First of all, Euripides presents Medea as a wronged woman, cruelly and callously discarded by the man she loves. Medea had made great sacrifices for Jason, and yet now she finds herself a stranger in a strange land, abandoned by her husband and without any support network to help her. Jason hasn't simply dumped Medea; he's subjected her to public shame and dishonor, and in this society that means an awful lot.
Women in ancient Greece were expected to be seen and not heard. One of the few things they had in life was their sense of honor. Yet even that has now been taken away from Medea, and so she's regarded as somewhat less of a woman as a consequence. She has lost not just lost her home and her husband but her whole identity as a woman in ancient Greek society. Though this cannot entirely justify her subsequent actions, Jason's reduction of Medea to the status of a non-person does at least elicit the audience's sympathy in the earlier parts of the play.
Archaic tales of Medea depict her as...
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