My feelings are very conflicted when it comes to Medea, hence the title. I'm not sure if I should feel worse for Medea and be on her side, or feel worse for Jason and take his side. (Insert Futurama Fry meme.)
Why I feel bad for Medea:
First of all, she scarified literally everything to be with Jason. She killed her brother, she went behind her father Aeetes' back to help Jason complete the "impossible" tasks, she persuaded Pelias' daughters to kill their father, and she was exiled from her land forever. She did not deserve for Jason, whose main motives were fame and political power, to just abandon her and her children for another woman. Medea is in a state of utter distress and she evokes the sympathy of the reader. Jason claims she is lucky that he has left her, something I find outrageous, and that without him, she would not have been revered as the intellectual she is. At this point, the reader understands why Medea wants to seek revenge and she justifies her reasoning for doing so. Without Medea's sorceress powers, Jason would have perished long ago. He is not grateful at all for what she has done for him!
Why I don't feel bad for Medea:
I strongly disliked how whiny she was when she found out Jason was sleeping with someone else. I am not saying I would not be upset if I found out my husband cheated on me, but I certainly would not react the way she did by starving myself or desire to take my life. She wants so badly to bring as much emotional pain to Jason as possible that she sends her children to die. Medea is disgusted with her own offspring because they are born from Jason, but they cannot help that and they definitely do not deserve to do their mother's dirty work. Not only does she kill her kids, but she also eliminates the new wife and her father. Medea is just too determined and driven, but for the wrong reasons--this is an example of when too much of one thing is a bad thing. Lastly, Medea gets pleasure upon listening to the story of how her victims suffered....Can you say psychopath?!
So I ask one question: Do you think Medea's actions were just?