For what does Medea beg Jason?
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As Jason enters for the first time, the antagonism between husband and wife is already evident. Jason's first words reflect this in terms of speaking of Medea's "evil" condition. Their antagonism continues for some time. After Medea outlines the reasons why Jason should remain loyal to her after all she has done for him, she begs him for answers:
Come, I'll share with you as if you were my friend.
(Thinking to get something good from you?
No, but being questioned, you'll be proven base.)(530)
Now where do I turn? To my homeland and
my father's house, which I betrayed for you?
Or to those poor daughters of Pelias?
Wouldn't they receive me nicely in the house
where I killed their father? Because that's how it(535)
In their first interaction, Medea begs for answers in terms of where shall she go and how shall she live now that she has committed everything to Jason. "Where do I turn" is the pleading question that helps, if only for a moment, to bring out a sense of the pathetic and sadness within Medea.
After this, Medea begs Jason again. Only this time, her spirit of begging is underscored with deceptive motive. When Medea begs Jason again, it is with a purpose. The helplessness and forlorn state has been replaced with malicious intent:
Jason, I ask you to forgive what I said
before; it is logical for you to bear
my anger, since we two have done many acts
of kindness for each other in the past.
This request is the prelude to her more sinister plead to Jason:
I should not be in your way, nor dwell in
the king's land, since I seem hostile to their house),
I, then, will depart this land in exile, but(955)
for the children, ask Creon to let them stay,
so that they may grow up under your care.
In asking Jason to take the children into the palace of Creon and his daughter, as well as to take the "gifts" that Medea has her children bring with them, she has sealed the fates of many. Her asking of Jason is merely a pretext to fulfill her revenge against Jason.
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