Was I the only one with major conflicting feelings while reading Medea?
On one hand, we have Jason. Firstly, he owes everything to Medea who helped him get the fleece in the first place. He makes a promise to marry her and he does. But then he decides to go and marry another woman - because she's a princess. Jason just wants to be king. So then, he lets Kreon exile Medea and his kids. Sure, Jason says he'll provide for them - but that doesn't make up for exile! I'm pretty sure kids nowadays get counselling for the emotional trauma of an absentee parent. But wait! There's more. Jason gets angry at his wife and starts lecturing her about how - yes, she saved his hide and practically got the Golden Fleece for him - but he saved her from a barbaric society and brought her to live among Greek intellectuals. So, Jason, it's not enough that you scorn the woman in bed, but then you scorn her family. Let's see how many insults he can throw. 1) She's not submissive enough (well, that's what she gets for being a woman whose actually intelligent) 2) He made her into what she is (without him, she'd still be a barbarian) 3) He's doing it for her and their children (Do I even need to explain the insult in this?) 4) "It would have been better far for men to have got their children in some other way, and woman not to have existed." (Well, at that point, if she hadn't sought revenge, I would've). So, all in all, not only does Jason abandon and betray his first family, he also throws a few insults for good measure. I will never watch Jason and the Argonauts through the same eyes again.
So after that charming man, we have Medea. Yes, she gave up everything for Jason and he betrayed her (I think every woman suffers from bad taste in men at some point in her life - there should be counseling groups for it). Yes, she is perfectly justified in being angry. Society certainly wasn't doing anything to help, so Medea takes justice into her own hands - only her sense of justice is insane (Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!). There are limits to what the excuse "he left me for another woman" can make up for. Cursing your husband for eternity - sure, we can all understand that. Wanting to ruin his new marriage - okay, makes sense. Murder everyone involved and your innocent children - that's where we draw the line. I mean, even the chorus fully supported her want for revenge - right up until she decides to kill her own children. You really have to pity the kids. First, their father decides to ditch them for another family and then their mother murders them. They really don't get any breaks in life.
So basically, the two sides presented: Jason, the traitorous, cheating, pathetic excuse of a parent, and Medea, the angry, border-line crazy, child-murderer.
What great choices.