What is the significance of Medea's first monologue?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The significance of Medea's first monologue lies in her statement of her own position in this conflict with Jason.  At the beginning of the play, her nurse opens the scene by summarizing the background of the situation regarding Medea's betrayal of her own family on Jason's behalf and Jason's casting Medea aside to take a new wife.  Other characters discuss Medea's situation before she ever enters the play, so her first monologue allows the reader to see her perspective on the situation.  Further, the end of the monologue lays the foundation for Medea's tragic flaw:  ". . .yet in the moment she finds her honor wronged, no heart is filled with deadlier thoughts than hers."  Medea states that she plans to exact revenge on Jason for the wrongs that he has done to her and thereby sets herself on a tragic course.

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