids. The jury could sympathize with her due to the husband’s betrayal, but there lacks the justification for her to kill the children all in the name of attempting to revenge against Jason.
Svarlien, Diane Arnson. Medea. StudyJack.com. Hackett Publishing, 2008.