The Plot And Characters In Euripides Medea English Literature Essay

Euripides ‘s Medea is merely a work of hapless calamity from Aristotle ‘s point of position. Throughout the drama, we see the lifting apogee of the emotions of choler and hatred to the point where an anticlimactic declaration is achieved through the accretion of the cardinal passion of retaliation by the chief supporter, Medea. This is a defect as a piece of calamity as it does n’t make the highest degree of complexness and quality that Aristotle would anticipate. The most of import component in calamity is plot, what Aristotle footings as, “ the imitation of an action ” ( mimesis ) . Because of the faulty intervention of the topic in manus, Euripides finally fails in accomplishing a complex secret plan in Medea. When Aristotle plunges into the constituents of a secret plan that make it complex, he cites three necessary elements that should take from one to another in a consecutive mode ; reversal of purpose ( peripetia ) , acknowledgment ( anagnorisis ) and the alteration of luck ( calamity ) . Harmonizing to Aristotle, both peripetias and anagnorisis must travel manus to manus in a cause-and consequence concatenation that finally lead up in bend to make the calamity in they play for the greatest consequence. However in Medea, no existent peripetia can be observed because of the fact that Medea is good determined and prepared to take retaliation from Jason is some manner or the other, right from the really get downing. Although one could state that the event where Medea directs her choler towards her kids in the prologue, “ Boys, your female parents ‘s hatred. Cursed male childs, I wish you dead ” ( P9, Lines 103-104 ) is Euripides ‘s effort at including peripetia, this occurs in such an disconnected and unexpected mode that makes it hard to see it as a reversal of purpose because there is no sensible account or anagnorisis for it to come afterwards in followup. This unquestionably consequences in Medea missing an anagnorisis as there is no peripetia that precedes it. Medea is already good cognizant that she ca n’t make anything to change the matrimony between Jason and Creon ‘s girl, and there is no other anagnorisis that can be said to alter the luck of the supporter. Although one could reason that Aegeus ‘s confidence of security in Athens for Medea is a find that allowed her to farther proceed with her programs, this is slightly questionable as we can clearly see that she to the full determined to put to death her planned scenario whether or non Aegeus ‘s sudden visual aspect was included. As a affair of fact, the lone surprising event that we can happen singular in the drama is when Medea does so kill her ain kids. This action is the 1 and merely tragic incident that has the component that Aristotle would see as tragic. If this one and merely tragic action was non included, it is barely the instance that Euripides ‘s Medea is even classable as a calamity even with the simple secret plan. But one time once more, it must be strongly stressed that a surprising event as such can be merely favourable under the conditions where it has relevancy in a cause-and consequence mode that is connected to the secret plan. This is non precisely the instance for Medea ‘s judgement to kill her ain kids. However, her purposes are so executed in the terminal by the tragic heroine, an act that can be given recognition as it is better than if Medea intended to kill her ain kids but ended up non making so. Aristotle strongly emphasizes the importance in accomplishment of registering down the complication ( desis ) and unraveling ( lusis ) of the secret plan that leads towards a denouement for a tragedian to make a drama of incorporate flawlessness. To him, the best tragedian is one who can win in puting down these two parts both every bit good. But every bit long as there is no peripetia with an anagnorisis in success except for the simple secret plan in Medea, the unraveling lacks the magnitude of the complication where Medea strategically develops programs, prepares for retaliation, and is ready to defy the effects and hurting of her actions.

Furthermore, the denouement of the drama by the usage of a Deus ex Machina, an unexpected intervention of a God that allows Medea to get away on a chariot is highly irrational for Aristotle as there is no connexion of relevancy that would let the event to originate out of the secret plan of course. The usage of the Deus ex Machina in Medea can be seen as faulty from another position which attributes to Aristotle ‘s moral apprehension. The act of Medea ‘s flight and endurance is morally non acceptable as it is about impossible to warrant the wickedness of slaying, particularly the slaying of the supporter ‘s ain kids. We know that she ‘s from a well-known household, being the granddaughter of the Sun and the girl of a male monarch. But other than such familial fortunes, she is in fact no better than us. Her utmost emotions of choler and hatred surpass the point to which we can see them as infirmities but they are more instead similar frailties. Although we do see Medea ‘s feelings of enduring through the seeable immoralities of Jason, it is non easy for the audience to sympathise with a kid murderess. Additionally, the past life of Medea is besides full with atrociousnesss of blood and wickedness which are reminded to us from clip to clip both by the Chorus and by even Medea herself. This ultimately consequences in the important job of Medea as a calamity as it fails in raising catharsis towards the audience. It is really hard for emotions of commiseration and fright to be aroused by us towards the ruin of an arrant scoundrel.

