Medea

Jason Character Analysis

Jason is the son of Aeson. As a child he is given to the centaur, Chiron, to be raised, educated, and protected from his greedy half-uncle, Pelias, king of Iolocus. In an effort to get rid of Jason, Pelias sends him in quest of the Golden Fleece, but, with Medea's help, Jason succeeds in obtaining it. Until the cowardly and greedy behavior elaborated in Medea, Jason conducts himself more or less heroically. Within the play, he is a shortsighted representative of the ruling class of advantaged men. He is a cunning rhetorician (arguer), but, as we see in Medea, is arguments are not always in the service of truth. He is more concerned with making himself look good and defending his indefensible actions.

Jason Quotes in Medea

The Medea quotes below are all either spoken by Jason or refer to Jason. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Cambridge University Press edition of Medea published in 1999.
Lines 1-100 Quotes

The people here are well disposed to [Medea],
An exile and Jasons's all obedient wife:
That's the best way for a woman to keep safe –
Not to cross her husband.
But now her deepest love is sick, all turns to hate.

Related Characters: The Nurse (speaker), Medea, Jason
Page Number: 11-15
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lines 201-300 Quotes

My husband has turned out to be the most despicable of men.
Of all the creatures that have life and reason
We women have the worst lot.

Related Characters: Medea (speaker), Jason
Page Number: 218-220
Explanation and Analysis:

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Medea, scowling there with fury at your husband!
I have given orders that you should leave the country:
Take your two sons and go, into exile. No delay!

Related Characters: Creon (speaker), Medea, Jason
Page Number: 259-261
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lines 401-500 Quotes

Consider yourself lucky that your punishment
Is merely exile…

Related Characters: Jason (speaker), Medea
Page Number: 433-434
Explanation and Analysis:

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You vile coward! Yes, I can call you that,
The worst name that I know for your unmanliness!

Related Characters: Medea (speaker), Jason
Page Number: 444-445
Explanation and Analysis:

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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:

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Jason, you have put a fine gloss on your words.
But – I may not be wise to say this – I think
You've acted wrongly: you have betrayed your wife.

Related Characters: The Chorus (speaker), Medea, Jason
Page Number: 553-555
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lines 1301-1400 Quotes

Hateful creature! O most detestable of women
To the gods and me and all the human race!
You could bring yourself to put to the sword
The children of your womb. You have taken my sons
and destroyed me.

Related Characters: Jason (speaker), Medea, The Children
Page Number: 1302-1306
Explanation and Analysis:

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No Greek woman
Could ever have brought herself to do that.
Yet I rejected them to marry you, a wife
Who brought me enmity and death,
A lioness, not human…

Related Characters: Jason (speaker), Medea
Page Number: 1318-1322
Explanation and Analysis:

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Jason Character Timeline in Medea

