Even though we hear stories about it more and more often, the shock of what Medea did would have been the same in the time the play was written as it is for us today. It is unthinkable that a mother would murder her own children. In most of the cases we hear about today, such as Andrea Yates, the mother suffers from some form of mental illness. Medea, however, suffered from the proverbial green-eyed monster of jealousy. Her husband, Jason, had abandoned her for another woman. To get back at him, she kills "his" children. In the play, Jason calls Medea a "most utterly hateful woman" and says that "no Greek woman would dare do this." That says it all.