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There is merely a remarkable simple secret plan which gives it a recognition as a calamity in Aristotelean footings. The battle between a dishonorable male and a sorceress female is the 1 and merely simple footing of this secret plan. Although we do n’t see the degree of complexness and flawlessness that Aristotle would seek from a calamity of ultimate flawlessness, our attending is non lost as Euripides does win us to remain focused on the passionate cholers and emotions of Medea throughout the whole drama. Therefore, the consequence of calamity is to a slightly certain extent achieved in Medea but still fails in the chief and most of import intent ; the emotional cleaning of fright and commiseration that the audience is supposed to experience towards Medea.

Bibliography: “ Outline of Aristotle ‘s Theory of Tragedy. ” New York College | Catholic College | The College of New Rochelle. Web. 01 May 2010. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: // & gt ; .

Statement of Purpose

Euripides ‘s Medea revolves around the cardinal passion of retaliation towards her antagonists by the chief supporter, Medea as a consequence of her hubby, Jason ‘s treachery towards her by an battle to the girl of Creon, King of Corinth.

I decided to compose a critical reappraisal of Medea through an Aristotelean position as to how Aristotle would knock the drama if he had the chance. As Medea was different to the Aristotelean calamities of the clip, I expected that the Athenian audience would hold responded in confusion and disfavour. I took Aristotle ‘s plants of the Poetics as a anchor to my unfavorable judgment.

I tried to do the reappraisal critical in the sense that it non merely merely explains as to how the elements in Medea differ from Aristotle ‘s theory of calamity, but efforts in researching as to what effects were lost and why it mattered. In the early phases of my reappraisal, I criticize how Euripides ‘s failure in making a complex secret plan of one that Aristotle would anticipate consequences in how Medea ‘s character is portrayed in a really limited and monotonic mode in which her destiny is apparently doomed to take to the concluding calamity from the really start. By interrupting up the construction and analyzing its deficiency of Aristotelean constructs of calamity in Medea, it allows one to take to the find that the common apprehension of Medea as a calamity is really an simplism and that one could even come to the decision that it hardly qualifies to be even a calamity by Aristotelean apprehension. The criticisms towards the structural constituent of secret plan in Medea nexus into the characteristic defects of Medea through my unfavorable judgments towards Euripides ‘s usage of the Deus ex Machina to decide the struggle in the concluding minutes of the drama. This sudden denouement in the drama would strongly count to Aristotle as its irrational mode would miss a integrity where the action of each event leads necessarily to the following in a structurally self-contained mode that is connected by internal necessity, non by external intercessions such as the one used by Euripides. Furthermore, the Deus ex Machina has the strongest consequence on the audience in which it finally fails to raise the tragic emotions of commiseration and understanding in the signifier of a katharsis towards the supporter despite Euripides ‘s efforts at making so through the easy seeable exposures of Jason ‘s atrociousnesss. This failure is non merely merely merely due to the immoral nature in which Medea kills her kids, but from the fact that her life is full of atrociousnesss which she does non look to experience guilty about as she confesses in her wrangle with Jason, “ I lit the manner for your flight… I betrayed my male parent and my place… I killed King Pelias… All this I did for you. And you, foulest of work forces, have betrayed me ” . ( P33, Lines 460-468 )

Despite all the unfavorable judgment that I have given to Euripides in my reappraisal, I do give recognition to Euripides as to how he still manages to hold on clasp of the audience ‘s attending and engagement in the drama.

However nevertheless, I still conclude with the Aristotelean position that the drama still lacks the magnitude and flawlessness that Aristotle would hold expected, which finally result in my greatest unfavorable judgment that Euripides fails in making the consequence of convincement towards his audience to sympathise with Medea ‘s emotions through catharsis.

Word Count: 1496

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