There are many pieces of literature that may entail more than one theme throughout the story. The tragedy, Medea, by Euripides is very good example of this. Throughout this story, the themes of betrayal and love, revenge, and women’s rights arise. Euripides brings these points up to help the reader to realize that women are powerful also.
Betrayal is a very important theme throughout this story. Her husband Jason betrays Medea, when he abandons her and her children for another woman. Medea then realizes that Jason used her for her power and then dropped her when the chance to be more powerful arose. Medea’s nurse says:
“Jason has betrayed his sons and her,
takes the bed a royal bride,
Creon’s daughter-the king of Corinth’s.
Medea, spurned and desolate,
Breaks out in oaths,
Invokes the solemnest vows,
Calls on the gods to witness
How Jason has rewarded her. (P.19-26)
Jason left her for the princess of Corinth. Medea felt used and betrayed by the man that she was totally in love with. When Medea met Jason, he was on a voyage to possess the Golden Fleece. Medea goes against her father, her land, steals the Golden Fleece for Jason, commits murder, slows down her fathers army by killing her brother and laying out his body parts, all for the man she loved. And in returned, Jason betrays her for his own interest in power.
Revenge is another important theme in this tragedy. After Jason betrays Medea, her immediate response is revenge. Revenge on Jason for making a fool of her and leaving her and their children all alone. Jason has left Medea feeling lonely and heart broken. She wants Jason to feel the hurt and pain that she does. In revenge for what Jason has cause Medea to feel she kills his new bride and her father, an agonizing death of deadly poison. She then kills her own two sons. Medea is ashamed of what she has done to her sons, but does it to make Jason hurt the way she has. She says: Never again alive shall he see the sons he had by me, nor any child by this new bride of his poor girl, who has to die a wretched death, poisoned by me. (1.3.803-807)
Medea thinks that doing to Jason what he has done to her will make her feel better. She leaves Jason with no one. By killing her sons, there is no one left to carry on his name.
Euripides brings up the theme of women’s rights and the role of women is society. Euripides shows that not only men are powerful, but women are too. Medea is portrayed as a powerful, feared woman in Corinth. Creon is afraid of Medea; that is the reason for her banishment from Corinth. “Fear: no need to camouflage the fact,”(1.1.283-284).
This story teaches us many important moral lessons. As in many tragedies, these themes are exaggerated to get his point across clearly. All of these themes make up this Epic tale of Betrayal, deception, and women’s rights.