Is Jason the Real Criminal in Medea?
In my view, Jason is not the real criminal in the media. On the other hand, Medea is the real criminal for all the crimes she committed. Whereas is true that Jason aggrieved her even after the favour she accorded him to achieve respect and high status in the society, killing Glauce, Creon, and Jason, as well as her own two children, do not in any way justify her actions. Jason did wrong to abandon Medea, his wife and two children, an action that angered her to the extent that she sought revenge.
Medea opened in a state of conflict. Jason only wanted to become more recognized and powerful, so that he could help his community and to be in a position where he could help the king to make important leadership decisions. In my opinion, the position he took would help protect the whole nation. This way, he comes out as selfless. I think his sacrifice overshadows his “selfishness” by deciding to divorce Medea, who helped in his rise to power (Burnett 1-6).
Forging good relationship with the king of Corinth was a welcome move that would help avert wars between the two nations that were hitherto enemies. This is a dilemma. Choices had to be made. Jason was well aware of this. In his defence, he tries to reassure Medea that all would be well. However, Jason is solely to blame for the murders. Medea was hurt because Jason left him for another man. Naturally, this would be viewed as a crime of passion. Jason was a victim of circumstances, and not a culprit in the real sense. He had shown to be a good father who just wanted to protect his family. Perhaps this explains why he and his wife went into exile into Corinth. Unfortunately, his decision to marry the daughter of the king to earn his favour leads to crisis and eventual catastrophe. Although the only character who breaks the laws of Athens is Medea, Jason is the reason behind all these (Burnett 8-17).
The fact that Medea loudly voiced her intentions to kill Jason put her life and her children’s into great danger, a fact that forced the king of Corinth to want to protect her. Again, one can argue that this was majorly influenced by Jason’s actions. It is through this help that she plans the murders and succeeds in killing Jason, Creon, and Glauce. Even though he asserted that he married due to the public interest, Jason is the real cause for the murders and the crisis that befall the city following the deaths. The revenge leads to Medea being banished from the city. Then Creon gets into the picture, offering Medea a perfect time to seek revenge.
In conclusion, I think that although we can claim that Medea is the only character who breaks the law of the state, Jasons choices and behaviour are directly responsible for her transgression, majorly because he left the Medea and the children for another woman forcing the estranged Medea to commit the crime of passion.
Burnett, Anne. “Medea and the Tragedy of Revenge.” Classical Philology (1973): 1-24. Print.