Category Archives: Medea
The Diary of a Mad Woman
So Medea isn’t a mad “black” woman per say but she was mad indeed. I would be mad to if my husband decided to wed another woman and kick me out of my home. Tyler Perry’s movie “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” has many similarities with Medea’s story. This is sort of ironic considering that the main character of all of Tyler Perry’s works is a powerful woman named Medea, although in this particular story the woman scorned is Medea’s niece. So let me break down the story, Helen is the devoted wife to an attorney, Charles. Helen has put her mother into a nursing home and severed all ties with her family because that’s what her husband wanted her to do. She has no education and she supported her husband while he was going through school. The drama starts when Helen goes home one night and sees new clothes in her living room. Assuming it’s hers, she becomes overjoyed until Charles come’s homes and tells her it’s for his fiancé/the mother of his children. He tells Helen he wants a divorce and that her stuff is in a moving truck outside of the house and she needs to leave right away. It’s beautiful how works like Medea could inspire current stories such as Diary of a Mad Black Woman. It’s even more amazing how Medea could still be so relevant to the lives of women today.
The story of Medea is seen as the classic woman “gone mad” story. Medea is angered by her husband, Jason, cheating on her, and goes on to kill their offspring. The general idea of the story may seem brutal, but it shows how disrespect to women centuries ago led to a revolt in women’s behavior that sometimes boiled over. Before and after Medea was written, women were disrespected, and still are today. Such abuse and neglect can lead to consequences, as Jason faced, because that kind of treatment is unfair. I think the story of Medea is similar in a way to the film “Misery.” In the movie, Cathy Bates plays a psychopath who is a fan of an author she has helped after a car accident. She becomes crazy and begins to treat the author like a prisoner, tying him to his bed and eventually hacking off his ankles, which is like the image of Medea killing her children. Eventually, the author kills his captor and escapes, which sadly was not the case for Medea’s children.
If there has to be one women of all time who refused to accept the role placed on her by society that would have to be Medea. Her character has many layers, a vengeful and evil woman on one end and a weak heartbroken girl on the other. While still a symbol of barbaric strength she has an undeniable wit often not assumed by ancient women. Love always seems to be a modern conception when you think of the role of women in ancient times. However it seems to be obvious that Medea loves Jason because Euripides provides no other reason for Medea’s intensity. Jason wronged her but it was not simply the act of remarrying that wronged her. She was left out of the loop and her previous sacrifices ignored. Perhaps modern woman can draw from Medea’s strength in standing up for herself and channel that power into their lives. While history may not see Medea as a symbol of femininity (because she goes against social norms) there is something distinct and womanly about her actions. She seems to feel more than most of the characters in ancient tales who seek violence to gain power. While at the same time destroys bonds that even today define womanhood. Killing her father, brother, and sons is a clear statement that Medea was not a GREEK and therefore the story does not give her such honor. Much has to be said for that because maybe the reason Medea isn’t a hero lies in her gender.
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The last scene of Medea involves Medea killing her own children. The picture in the link above shows Medea who is about to kill her children. These are Medea’s words when she is about to kill her own children: “Women, my task is fixed: as quickly as I may to kill my children, and start away from this land, and not, by wasting time, to suffer my children to be slain by another hand less kindly to them. Force every way will have it they must die, and since this must be so, then I, their mother, shall kill them. O arm yourself in steel, my heart! Do not hang back from doing this fearful and necessary wrong”(pg 721, lines 1210-1217). This quote is saying that Medea has a want for revenge even though it is a wrongful action and that she will face serious consequences after. The quote is also saying that Medea wants to kill her children in a secret manner due to the fact that she will do this “as quickly as she may.”
I have some thoughts on Medea killing her own children. First of all, killing your own children is by far selfish, wrongful, terrifying, and shocking. It has a negative impact on other loved ones in which their feelings are hurt. Medea probably killed her own children because she may have a mental illness. I am saying this because mothers on TV that kill their own children have mental illnesses. Even though Medea knows it’s “wrong” to kill her children, she still does it anyway.