Is Medea a Tragic Hero?
Medea should be considered a tragic hero. Medea is a Princess so she has a noble birth. Medea has an admirable character because she loves her children, and Jason so much. Jason cheating on her brings about her peripeteia. Her hamartia is that she hates so strongly she's willing to wreck her whole life to get what she wants. Medea’s anagnorsis is when she realizes that she has been struck by Cupid's arrow, and she has not been in control of her life.
Medea is admirable because she is a strong, loving woman. Medea loves her children, and Jason more than anything in the world. She is willing to do anything to make Jason happy. Jason leaves her for another woman anyway.
Jason, abandoning her and the children, brings about Medea’s peripeteia, or reversal of fortune. Jason is selfish, and wants to raise his social standing. He marries the Kings beautiful young daughter, and allows the King to banish Medea. Medea has done so much for Jason, and his betrayal destroys her.
Medea’s hamartia, or flaw, is that she is willing to do anything to get her revenge on Jason. Medea is so blinded by hate and rage that she kills Jason’s new wife, the King and both of her own children. Medea says “I have done it: because I loathed you more than I loved them. Mine is the triumph.” (Medea, lines 326-327).
Medea’s anagnorsis is when she realizes the truth of her tragic situation. Medea started her life as a strong, powerful woman. She was struck by Cupid's bow so she had no choice but to fall in love with Jason. She lost control of her life because of her great love for Jason. She had a sudden, powerful recognition once Jason abandoned her that it was all a lie. The gods are on Medea's side because they sent her a chariot pulled by dragons to allow her to escape.
Medea has all five qualities of a tragic hero. The audience of this play has an emotional response bringing about their katharsis. Medea was a strong woman before she met Jason. The gods saved her by allowing her escape so Medea can be a strong character again in her new home.