The timeline below shows where the character Jason 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
Outside the door to Medea's house in the city-state of Corinth, the Nurse laments that Jason's ship, the Argo, ever sailed to Clochis, Medea's non-Grecian homeland, in search for the Golden... (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...daughters, then, the Nurse says, Medea would never have come to live in Corinth with Jason. Where, the Nurse claims, Medea is hated and Jason has betrayed her and his children... (full context)
Lines 101-200
Exile Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
...asks the Nurse to tell them what's going on. The Nurse responds that Medea and Jason's family is finished and recounts Medea's grief and Jason's infidelity. Medea wails from off stage... (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...more calls out from off stage, asks the goddesses Themis and Artemis to witness how Jason has broken the oaths he made to her. She once more cries for her lost... (full context)
Lines 201-300
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Her husband, Jason, she says, is the most despicable man, and adds that, of all creatures on earth,... (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...is afraid 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
...him? she asks. 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... (full context)
Lines 301-400
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
...that she is 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... (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... (full context)
Lines 401-500
Exile Theme Icon
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
Jason enters. Medea and he converse in the area outside Medea's house. Jason scolds Medea for... (full context)
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
Medea calls Jason a coward for his unmanliness. She says his coming to her is neither bravery nor... (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
Medea condemns Jason for taking another woman when he already has two sons. He has shirked his fatherly... (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...all her friends are now her enemies because of the things she has done for Jason. She is sarcastic with Jason, calling him a marvelous husband. What a fine job he's... (full context)
Lines 501-600
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
Jason responds with an elaborate analogy, saying that he is like a boat pilot steering himself... (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Medea's home country, Clochis, Jason argues, is savage and primitive (not Greek) and living in Greece is inherently better because... (full context)
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... (full context)
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
Jason accuses Medea of being blind to his wisdom because of her sexual jealousy. He says... (full context)
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
...even greater penalty. Such a man brazenly dresses up his wickedness in false words. If Jason was a real man, Medea says, he would have convinced her that what he was... (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Medea says that it is not her bitterness that spurred Jason to take a new wife but rather his growing embarrassment at having her, a foreign... (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
Medea and Jason argue about what Medea did to deserve exile. Jason says she called out curses and... (full context)
Lines 601-700
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
Jason calls on the gods to witness that he is willing to help Medea and the... (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
Medea wishes Aegeus success. Then he notices her wan look and vexed condition. She recounts Jason's betrayals. Aegeus is shocked and outraged. He is especially sympathetic when she reveals that Jason... (full context)
Lines 701-800
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...as a sign from the gods. She reveals her plan to have a servant fetch Jason back to her so that she can speak submissively and beg that the children might... (full context)
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...causes her grief, the next step will be to kill her children. She will demolish Jason's whole house and leave the country. She says she can endure the unholy crime of... (full context)
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
...It is no time for moderation. She sends a member of the Chorus to get Jason. The Chorus member exits. (full context)
Lines 801-900
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Jason enters saying that, despite Medea's ill-will, he will listen to her. Medea deceitfully apologizes for... (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
...out from the house and they enter through the door. She tells them to embrace Jason. She feigns fear that the children won't live long because of their impending exile. She... (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Jason is glad that Medea has come around to his view and says he doesn't blame... (full context)
Lines 901-1000
Exile Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
...that it is best for her to be banished, but that the boys should stay. Jason should beg Creon to let them. Jason says he will try to persuade Creon. Medea... (full context)
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
Medea tells Jason to send a maid (a member of the Chorus) to get the presents and tell... (full context)
Exile Theme Icon
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
...palace, kneel before their father's new wife and beg her to spare them from exile. Jason and the boys exit. (full context)
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
...doom, her death. She will put on the gifts and die. The Chorus sings that Jason blindly brings death upon his new wife and children, and that it shares Medea's grief. (full context)
Lines 1001-1100
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...wants her enemies to laugh at her for losing her resolve and leaving her enemy (Jason) unpunished. She suffers from a crisis of confidence, going back and forth between her options... (full context)
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
...members as friends and says that she sees the Messenger from the palace, one of Jason's servants, whom she's been awaiting. He is agitated and out of breath with news of... (full context)
Lines 1101-1200
Exile Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
...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, she pulled on her veil... (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, poisoned gown and the... (full context)
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
...let out a deeper more shocked wail. Maids rushed to the king, Creon, and to Jason. People rushed all about the palace. The Princess said nothing for some time then gave... (full context)
Lines 1201-1300
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
...or less fortunate, not happy. His long, expository 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
Jason enters and questions the Chorus if Medea is still in the house. He says she... (full context)
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Jason asks where the children were killed. The Chorus tells him to open the door. He... (full context)
Lines 1301-1400
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Jason calls Medea the most detestable creature of all time. She has killed his children and... (full context)
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
Medea says she would respond at greater length, but Zeus knows what she did for Jason and how he dishonored her. He can call her a lioness if he likes, but... (full context)
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Duty Theme Icon
Jason says his infidelity would be a small matter to a sensible woman, but to Medea... (full context)
The Roles of Men and Women Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Jason calls on avenging Furies and bloody Justice to destroy Medea. Medea asks what gods could... (full context)
Truth vs. Rhetoric Theme Icon
Justice and Natural Law Theme Icon
Jason calls on Zeus to witness how Medea, a child-murderer, is driving him away. He swears... (full context)