By definition a tragic hero is: someone who is highly renowned and prosperous, though not pre-eminently virtuous or just, and who falls due to an error in judgment or frailty and causes the audience to feel pity and fear.
Medea, was royalty in Colchis and came to
as a refugee, but marries Jason which, in my view, still makes her renown and
prosperous. She is not totally virtuous, as we can see by her manipulation of
Jason and Aigeious and in her fiery temper. Her frailty and error in judgment
could be that she let herself be driven too much by her powerful passionate love
for Jason. (her love was so fierce, she was willing to kill her own
brother). His betrayal hurt her so terribly causing her love to turn into hatred. We certainly are horrified by the slaughter
of her children, but personally, I didn’t feel sorry for her. Instead, I was shocked and frustrated by her
irrationality. Before she slaughtered
her kids, I felt sorry for her because her feelings were so hurt by Jason and because
of how she was treated as a woman. Therefore, I think Medea is the tragic hero….but
Jason certainly has tragedy thrust upon him as well. Could Jason be the hero instead, even though he didn't have the most lines? Could they both be tragic heroes in a sense?