VCE English: A big list of Medea quotes

VCE English students should aim to incorporate quotes from their studied text(s) into their text response essays. While you should not use so many quotes that your essay is ‘overpowered’ by them, quotes act as evidence for the claims you make about the text. If you don’t provide such evidence, the exam markers may assume that you are not as familiar with the text as you should be.

Here is a list of Medea quotes organised according to the themes in the play. I would recommend having at least three quotes from each theme memorised. This way you’ll likely have supporting evidence for your essay no matter what prompt appears on the exam.

Medea quotes for VCE English

For a printable PDF of this study resource, please click here: Medea Quotes PDF.

Theme: Reason vs passion

  • “Cursed children of a hateful mother, I want you to die along with your father, and all the house to go to ruin!” – Medea
  • “Do you imagine I would ever have stooped to flattery of this man without having some profit, some scheme in mind?” – Medea
  • “I have no shortage of deadly routes to follow that will lead them to their deaths.” – Medea
  • “Come, Medea, make full use of your knowledge, plan and plot!” – Medea
  • “I betrayed my own father, my own family to come here with you to Iolcus under Pelion, showing more eagerness than sense.” – Medea
  • “Any pleasure I took in life I now renounce; it’s death I want” – Medea 
  • “The man who was the world to me, has provide to be the foulest of traitors, my own husband!” – Medea
  • “Passion is master of my reason, passion that causes the greatest suffering in the world.” – Medea
  • Goodbye to those plans I made! I will take my children away from Corinth with me! In bringing suffering on them to cause their father pain, why should I bring twice as much suffering on myself?…I must find it within me to do this thing…I shall not weaken my hand!…Let them be, poor fool, spare your children!” – Medea
  • “Come, my heart, put on your armour!…this terrible yet necessary deed…A painful race awaits you!…No time now for cowardice or thinking of your children, how much you love them…There will be the rest of your life for weeping” – Medea

Theme: The roles of women and men

  • “This is what keeps a marriage intact – when a husband can count on complete support from his wife” – Nurse
  • “We women are the most miserable of specimens!” – Medea
  • “Taking a master to play tyrant with our bodies” – Medea
  • “Divorce brings disgrace on a woman and in the interval she cannot refuse her husband” – Medea
  • “If we share our home with a husband who finds marriage a yoke he bears with ease, our lives are to be envied. But if not, we’d be better off dead.” – Medea
  • “If man becomes dissatisfied with married life, he goes outdoors and finds relief for his frustrations. We are bound to love one partner and look no further.” – Medea
  • “I would rather face the enemy three times over than bear a child once.” – Medea
  • “We are women, quite helpless in doing good but surpassing any master craftsman in working evil” – Medea
  • “The rolling ages have much to tell of our side, much, as well, of men’s” – Chorus
  • “You women…think your happiness is complete when love smiles on you but, should some misfortune mar that love, you take all that is good and beautiful in life and turn it into grounds for bitter hatred.” – Jason
  • “There should have been some other means for mankind to reproduce itself, without the need of a female sex; this would rid the world of all its troubles.” – Jason
  • “Do not grieve so much for a husband lost that it wastes away your life” – Chorus
  • “…We are what nature made us, I will not say creatures of wickedness, but women. You ought not to imitate our shortcomings or seek to vie with us in childish behaviour.” – Medea
  • “This is how a sensible woman should behave.” – Medea
  • “A woman is a soft creature, made for weeping.” –Medea
  • “I expect I’ll win her around all right, if she’s a woman like all the rest!” – Jason
  • Many times here now I have entertained thoughts more subtle and engaged in arguments more weighty than the female sex should pursue.” – Chorus
  • “Oh, how many times the troubles caused by the loves of women! How many sorrows you have brought on mankind before now!” – Chorus

Theme: Exile & the individual

  • “O, Colchis, my dear homeland! How I think of you now” – Medea
  • “What city will open its doors to me? Who will show me hospitality and grant me protection by providing a country where I cannot be harmed, a home where I would enjoy security? Impossible!” – Medea
  • “From your father’s home you sailed with madness in your heart, threading the twin rocks of the great sea; but now you dwell in a foreign land, poor lady…and are driven without rights into exile” – Chorus
  • “You have no father’s home, unhappy lady, to offer haven from your troubles” – Chorus
  • “To be denied one’s native land is a misery beyond all others” – Chorus
  • “Pity me, this luckless woman and do not look on when I am banished without a friend but receive me in your country and at the hearth of your home!” – Medea

Theme: Justice and natural law

  • “The criminal with a gift for speaking deserves the worst of punishment. There is nothing he dares not do.” – Medea to Jason
  • “…Would not break mankind’s laws, do not do this thing” – Chorus upon hearing Medea’s plans
  • “Consider what it is to strike your children down, consider whose blood it is you mean to spill…we beg you not to murder your children!” – Chorus
  • “This day it seems heaven has rained many blows justly on the head of Jason.” – Chorus


  • “If I devise some ways and means of making my husband pay for this suffering of mine: your silence”. – Medea
  • “My heart will gain some relief once I have told you what I think of you and, further, my words will make painful listening for you.” – Medea
  • “Now I have hope my enemies will get their deserts! …so that I may kill the king’s daughter…for I shall kill my own children…I will wreck havoc on Jason’s house.” – Medea
  • (Re: killing her children) “It is by doing this that I shall hurt my husband the most!” – Medea to Chorus


  • “I have not disowned my family and here I am…looking to your future…to prevent you from being driven out with our children” – Jason
  • “Gone is the trust to be placed in oaths; I cannot discover if you think that the gods you swore by then have lost their sovereignty or that new laws these days are prescribed for men” – Medea
  • “I have acted like a true friend to you and my children” – Jason
  • “My intention was to make you safe and to father princes who would be kindred to my own sons and so provide security for our family” – Jason
  • “I call the gods to witness that I am willing to do anything I can for both you and the children” – Jason

Theme: Family

  • “I have not disowned my family and here I am; I am looking to your future, my lady, to prevent your being driven out together with our children, either penniless or in need of anything else.” – Jason
  • “To subject one’s own family to ill-treatment and then to look them in the face” – Medea to Jason
  • “For if you still had no sons, it would be something I could forgive, this desire you have for a new bride.” – Medea
  • “Above all, I wanted us to live comfortably and not go without anything, for I know that an impoverished friend is shunned…I also wanted to raise my sons in a manner worthy of my house and, by producing brothers for my sons by you, to put them on an equal footing and so, by joining our two families into one, to ensure my prosperity.” – Jason to Medea
  • “It is to my advantage to assist my existing ones by means of children yet unborn. Surely I have planned well?” – Medea
  • “My intention was to make you safe and provide security for our family.” – Jason
  • “If you want to accept any sum of money from me to help you or our children on the journey from here, I am ready to provide it” – Jason
  • “I am willing to do anything I can for both you and the children” – Jason
  • “May he die, the man who cannot honour his loved ones” – Chorus

Theme: Betrayal

“Oh, I am wretched, pity me for my sufferings! Oh, if only I could die!” – Medea

  • “After this I have done for you and yet you have betrayed me” – Medea
  • “Gone is the trust to be placed in oaths” – Medea
  • “Where am I to turn to now? To my father’s house that I betrayed together with my homeland when I came here?”
  • “You have betrayed your wife and are behaving unjustly.” – Chorus Leader