Feminism and its Role in Medea

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In Medea, by Euripides, conflicts play a major role in the creation of the play. Some examples of these conflicts are with Medea and Jason, Medea and herself, and Medea and Creon. Medea is shown to be a strong, independent woman who does what she wants as well as doesn’t let anything stand in her way. She shares qualities of a traditional male at the time, and the qualities of a traditional female. Euripides makes this clear in the play by creating conflicts to prove women can be a powerful character and that the play in general challenges the idea of misogyny.
Internal conflicts within Medea shed light on her true character and her difficulties to make decisions. Throughout the play, there are many cases of Medea contemplating her decisions and this is done so the readers can see that Medea thinks for herself, and doesn’t let any male control her life. In the play, Medea states, “I had rather stand three times in the front line than bear one child” (1. 249-50). This shows that her internal conflict with not wanting to go through childbirth again is proof that her character is a little bit of a “masculine” woman. In the quote she is saying she’d rather battle than give birth. In a way, it is an example of Medea’ rejection of the foundation of the typical role of woman. Another example of Medea having an internal conflict is when she is deciding whether or not to kill her kids. This is a major plot point in the play, and is the main focus throughout majority of the story. Her conflict with herself regarding her children is a prime example of how Medea might be a different person than the readers’ think she is. While in the midst of her decision, she says, “Why should I hurt them, to make their father suffer, when I shall suffer twi...

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... takes matters into her own hands and doesn’t wait for a man to handle things for her. Also, her internal conflict that is visible throughout the entire play signify that she actually thinks for herself, and is strong enough to need to make serious decisions on her own, regardless of her gender. All of this goes back on the traditional Greek society, and helps make Medea into a play that is ahead of its time. With Euripides challenging the notion of misogyny, he creates Medea to show how powerful and dangerous a woman can be in a story, even though it was never heard of in the modern eras.

Works Cited

“Articles & Summaries in Economics, Political Science, Psychology, & More.” Feminism in
Ancient Greek Philosophy and Drama. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2014
Euripides. Medea. Medea and Other Plays. Trans. Phillip Vellacott. London: Penguin Books, 1963. 17-61. Print.
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