A woman scorned: Medea and betrayal
This Project Demonstrating Excellence (PDE) is a theoretical dissertation, using the myth of Medea and its variants as the source material for interpreting the psychological implications contained in the myth and character of Medea. The methodology employed is cross-analysis of texts against one another using text in place of a human subject. The techniques of Jungian literary analysis combined with Jungian theory of psychopathology and personality development are employed to analyze and interpret textual material and the character of Medea herself. Insights gained from feminist psychoanalytic theory are also brought to bear upon this material. Medea is, in essence, the analysand in a kind of single case study of a Jungian analysis. Using Medea's words, as represented in five versions of the myth, as if they were records of sessions of a Jungian analysis, the PDE delineates and defines a Medea complex and suggests means which might be employed to contain Medea's energy without repressing it.
After establishing what constitutes a Medea story, using Medea's words, a Medea complex in Jungian terms, is defined and delineated. Means that women might employ to contain Medea's energy without either repressing it or acting it out are suggested. A deep understanding of the Medea myth and complex could be of considerable value to couples' therapists when dealing with issues of betrayal in marriages. It requires of therapists that they be able to approach the myth and the character of Medea symbolically so as not to be frozen by the child murders. The PDE affords the kind of distance needed to view Medea by reflection, which allows them not to be swamped by the horror of the deeds Euripides ascribed to her and to see through to the deeper issues arising from the Medea complex.
0294: Classical studies