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Medea

  • By: Gillian M.E. Alban
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

In Greek mythology, Medea is portrayed as a witch or sorceress and is treated as a representative of a barbarian, pre-Hellenic culture. Medea is a cultural archetype of a woman seeking revenge, although some modern interpretations emphasize the injustice done to her by Jason, and her role as an outsider in Greek culture.

In Euripides's famous play, Medea falls in love with Jason during his quest for the Golden Fleece, using her magical powers as the priestess of Hecate, the granddaughter of the sun god, Helius, and the niece of Circe, to help him attain his quest. She returns to Greece with him: they marry and have two sons. When Jason casts her off as a foreigner in order to marry the king's daughter, she then ...

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