Medea is a tragic heroine

Question: Discuss the Medea is a tragic heroine. Medea is a tragic heroine


According to the Aristotelian definition of a tragic hero or heroine, is a person who is aroused pity and fear in the mind of the audience because of his error in judgment. Medea is one of the famous classical tragedies in the history of Greek Tragedy composed by Greek Tragedian Euripides. Medea is the heroine of the classical tragedy “Medea” the tragedy is based on the myth of Medea and Jason.

Aristotle’s Opinion

According to Aristotle, who is the master of Greek tragedy, the tragic hero and heroine must possess some features. But Euripides’s Medea is a little different from this tradition. In the play, “Medea” Euripides represented his heroine in a detached way as a tragic heroine.


A tragic flaw that causes the downfall of a hero. In the play “Medea” a tragic flaw had been happened to Medea the heroine of the tragedy when Jason got to marry Glauce princess of Corinth. Medea has left her kingdom and all her happiness for her love with Jason. But Jason has betrayed Medea not only Medea but also his children. So, we can say that the first feature of a tragic character is filled up by Euripides’s heroine Medea.


Hubris means excessive pride and disrespect for the natural order of things. Medea is an egoistic and proud heroine in the history of the Greek classical tragedy. As a princess, she possesses some manly behavior. In her childhood, she used to learn necromancy and later practice the black art of magic. Euripides has skillfully presented human character through the Medea because he wanted to free women from the injustice of women. But her hubris is quite different from the other tragic character.

 “I shall murder my children, these children of mine…if die they must, I shall slay them, who gave them birth.”


Peripeteia stands for the reversal of fate that the hero experiences. Unlike the other tragic character such as Oedipus and so on Medea has no tradition peripeteia in her life.


A moment in time when the hero makes an important discovery in the story.  Jason was the husband of Medea whom Medea loved and married. They were happy in their conjugal life and begot two children. But when Medea was informed by the Nurse that Jason has gone to marry the Corinth princess Glauce. It was an important discovery of Medea’s life. And she made a heinous plan to murder Glauce and her two children for taking revenge on Jason for eternal sufferings.

“Good-bye to my former plans…I cannot do it. And yet what is the matter with me?

Do I want to make myself a laughingstock by letting my enemies off scot-free?

I must go through with it…I do realize how terrible is the crime I am about”


A punishment that the protagonist cannot avoid, usually occurring as a result of his hubris. Like the other classical tragic hero, Medea cannot avoid the punishment of fate. To get Golden Fleece Medea has killed her own biological brother it was her crime for this she suffered a lot.


Feelings of pity and fear felt by the audience, for the inevitable downfall of the protagonist. In the entire play, we notice that catharsis is aroused among the audience. When Medea killed Glauce and Creon and gave information to Jason that she would kill Jason’s two children. This situation is created great pity for the two children and fear for Medea’s activity. So, we can say that Medea has fulfilled almost all the characteristics features of a tragic heroine.


In the light of the above discussion, we can summarize that Medea is undoubtedly a tragic heroine but from a different angle from the traditional tragic hero or heroine because she was vengeful to the reasons for her misfortune. She is not only vengeful also finished her revenge.

Ruhul Huda
Ruhul Huda

You can call me Mr. Huda. I am a researcher and doing this work for years. I like to learn everywhere. So, feel free to share your experience with me.

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