Selfishness Of Jason In Medea


Selfishness Of Jason In Medea Essay, Research Paper

Often, we can be found talking about how our friends have changed. “He/she just isn’t the same person as he/she used to be,” is a common complaint heard. Yet, have they truly changed that much, though? In Euripides’ play Medea, a good case could be made of the difference in character that occurred throughout the play. However, the depictions of Jason’s personality traits were quite consistent during his existence. He was driven by a force focused completely around one thing —- himself. In the beginning, Jason merely came to claim his throne from his uncle. He then finds that only through showing his courage can he become king. His impossible task: to obtain the Golden Fleece of Colchis. As it is consistent with his character throughout the story, Jason showed his selfishness. He banned together an army of noted heros to ultimately acquire his kingship. Though he wasn’t entirely pure in motive, he seemed moral to this point. Not caring about anything but his future, Jason began his Quest for the Golden Fleece. Facing his journey’s most certain end, Jason unrighteously wooed the love of Princess Medea, the daughter of the king of Colchis. Through trickery and manipulation, Jason coerced his princess to deceive her father and murder her brother, thus obtaining the Golden Fleece and in turn his kingship. The aftermath of his actions destroyed a family, left an empire in shambles, and corrupted a young princess all in the name of his most apparent characteristic —- selfishness. Not one of the before mentioned tragedies seemed to matter to Jason as long as he inherited his crown. Jason appeared to have changed from being moral with his battles and dealings, to being filthy with immorality. He went from merely wanting his throne to becoming a runaway train of greed running over everything in his path. Jason didn’t change, though, but he kept the same internal motive of feeling his own personal needs.

Jason and Medea continued their journey as they escaped to Corinth. They seemed to have been leading a more normal life, having two children. But Jason again let his true self shine through like the sun as he left Medea to marry another woman. Once more, he sent a family to shambles because of his own personal needs. In this case, the only things that appeared to have changed were Jason’s outward motives. Rather than doing anything for money and power, he ruined a marriage and ultimately sacrificed his entire family for love. As noble and chivalric as this may sound, the basis remained his selfishness. He not once showed remorse for anyone hurt by his actions. Medea, of course, felt betrayed by Jason. In revenge, she sends poisoned garments to his new wife and thus killing her and her father. One might think that Jason would feel remorse or a trace of responsibility for this. One would also think that he would feel sad as well. However Jason not only felt no remorse, but it seemed as though Jason felt nothing at all regarding this tragic event. Once again this showed who he cared most about in his life. Finally, Medea kills her and Jason’s two children, and Jason, at last, showed a bit of emotion. However it wasn’t remorse nor sorrow (two unselfish emotions), but he displayed true vengeful anger. He selfishly demanded justice from the gods and cursed them for not complying, as Medea flies away in victory. Jason’s actions differed, throughout the play, in outward motive and in intensity. Deep down, though, lived inside him the monster of selfishness and it dictated all of his actions. In the end this monster tragically destroyed two kingdoms, two families, and countless lives that all could have otherwise been saved. Nobody, regardless of what they think of themselves, is worth that.

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