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Effect of Love, Lies and Infidelity in Medea

1319 words (5 pages) Essay in Literature

18/05/20 Literature Reference this

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What is love after the heart is broken? The best way, but not the most legal way today, is to follow the footsteps of Euripides’ character, Medea. In the story Medea, love makes a person do crazy things and when love is torn apart, the fire becomes more intense. During the time that the story was written, women and men did not have equal rights. Women were looked down on and treated poorly by men. However, Medea is a character that overcame that mistreatment as a woman. Love can be sweet and bitter. In the story, Medea, it can be argued that love, lies, and infidelity can have a psychological effect on the mind.

 Based on the story, Medea, love can have a psychological effect on the mind. It is true. Love can make a person do crazy things. In the story, the past of Medea and Jason is mentioned because it is significant to the rest of the psychological breakdown. The nurse of Medea says that “My mistress then, / Medea, never would have sailed away to reach the towers of Iolcus’ land, / the sight of Jason never would have stunned her spirit with desire. / She would have never persuaded Pelias’ daughters to kill their father, / never had to come to this land-Corinth” (Euripides 7- 13). This is a perfect example that explains how a person will go head over heels to have someone that he or she can love with a hope to feel the same affection. The primary purpose of love is to give and to receive the same in return, but when that person does not care to show that same affection that is being given, then that is when the issue begins. With Medea, love made her do things that are hateful and deceitful to her family. According to Susanna Federici-Nebbiosi, Ph.D., Medea, the character, suffers from a rage of love. In her article, “Earth, Speak to Me, Grass, Speak to Me!” Trauma, Tragedy, and the Crash Between Cultures in Medea, she states that “Medea’s actions are irrational, meaning that they do not follow the logic of reason, but they are driven by a powerful logic of passion” (Federici-Nebbiosi 465). Is a man that worthy to make a woman despise her loved ones? Jason never loved Medea. If he did, then he would have never put her through such a tough and depressing situation.

 Lies are told everyday by almost everyone, but are they worth telling? If Jason would have known that it would end every good thing he had, then he probably would have never lied to Medea. Lies can tear a person apart because of the hurt and pain that is caused from it. Not only does it cause hurt and pain, but it makes people do things that they would normally not do, like Medea. While speaking aloud, she says that “The pain that I have suffered, I have suffered so much, / worth oceans of weeping. O children, accursed, / may you die- with your father! Your mother is hateful. / Go to hell, the whole household! Every last one” (Euripides 117-120). Therefore, being lied to is a stimulant that pushes the mind to react differently. When a relationship is first formed, there are a ton of promises that are made, but these promises are usually not all the way carried out. Lies began to form which causes those promises to be broken. With Jason and Medea, Jason found it easier to lie to Medea in hopes to make her fine with the situation. However, his plan did not work. She even mentions to Jason that if he was marrying another woman to help his family live a better life, then he would have spoken to her about it before deciding on it beforehand. Because Medea’s mind was already aware that Jason would be moving on to marry and live with another woman, nothing he says can be used to make the situation better or change Medea’s attitude about the mess that Jason has stirred up.

 Infidelity is when there is an affair between a spouse in a relationship. However, the definition for everyone is different because each circumstance varies. Often, infidelity causes a rage of jealousy. According to the statement by Daly, Wilson, and Weghorst used in the Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, “…jealousy is defined as an emotional ‘state that is aroused by a perceived threat to a valued relationship or position and motivated behavior aimed at countering the threat’” (Urooj 422).  When a couple is about to get married, each person says their vows to one another. Those vows are made to ensure to both people in the relationship that they will always be there for each other, no matter what. When Jason broke those vows by having an affair, he tried making excuses for it to make it seem like a good thing. He tries to explain to Medea and says to her that “It is not that I despised / your bed- the thought that irritates you most-/ or trying to compete with anyone-/ to win the prize for having the most children. / I have enough- no reason to complain. / My motive was the best: so we would live well/ and not be poor. I know that everyone/ avoids a needy friend” (Euripides 569-577). Medea did not handle the infidelity lightly, and it almost seems as if Jason tries to blame Medea for all the horrific destruction that happens. Jason coldheartedly says, “But you’re a woman-and you are all the same! / If everything goes well between the sheets / you think you have it all. / But let there be / some setback or disaster in the bedroom / and suddenly you go to war against / the things that you should value the most. I mean it- / men should really have some other method / for getting children. The whole female race / should not exist. It is nothing but a nuisance” (Euripides 587- 595). Isn’t it like a man or anyone to find someone else to blame other than themselves? With all of this occurring and being said to Medea, in the inside she is losing her mind, but on the outside, she is keeping her composure and reassuring herself and Jason that everything will be okay, when it is going to be the total opposite of “okay”.

 In conclusion, it can be argued that love, lies, and infidelity can have a psychological effect on the mind. Medea was driven to a very darken place from being in a relationship and marriage with someone who did not appreciate her value as a wife and mother. Because of this, she did things that most people may argue against after reading the story, such as killing her kids, which is the best revenge anyone can give back to their spouse. If the whole situation is really thought out, then it can be understood that Medea’s damaged mind was in control of all the terrible things that happened. She suffered from heartbreak which caused her to react differently in her surroundings. Medea did what she had to do and went away leaving and gaining much pain from it all.

Works Cited

  • Euripides. “Medea.” Translated by Diane Arnson Svarlien. The Norton Anthology of World Literature: Volume 1. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. pp. 528-564.
  • Federici-Nebbiosi, Susanna. “‘Earth, Speak to Me, Grass, Speak to Me!’ Trauma, Tragedy, and the Crash Between Cultures in Medea.” Psychoanalytic Dialogues, vol. 16, no. 4, July 2006, pp. 465–480. 
  • Urooj, Anum, et al. “Perception of Emotional and Sexual Infidelity among Married Men and Women.” Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, vol. 30, no. 2, Winter 2015, pp. 421–439.
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