Medea

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The Princess Character Analysis

As the Princess never speaks or physically appears in the play, she is less a character than a significant figure. She is Creon's daughter and Jason's new bride. We learn any subtleties of her character through the Messenger's report. She seems to behave as one would expect a young, privileged, and beautiful wife to behave. She dies when she puts on the poisoned dress and crown Medea gives her as gifts.

The Princess Quotes in Medea

The Medea quotes below are all either spoken by The Princess or refer to The Princess. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Exile Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Cambridge University Press edition of Medea published in 1999.
Lines 501-600 Quotes

As for your spiteful words about my marriage with the princess,
I'll show that what I've done is wise and prudent;
And I've acted out of love for you
And for my sons…

Related Characters: Jason (speaker), Medea, The Princess
Page Number: 524-527
Explanation and Analysis:

Here Jason shows himself to be a smooth operator and a generally slimy, hypocritical person. He argues to Medea that he's divorced her and married a new woman because he loves Medea and wants her to be happy. Jason goes on to argue that he's remarried because his new bride is a princess. By marrying the princess, Jason suggests, he'll be able to provide for Medea and their two children, improving everyone's life.

Jason's argument is laughable and contradictory (he's obviously left Medea because he's looking out for his own happiness and prosperity, not his family's). It's even possible that Jason himself believes his own lies--he's so self-centered and confident in himself that he doesn't have any real respect for Medea or their children.

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Lines 901-1000 Quotes

I'll send her gifts, the finest in the world:
A finely woven dress and crown of beaten gold.
The boys will take them.

Related Characters: Medea (speaker), The Children, The Princess
Related Symbols: The Poisoned Crown
Page Number: 916-918
Explanation and Analysis:

Even while she's still speaking to Jason, Medea begins to plan her revenge. She decides to send the Princess (Jason's new wife) a beautiful set of gifts, including a dress and a crown, delivered by her own children--presumably so that the gifts will seem innocent, and the Princess will accept them. But the crown, little does the Princess (or Jason) know, will be enchanted to burst into flames as soon as the Princess puts it on her head, and the dress will likewise be poisoned.

In all, the passage is interesting because it shows that Medea is aware that her revenge on Jason will hurt other people who aren't necessarily guilty at all. Indeed, Medea has already planned to kill pretty much everyone except Jason--the best revenge, she seems to feel, is for him to survive amidst devastation, rather than to enjoy the "peace" of death. In her excessive fury and longing to get revenge on Jason, Medea is going to kill innocent people. Medea's fury is like a fire--once it breaks out, it's impossible to control or focus.

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The Princess Character Timeline in Medea

The timeline below shows where the character The Princess appears in Medea. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Lines 1-100
Exile Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...claims, Medea is hated and Jason has betrayed her and his children by marrying the Princess, the daughter of Creon, the king of Corinth. Medea, meanwhile, according to the Nurse, has... (full context)
Lines 201-300
Exile Theme Icon
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...she will hurt his daughter. He has heard reports that she is threatening Jason, the Princess, and him. (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
...She doesn't grudge him his success and claims that she wishes him, Jason, and the Princess good luck. Then, for good measure, she concedes defeat and begs Creon to take pity... (full context)
Lines 301-400
Exile Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...is plotting evil. Medea gets on her knees and begs Creon by his daughter, the Princess, to let her stay. Despite her innocence, Creon will not put Medea before his own... (full context)
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
...beset by host of problems but hints that the troubles of Creon, Jason, and the Princess are yet to come. She laughs at Creon and calls him a fool for allowing... (full context)
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Medea prophesizes that it will be a bitter and painful wedding for Jason and the Princess. She tells herself to spare none of her skill and go boldly into danger, and... (full context)
Lines 401-500
Exile Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
...and recounts her journey from Clochis to Corinth, bemoaning her plight. To think that the Princess and not Medea now rules Jason's bed! (full context)
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...her is neither bravery nor courage given his newfound comfort in the arms of the Princess. She fumes at him for his shamelessness. She is grateful, however, for the opportunity to... (full context)
Lines 501-600
Exile Theme Icon
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
Jason now responds to Medea's spiteful words concerning his marriage to the Princess, arguing that what he did was wise and right. As an exile, the opportunity to... (full context)
Lines 601-700
Exile Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...outraged. He is especially sympathetic when she reveals that Jason has left her for the Princess. Then Medea tells him she has been banished. Aegeus calls it despicable, and Medea begs... (full context)
Lines 701-800
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...stay in Corinth. She will use them, she says, in a plot to kill the Princess by sending them to her with poisoned gifts, a dress and a golden crown. (full context)
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
If the Princess takes the dress and crown and lets them touch her skin, Medea says, the Princess... (full context)
Lines 801-900
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
...herself while he was away because she has realized that his plan to marry the Princess was sensible and that he is doing what is right. She reflected, she says, and... (full context)
Lines 901-1000
Exile Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
...them. Jason says he will try to persuade Creon. Medea tells him to ask the Princess. He says he thinks it might work—she "is a woman." Medea says she will help... (full context)
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
...no more hope for the boys' lives. They are already walking to their deaths. The Princess will receive her doom, her death. She will put on the gifts and die. The... (full context)
Lines 1001-1100
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...through with her original plan to murder the children. She knows, she says, that the Princess is dying with the poisoned crown on her head and she can't leave her work... (full context)
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...any means possible. She asks him why she should escape. He tells her that the Princess is dead by her poison and Creon is dead from embracing her in her death... (full context)
Lines 1101-1200
Exile Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
The Messenger asks Medea if she is mad for celebrating news of Creon and the Princess's deaths—doesn't such news frighten her? Medea says she will answer, but first she wants him... (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
...their hands. He himself was overjoyed and followed the boys to the women's quarters. The Princess had her eyes on Jason before she saw the children enter. Once she saw them,... (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Seeing the fine gifts, the Messenger says, the Princess agreed to all Jason asked. Jason left the room and she put on the embroidered,... (full context)
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
But, the Messenger continues, when the attendant saw that the Princess was frothing at the mouth, that her eyes were twisting about in their sockets, and... (full context)
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
The Princess, the Messenger says, could not get the crown off. She fell and gruesomely died. The... (full context)
Lines 1201-1300
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
...monologue concludes and the Chorus says that Jason earned this great calamity. It pities the Princess for her attachment to Jason. (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
...is worried his new relatives might do something to them to avenge Creon and the Princess's murder. The Chorus pities Jason's ignorance. He thinks that the Chorus means she intends to... (full context)