Who said a hero had to be good?



1. If Madea were only male, would that have changed the outcome or story? This we will never know. But what we can know is the madness in her heart and the depth of her sorrow. Madea is very similar to the previous character Achilles. Both are prideful of spirit, have a deep love, react out of emotion, and seek revenge.


Pride causes both characters to act rashly. When their honor is taken away, each character respond in very selfish ways. Each beseeches the Gods to intercede on their behalf to right the wrong as they see fit. Each lets their ego and emotions rule them.


Just as Achilles loved Patroclus, Madea loved Jason, and both in their own ways where lost. Patroclus was killed, while Jason gained a new wife in essence replacing Madea. Madea’s situation may not appear as severe as Achilles but in this woman’s world it was. She had killed her own brother to help Jason, betrayed so many out of love, to be thrown away like garbage when offered the hand of the King’s daughter. As a foreigner she had no rights, not even those of a wife. Jason was free to marry whomever he wanted because in his culture foreign marriages where not seen as binding. Madea was mistaken to think hers was different because of the oaths she made with Jason.


Both are so lost in grief and madness they do unthinkable, sacrilegious things. Achilles dishonors Hector’s body but Madea goes further. Madea kills Jason’s new bride and her father the King, plus her own children; just to spite Jason. She wraps herself so close in her own psychosis she cannot see the atrocities she is committing even when others point it out. Madea, unlike Achilles, has no one like Priam to pull her out of her own obsession.


Madea is a hero for the rights of women in a time where women had little to no rights. She did things and said things only a man had the right to. She stood firm, talked her mind, and took chances most women of the time would never have even considered. She was a voice screaming about the injustices and wrongs perpetrated on women by men who held all the power. I can see the play being a great scandal of the time. It is outrageous, masterfully played out, and leaves the reader shocked at how far the main character takes her madness to gain what she sees as poetic justice toward Jason. Madea is not what many would consider a hero, especially after she takes the lives of her own children to make Jason hurt as deeply and feel the betrayal she herself has felt at his hands. If the tale did not go to such extremes it would have lost its powerful undertone about rights, injustice, and the woman’s side of the society of that time. Madea is a hero for what she represents not for the deeds she executes. Her deeds make her a villain, ruthless and self serving. Who said all heroes had to be good?



  1. Job was a unique individual. He was the type of person who never questioned God’s will, like a young child who believes everything a parent tells them. He also had a pure innocence and accepted whatever in life happened.  He believed that you sow what you reap and kept his nose squeaky clean. Job was not one to be swayed by peer pressure or anyone else’s beliefs. He always was thankful to God and prayed for others. Job’s reply to his wife, “…should we accept the good from God and not accept the bad?’ (2) sums up his whole belief. It comes as no surprise with these simple seemingly naive beliefs that he would wonder why has this befallen him. But in response to Job’s questions, God asks Job who are you to question me? Where you there when the Earth was created? Job in his fear and awe of God, like a child accepts that there are things he does not know and does not understand. As a child with a parent he bows to the maker, he is satisfied with there being things beyond his limited scope. He understands he does not have the full picture. Job’s faith and trust in God is so strong even an ambiguous answer like because ‘I said so’, is enough for him. Job accepts that because he is mortal or as he said “…comfort for dust and ashes.’(42); he as a mortal cannot know the will of a God. He is satisfied knowing this.


I am satisfied with this answer only because I have more information than Job. I got a chance to view behind the curtain. As a human I am also satisfied with the outcome, I know there are things beyond my knowledge. Job understands that he is just a brush stroke in the painting of the Universe and that he cannot see the whole design. I really like how Job can accept the good and the bad, and still love God and trust in Him. I can relate to Job, my health has had many ups and downs, though nothing compared to Job, and I still am thankful to God. Those closest to me have asked, “Why do you still thank God and pray when he has never answered your prayers?’ Similar to Job I tell them I can’t know the mind of the Gods and look at all the experience my soul is gaining with these trials. That is faith. Faith is what Job had.

5 thoughts on “Who said a hero had to be good?

  1. Haley

    I agree with you answer about being satisfied with the end. I really like that you put a personal touch on your writing as well by talking about one of your situations you have had. Faith is definitely the answer to me and I truly believe everyone has faith in one thing or another!

    Also, I read both of your comments on my last two posts and replied to the Iliad one. You asked both times why I don’t answer all the questions. You don’t have to. I asked our instructor and she said that we only have to answer one question if we want. The other questions are there if we don’t have enough to write about just one.

  2. Jacqueline Todd

    I have a very hard time viewing Medea as a hero. I guess I am stuck on the view that hero’s should be self-sacrificing and that in their journey they actually learn something about themselves. Achilles fought even though he knew he would die and he learned about his own humanity when confronted by Hector’s father. I don’t feel Medea learned anything about herself. She stayed angry and bitter and only focused on her own desires.

  3. Mary Filbin Post author

    Okay Haley, I was just curious. It seemed odd since you were the only one taking this path. Thank you for the clarification.

    Maybe I am just the devils advocate. =) Blessings all.

  4. sehoyos

    I like your analogy that Job is just a stroke of paint and cannot see the whole design.

    I can agree with you in that Medea really does have the qualities of a hero, though it is difficult to see that beyond her actions. As a woman she is so strong and independent as well as intelligent, respected and liked by many. When Aigeus comes to visit her, he treats her as an equal. The the women of Corinth are empowered by her, seeking her out when she is distressed and not betraying her plans to anyone. They also don’t leave or try to stop her even though they know she is going into the house to kill her children.

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