Every highly tragic and dramatic figure has a fatal flaw that leads to his or her downfall. The character of Medea fits into this category perfectly. excessive passion is what leads Medea to her destruction. Her love for Jason, her selfishness, and her rage are all factors of Medea’s harmartia. First, the strongest factor contributing to Medea’s fatal flaw is her love for Jason. During Jason’s quest of searching for the Golden Fleece and meets the Princess of Colchis, Medea falls madly in love with Jason and runs off to lolcos with him. Medea and Jason get married and have two children. Medea’s excessive love for Jason started showing when she killed his uncle, who was the king of lolcos at the time, so that Jason could take over the throne and rule. But his uncle’s murder resulted negatively for Medea and Jason. They were forced to flee from lolcos to the kingdom of Corinth. Once in Corinth, Jason meets the king of Corinth’s daughter. He leaves Medea and their two children and marries the princess. Because Medea is madly in love with Jason, Medea is crushed to find out that Jason has left her. Medea explains to the women of Corinth that, “It has crushed my heart. Life has no pleasure left, dear friends. I want to die. Jason was my whole life; he knows that well” (24).
It seems that the nearly all critics of Medea are unanimous in one prominent feature of the play alone, and that is in their immense abhorrence for Jason. Kit to says 'In him (Jason) it is impossible to find anything that is not mean, while Lucas says 'Jason is utterly selfish, and utterly unconscious of his selfishness'. It is hard to find anything kind about Jason as on face value he is such an ...
Therefore, Medea becomes outraged and over powered with excessive passion.
Secondly, Medea’s selfishness provides power to her fatal flaw. Medea’s selfishness is displayed through the act of killing her own two sons. Medea understands that the slaying of her children will make Jason miserable. During this time, the chorus recognizes her self-worship and states, “O miserable mother, to destroy your own increase, murder the babes of your body! Stone and iron are you, as you resolved to be” (56).
Medea does not stop to think what pain she may cause to herself by murdering them. She is only concerned about her happiness that will be derived from Jason’s grieving. Medea comes to the conclusion that it is worth the suffering just to see her ex-husband unhappy. Medea states, “…my pain’s a fair price, to take away your smile” (59).
This exhibits Medea’s selfishness by the slaying of her sons just to cause sorrow to Jason for her own pleasure. Therefore, selfishness contributes to Medea’s harmartia. Medea’s rage also leads to her fatal flaw of excessive passion. Her excessive passion, fed by rage, leads to Medea to do uncalled for acts of violence and murder. Medea kills Jason’s uncle in lolcos for the reason that she wanted Jason to be the ruler. The murder of the princess of Corinth is another example of Medea’s rage. Her passion drove her to poison clothing and send it to the princess. Not only is Medea proud that she killed her, but when the messenger tells her of the death of the princess, Medea responds by saying, “…But take your time now; tell me, how did they die? You’ll give me double pleasure if their death was horrible” (52).
Also, the Nurse acknowledges Medea’s rage. While in conversation with the tutor she says, “She’ll not relax her rage till it has found its victim” (20).
This proves to be true since Medea does not give up until she has made Jason miserable. These acts of murder show the wrath of Medea’s rage.
In conclusion, Medea’s fatal flaw of excessive passion is due to the three main reasons of her love for Jason, her selfishness, and her rage. These factors all contributed to the downfall of Medea’s character.
The tragic play Medea, originally written by Euripides then later translated by Philip Vellacott, describes the intense love that Medea expresses towards Jason, a prince on a quest for the Golden Fleece. In an attempt to become closer to the throne, Jason marries Medea, and they parent two children together. However, Jason divorces Medea and marries a young princess. Many themes present themselves ...