Due to traditional stereotypes of women, literature around the world is heavily male-dominant, with few female characters outside of cliché tropes. Whenever a female character is introduced, however, the assumption is that she will be a strong lead that challenges the patriarchal values. The authors of The Thousand and One Nights and Medea use their female centered stories to prove their contrasting beliefs on the role of women not only in literature, but also in society. A story with a female main character can be seen as empowering, but this is not always the case, as seen when comparing and contrasting Medea and The Thousand and One Nights. For their respective time periods, Medea and 1001 Nights stand out among literature because instead …show more content…
Aphrodite, caring for only Jason, causes Medea to fall in love with him because of her known magical talents. To help Jason, Medea kills her own brother, betting that her father would stop for her brother’s body parts and allow her escape with Jason. While her escape plan works due to her innate sense of the way people react, Medea is now homeless. Still, the society expected Medea to give up everything for Jason, while he was allowed to ditch her with no social consequences. “And she herself helped Jason in every way. This is indeed the greatest salvation of all,-For the wife not to stand apart from the husband.” (Medea, pg. 616, line …show more content…
With no husband, no country to turn to, and no one she can really depend on for rescue, Medea is trapped by her circumstances. Instead of becoming crushed, however, Medea turns it against those she hate. She attacks the weaknesses in her enemies’ character. Knowing Jason would feel guilty about his abandonment, Medea sent her own children to deliver the poisoned gifts, despite the certain death her children would face being involved in such a plot. Knowing the princess would not resist flashy gifts, she cursed the dress and crown. Knowing the king’s love for his daughter would cause him to rush to her aid, Medea formulated the curse to spread to those who touched the daughter as well. As each facet of her plan had to be executed perfectly to succeed, Medea demonstrated the full potential of her capabilities. She proves that when a society completely scorns and devalues women, everyone will pay as women are incredibly strong. Euripides shows his views on female power through Medea. As a writer of the marginalized in society, Medea is the prime example of minorities of the age. She is a single mother, with 2 illegitimate children, in a foreign place. Despite all these disadvantages, Medea is the cleverest character in the story. Medea is a warning to the consequences that follow when society underestimates the
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Medea is a tragedy written by acclaimed Greek playwright Euripides.fortunately, had the opportunity to view last night's performance. Euripides cleverly uncovers the reality of Ancient Greek society, shining a light on the treatment of women and the emotions and thoughts that provoked during their time in society. As they were voiceless, Euripides acted as a voice. The scene is set during a male- dominated society, Medea the protagonist challenges the views and chooses to ignore the normality of civilisation. Treated as an outsider her passion for revenge conquers the motherly instincts she possesses, provoking a deep hatred and sparking revenge towards her once loved family.
To begin comparing Euripides Medea and Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book 7, we need to look at three components: context, characters, and themes. Both Euripides and Ovid tell the story of Jason abandoning Medea for another woman; however, they do not always share a perspective on the female protagonist’s traits, behavior, and purpose. Euripides portrays a woman who reacts to discrimination by beginning a battle to gain revenge all who harmed her, which she is prepared to follow through with even if it means resorting to the most despicable methods. Ovid, on the other hand, tells of a much less severe figure whose modest goal is only to persuade Jason to return. Despite these written differences, both of their Medea’s create trouble by acting with emotions instead of with reason, and as a result, put themselves in undesirable situations. Euripides and Ovid present two different sets of motivations for Medea's behavior wh...
In the play "Medea", Medea faces the harsh reality of infidelity. Her husband Jason has left her for a princess. Medea, like any normal woman today would want revenge. The difference between them is that the normal woman would not commit the crime, while in fact Medea does. After what feels like an eternity of planning and vowing revenge she devises a plan to murder the woman who has stolen her husband as well as her husband and their two children. She feels betrayed and has every right to. Imagine in that time that it was a crime to commit adultery, but because Jason had left his wife for a princess it was plausible which left Medea livid.
In Medea, the ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides, the main character Medea is shown as a double personality character in this tragedy. Upon reading Medea, one finds that Medea has many untraditional characteristics for a woman. Medea started her marriage as the perfect loving wife who gave and sacrificed so much for her husband. After Medea’s husband betrays her by marrying another woman, Medea accumulate so much hatred against Jason and every one involved with him. Half-way into the reading Medea becomes a villainous murderer that demands respect and sympathy even after all she has done. By the end of the play, Medea has killed every one that has crossed her
Because she does not hold the same beliefs and ideals of the women in her new society, this escalates the Greek’s skepticism of her and leads to further rejection. Jason explains to Medea that Greek women accept traditional societal roles and the duties placed on them by men when he says, “It is only natural for your sex to show resentment when their husbands contract another marriage. But your heart has now changed for the better. It took time, to be sure, but you have now seen the light of reason. That’s the action of a wise woman” (Page 209-210), but Medea strongly refutes these beliefs.
