Revenge is a kind of wild justice. Throughout many texts, the notion of justice has been debated on whether it is an act that vindicates those who have been wronged or an excuse to pursue revenge. Through Medea, Medea’s actions have been judged and criticised whether her murders are an act of justice that she deserves or simply the idea of inflicting pain on those she loathes. Revenge is the predominant motivator for the psychological and corporeal action of the play.
In the play, Medea is self absorbed into her misery, her determination of inflicting pain and suffering to Jason consumes her entire rationality and revenge is her only focus point in the play. She effectively draws the Chorus in, “to work revenge on Jason for his wrongs to me, say nothing. ” Their complicity with Medea effectively proposes her to accomplish her revenge as she knows she has manipulated them. Medea continuously referring to revenge “I shall see my enemies punished as they deserve” which emphasises her firm intentions of achieving her revenge.
This undoubtedly allows the audience to question the act of her revenge. It seemed in the beginning that Medea’s revenge could have been related to however, when she murders her children, the traditional role of motherhood instantly falls away. The chorus, having lost their sympathy question her morality, “why must this rage devour your heart, to spend itself in slaughter of children? ”Her moral ambition is unstoppable and her barbaric nature destroys all her relationships. It is evident in Medea that her objective is to torment Jason through the murder of her children yet this type of revenge cannot be concluded as justice.
However wrong Jason has offended her, the murder of her children cannot be forgiven. She refuses to be wavered by the Chorus to not murder her children as she is fully aware of the mental damage this act will distress Jason. Her pride and views of humiliation do not leave her even til the minute she kills her off springs. Medea’s belief on wild justice is beyond of what the society believes in. She believes that the act of violence is the only solution to solve her situation. Her act of revenge is supported by the Chorus who feel that “to punish Jason will be just. Significantly, this notion of support encourages Medea to believe she is correct in punishing Jason and continues to believe her operation of revenge is justice. Each murder that emerges within Medea conveys the true nature of her behaviour. The theme of violence is continually repeated thus it depicts how consumed she is by revenge. Furthermore, the disputed topic of the chorus supporting her, illustrates the ‘justice’ a society has. When the gods are pleaded to and do not take action against Medea’s acts of infanticide, it questions our morals on what we powerless humans can do to change a difficult situation.
This concept portrays a system which lacks in authority which leads to doubt that surrounds the idea of ‘wild justice. ’ The gods have a small role which plays in the part of revenge as a wild justice. It was always the goddess of love who obtained Medea’s help on Jason’s behalf. The Chorus had always believed that her actions were due her nature for loving Jason and sympathised her emotions as she was only a woman. “We were born women – useless for honest purposes, But in all kinds of evil skilled practitioners. This ideally would have additionally been a reason for Medea to pursue a reason of right for women, which could have been a valid reason for a wild justice. In addition, the extent of wild justice can be depicted in another form. Medea successfully uses deception to achieve her goals. This notion of deception is integrated deeply in Medea to allow the characters to expand their knowledge and attain what they believe is “justice. ” Medea’s persona is conveyed to be intelligent and cunning but it is normally depicted that the heroine is young, beautiful and somewhat dumb. She easily manipulates characters to do her bidding. .. you are a father too, you should feel kindly towards them. ” When Medea pleads Creon to let her stay she effectively uses his affection for his daughter and his parental role to gain a small yet important favour. The one day she is allowed to stay to “make provisions for her two sons” . This evidently proves her cunning intellect as part of her nature and easily persuades with her use of words. Her revenge against Glauce could be considered as sexual jealousy as Jason had pointed out, however, her pride and passion do not allow her to break the barrier that has been enforced between her mind and her morals.
She is too consumed by revenge to allow justice to come through. All in all, revenge as a wild justice, is efficiently portrayed in Medea by using various forms. Each form discusses the actions of Medea and to what extent wild justice has affected the outcome of the play. This inevitably, controls the reader and their beliefs. Her journey of revenge brings out the theme of wild justice and leads to a deeper understanding of what moral responsibility is that is needed in our own lives.