Sorrow and violence pervade EuripidesÆ tragedy Medea and T. S. EliotÆs poem ôThe Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.ö MedeaÆs sorrow over her husband JasonÆs rejection manifests itself in murderous rage. PrufrockÆs sorrow over the lack of human connection and love also manifests itself in violence but of a different kind than MedeaÆs homicidal acts. PrufrockÆs violence is directed at the self, with the speaker damning himself to an isolation hell of misery in the absence of love and the omnipresence of aging.
After helping Jason murder his brother to further his ambitions, Medea and her two children are rejected by her husband so he can marry King CreonÆs daughter, Glauce, thereby furthering his ambitions. His actions fill Medea with pain and anguish, as she becomes lost in the depths of sorrow. Our first image of Media expresses this condition: ôAh, me! a wretched suffering woman I! O would that I could die!ö (Euripides 431). Medea is brutally devastated by JasonÆs betrayal. She at first plans to murder Jason, Glauce, and Creon, but eventually her sorrow and rage will expand her murderous plans to include the two children she bore by Jason to further hurt him.
Like the speaker in Prufrock, Medea is first depressed and even suicidal from her sorrow. However, unlike the speaker in Prufrock, MedeaÆs reaction to her sorrow becomes external. The narrator in Prufrock remains depressed, self-pitying, and isolated. Medea turns outward, fooling Jason and his new bride and Creon into believing she wishes to help and honor them. She then poisons Glauce which kills Creon when he embraces his dying daughterÆs poisoned garments. Medea laments her condition, specifying the ways in which men have advantages over women in the marriage contract. The more she dwells on her husbandÆs betrayal, the more homicidal become her thoughts, ôFor though woman be timorous enough in all else, and as regards courage, a