Comparing the Characters of Lysitrata, Penelope, and Medea
728 Words3 Pages
The purpose of the paper is to compare and contrast the characters of Penelope in the epic, The Odyssey, Lysistrata in the comedy, Lysistrata, and Medea in the tragedy, Medea. The writer will first give a brief synopsis of each character, followed by a comparison and climaxing with the contrast.
Penelope, a loyal, faithful and patient wife is faced with suitors pressuring her daily to remarry. She uses her wit and cleverness to hold them off. She assures the suitors that she will remarry as soon as she finishes the burial shroud for her husband, which she has no intention of finishing until her husband returns. Upon realizing that her husband had returned she makes an announcement to marry the winner of the archery contest.
Lysistrata is portrayed as a typical commander of war that gives orders and does not take part in the war. While being the mastermind behind the sex strike, she is able to separate her self from the other women in her ability to resist her attraction for men. The women are used as pawns by this cunning and powerful, Lysistrata, who is victorious in establishing peace in Greece.
Courageous, powerful, and reckless, Medea left her home without her father's blessing to accompany Jason to the land of Corinth, after using her magic powers to slay the dragon that guarded the golden fleece. She also killed her own brother to slow Jason's chasers. For a while, Medea and Jason lived in harmony in Corinth where they had two children. Later, Jason left Medea for Kreon's daughter. She became grief-stricken at her loss and filled with rage at Jason's betrayal. This, is explained by her nurse during the prologue in World Literature Volume A (pg697), "she'll not stop raging until she has struck at someone",
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... discuss war with her (728). The discussion of war is not something that females in Greece are accustomed to, that lies in the domain of the male.
Medea unlike the other two females was a murderer. She murdered her own brother, Jason's wife, Kreon, and her own children. She was also a sorcerer who used her power mostly for evil.
Penelope and Lysistrata possessed powers too but they never used their power to harm anyone. They used their power to achieve good. Penelope used her power to guarantee her husband's victory over the suitors while Lysistrata used hers to achieve peace in Greece.
Although these three women may have similar characteristics their differences make them unique individuals.
Lawall, Sarah,et al. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 2nd ed. Volume A (slipcased). Norton, 2001. W.W. Norton and Company Inc. New York, NY.