How can Medea be defended for the crime of killing her children? I think the only route is by reason of insanity, but I'm wondering if there is more to it than I know at this point.

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It is hard to construct a defense for Medea. Euripides portrays her as a monster—he writes her as selfish, vengeful, and evil. The murder of her children is seen as unforgivable. However, I think there are some things you can point out that help build empathy for Medea, though they might not be good enough to stand as a “defense” of her actions.

In the play, Medea is being cast off by Jason in favor of a woman who is better connected. To understand the level of this betrayal, there needs to be some background. Medea has saved Jason more than once, and he would never have succeeded in any part of his quest without her. She has given him everything: her undying loyalty, her body, her magic, and her life. The two don’t marry in the conventional/legal sense but instead make an oath to the gods, which can be considered more binding than a simple legal marriage. To understand the extent to which Medea sacrifices to be with Jason, we can read her monologue early in the play,

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