In “Stereotype and Reversal in Euripides’ Medea,” Shirley A. Barlow asserts that Medea is a foreign woman who does not want to accept to adapt to the labels that are placed on women of Greek society, unless it allows her to gain favor for her to accomplish her revenge on those who have ruined her life. Barlow affirms that Medea has equal conditions as every women in Greek society, but she segregate herself from the labels that Greek society has for female behavior and everyday living. Medea talks with the chorus, the Corinth’s women, and gets support and compassion from these women because of the betrayal Jason placed upon Medea this how “she differs from them by implication the general run of Greek women in that she will not acquiesce in her circumstance and will not, therefore, stay in labelled pigeon-hole into which society has put her.” Women of Greek society are bound to their husband. They are to stay domestic and to be blissful with a stress free life; with no outside contact with anyone unless their husband gives them permission. Barlow states that Medea is outrage with vicious passion about how the Greek society views her situation that she disperses and argues the illusion and concoctions on how Greek women should act.
She assumes that Greek women are weak and naive for allowing men to treat them this way; allowing men to cast them away at their heart’s content. Her hatred toward Greek women continues as she discusses the fact that she should not have to bear children or have a strong maternal instinct in order to be considered a woman of societal worth. Women should be as important in battle as men are, as she states on page 195 when she says “They say that we have a safe life at home, whereas men must go to war. Nonsense! I had rather fight three battles than bear one child.
Antigone feels because she and Ismene are sisters and thy feel remorse towards the death of their brother, she should want to help Antigone. Antigone telling Ismene her plans causes feelings that a women should have never had in that time period. Ismene tells Antigone, “We are only women, /we cannot fight with men, Antigone! The law is strong, we must give in to the law” (1.47-49). Antigone is angry for what her sister has said.
In some ways, these Greek women were almost like slaves. There is a definite relationship between this subordination of women and what transpires in the play. Jason decides that he wants to divorce Medea and marry the princess of Corinth, casting Medea aside as if they had never been married. This sort of activity was acceptable by Greek standards, and shows the subordinate status of the woman, who had no say in any matter like this. Even though some of Medea's actions were not typical of the average Greek woman, she still had attitudes and emotions common among women.
Loyal Disobedience-A Social Tract of Euripides In ancient Greece the females were considered to be conniving and deceiving whisperers, and men almost never trusted their wives. The ideal woman was an obedient and placating wife. They believed that the female should be strong but still yield to the power of the male in charge, whether it was older brother, father, or husband. Euripides often used females in uncommon ways; he did not simply show them as complacent animals. Women in Euripides' plays were used for social commentary.
Ismene is unable to have control over her destiny and decisions because she is fearful of men’s power over women, which leads to her refusing to bury Polynices. Later in the play, Ismene questions Creon’s judgment by saying “you’d kill your own son’s bride?” (641) which indicates that she is now aware that woman should have a voice and power in society. Her new understanding of Antigone’s message gives her the strength to query Creon, while additionally highlighting his cruelty. Ismene’s original belief of “submit[ing] to this” (77) and being a proper Greek girl, eventually transforms into becoming an advocate for Antigone. Her transformation defies men’s authority, the opposite of what she used to believe in.
Both women ultimately value family, however, they are split between whom they are most considerate to and immediately cause the audience to take sides. Antigone, the protagonist of the play, has what is seemingly the most powerful female role. From the very beginning of the plot she foreshadows her demise but expresses it through her stubbornness and inability to realize the great power of man. It is possible that she was aware of Creon’s capabilities as a leader, but nonetheless, she fights back by going t... ... middle of paper ... ... on the Plays of Sophocles. SIU Press, 1991.
Though she does display a positive role upon society with her fight against male dominance, Medea is a true villain with her ability to manipulate people and her thirst for vengeance. During the Ancient Greece era, females were regarded lesser than males and therefore had no place within society. But Medea, unlike most women during her time, stood up to the male dominated society. Instead of quietly accepting Jason’s marriage with a younger woman, Medea instead “[relieves her] feelings by denouncing [her husband]” and she states that “[Jason] will grieve to hear [her]” (Euripides 472-473). Medea only does not listen to Jason’s command, she also threatens him by saying that he will regret his choice.
When Teiresias tells Creon of his fate, Creon refuses to believe this; thus Creon must suffer the loss of his family. Sexual category: the Role of Females The significance of Antigone’s action are deeply under the influence of her sexuality. In fact, Creon admits that one of the main reasons that motivates him to overthrow Antigone is simply due to the fact that she is a female. Even if someone considers the freedom of females with ancient standards he will realize that women in Greek was under a severe restrictions and limitations. Having this in mind, Antigone's disobedience was considered as a potential danger because it was aiming to change female’s character in the Greek society.
The general story has shown women to be left at the mercy of men and both adaptations challenge that perception. Trojan women has been used to push for social change because it presents the story of a group of women who appear worthless now that the men in their life have died in battle, and the characters within the story react to this in different ways. Both Evans and Meacewen showcase Helen as a character that has the qualities it takes to choose her own fate, rather than having her husband do it for her. Although the difference in plot may give Helen a more empowering role in Trojan Barbie than in Trojan Women, both writers can agree that this character use her cleverness to decide her own future.