Themes

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 217

One theme of this myth addresses the treachery of women. First, King Athamas's second wife, Princess Ino, determines to do away with the children of his first wife, Nephele, and this prompts Hermes to get involved by sending the golden ram to save the two kids, Phrixus and Helle (who falls from the ram as it flies over the water, and she drowns). Later, Medea betrays her father and murders her brother for her love of Jason, and then, when Jason betrays her, she murders both his new wife and her own children that she had with Jason.

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Another theme of this myth addresses the infidelity and inconstancy of men. First, King Athamas tires of his first wife, Nephele, and throws her over so that he can marry Princess Ino. Had he not done this, the Golden Fleece would never have been created. Moreover, Pelias seizes his uncle's throne, forcing him to kill himself and prompting his wife's death as a result of her grief. Pelias ought to have been more loyal to his family. In addition, Medea gives up her family for love of Jason, and she saves his own life; nonetheless, he tires of her and decides to wed another, despite all she has done for him. He pays a heavy price for his inconstancy.

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