“Mom!!!” and go into banishment with your children…”

"Mom!!!" screamed the small girl, "Billy pinched me." "Did not," cried a boy who I can only assume was Billy. The mother quickly settled the quarrel, but upon looking at the young girl’s face I realized that it was far from over in her eyes. She had been wronged and her mother had not enacted any satisfying form of justice, so she would have to take care of it on her own.

As she plotted her revenge, she crossed a line. She was no longer seeking justice for a wrong doer; she was now seeking harsh revenge for his "crime" against her. In the Greek drama Medea, the main character, after whom the play is named, seeks what she sees as justice against those who have wronged her.

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In the play Medea, the reader’s loyalty is split between Medea and Jason, and the decision as to whether Medea seeks justice or revenge depends on which character the reader is more compelled to trust. In the beginning of the story we come upon a distraught nurse who is troubled and mumbling to herself. She tells the reader of a great event, which has taken place that will affect herself and her lady. She condemns Jason, Medea’s former husband, and says of him: "…I wish my mistress, Medea, would never have seen Jason, nor saved and loved him…" (1,1,1,3-5) The nurse confides in the women who have come to see Medea that she feels that Medea will do something foolish in her anguish. After a short period of time Creon, the ruler of Corinth, arrives and tells Medea that she must leave Corinth and go into exile: "… You must leave this land at once and go into banishment with your children…" (1,1,7,143-145) Medea begs him for mercy but he is unmoved by her tears, telling her that she must leave at once.

He eventually relents and offers her one day to gather herself and leave. After Creon departs, Jason arrives and tries to convince Medea that she is to blame for being exiled. She reminds him of all that she has done for him: "…Whenever I cheated my father for you and killed my brother when he perused us…" He remains unsympathetic to her peril and says that it was his wish that their children could grow up under his watchful eye here in Corinth, where he will someday be king. Of coarse Medea realizes that Jason has agreed to marry Creon’s daughter because it will guarantee him the kind of power that he longs for. After Jason takes his leave Medea begins to seek "justice" for the crimes of Jason, Creon and his daughter.

She first asks Aegeus for asylum in Athens, the city where he is king. He agrees in return for the help of her magic, which will cure his sterility. With the problem of sanctuary out of the way Medea begins to enact her revenge, which begins.

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