Euripedes tugs and pulls at our emotions from every angle throughout The Medea. He compels us to feel sympathy for the characters abused by Medea, yet still feel sympathy for Medea as well. These conflicting feelings build a sense of confusion and anxiety about the unfolding plot. In the beginning, the Nurse reveals the recent background events that have caused Medea so much torment: "She herself helped Jason in every way" (13) and now he "has taken a royal wife to his bed" (18). Right away we are angry with Jason for breaking his wedding vows, and we are building up sympathy for Medea as the Nurse describes her acts of suffering. When we first see Medea, she speaks passionately to the women of Corinth and convinces them to side with her. She evokes their sympathy by drawing further attention to her suffering and speaking in terms that bring them all to common ground. Aegeus becomes Medea’s first victim when he, unknowingly, provides the final building block in her plan for revenge against Jason. We sympathize for Aegeus in his ignorance. Medea now has confidence in her plan, so she reveals it to the women of Corinth. She is going to send her children to Jason’s bride with a poisoned dress that will make her die in agony. We are still compelled to sympathize with Medea at this point because she has justified her reasons for seeking revenge. However, the princess is oblivious to Medea’s plot; she will accept the gift for its beauty then meet an unexpected, agonized death. The image of pain and agony elicits our sympathy as well. Medea presents her most perverse speech when she explains how she will kill her own children then flee Corinth. Alone, these acts provoke pure disgust, but Euripides has developed Medea’s character as a coercive force; we still sympathize with her for her plight, yet we also hate her for her decisions. The women of Corinth try to persuade her away from this morbid choice, but their arguments are ineffective. Euripides employs stichomythia in the exchange between the women and Medea to show Medea breaking down boundaries between self and other, which prevent sympathy (811-819). Euripedes focuses on suffering, ignorance, and rhetoric to leave us torn in our sympathy for every character.
Later in the story, our sympathy transfers from Medea to Jason. Her revenge turns immoral, leaving readers with a sense of uneasiness. It is not so much the fact that she kills Creon and his daughter, but the fact that she slays her children in cold-blood.
The speech itself highlights women's subordinate status in ancient Greek society, especially in the public eye." When Medea points out that women, especially "foreign" women, "require some knowledge of magic and other covert arts to exert influence over their husbands in the bedroom," she argues for a kind of alternative power that women can enjoy. A power that remains invisible to men and unknown by society, yet sways each with unquestionable force. Medea also supplies a method for interpreting her own character towards the end of her speech (lines 251-257): we should read her history of exile as a metaphoric exaggeration of all women's alienation; in fact, her whole predicament, past and yet to come, can be read as an allegory of women's suffering and the heights of tragedy it may unleash if left unattended. Under this model of interpretation, Medea portrays the rebellion of women against their "wretchedness." Such a transparent social allegory may seem forced or clichéd in our own contemporary setting, but in Euripides' time it would have been revolutionary, as tragedy generally spoke to the sufferings of a generic (perhaps idealized) individual, rather than a group. It would be a mistake, however, to claim that Medea's speech elaborates a clearly progressive political message, as her concluding remarks appeal to women's natural talent for devious manipulation (line 414). While Euripides' play manifests many revolutionary political sentiments, its social criticisms remain sporadic, forming just a part of some of the many trains of thought he follows.
Even in today’s society, gender roles play a part in how people view the world. Although more important than the gender roles are the emotions that antagonize the psyche of the human. Medea shows how jealousy can lead to revenge and influence bad decisions and ruin or even end lives. Ironically, the decisions she makes to kill her children, leaves Jason helpless much like a Greek wife during this time. She removes the opportunity for him to voice his opinions, needs, and desires. This flip of traditional gender roles shows how gender roles are not a reliable way to view a society.
Because of Medea’s strange way of thinking, the reader is able to identify with her. Although she wishes harm on Jason, Medea does not care who else gets hurt along the way. “Ah, lost in my sufferings, I wish, I wish I might die,” (pg. 692, line 97-8). She is able to convince the reader with her first line that her suffering has been so awful, that there is no longer any point in living. Before truly understanding what is going on in the play, Medea is able to get many people on her side. At the very least, she is able to make most people feel sorry for her right away, and recognize her as a pitiful character.
Both Jason and Medea are selfish, looking to further their own desires using any means at their disposal; Jason breaks his oath and abandons Medea, while Medea embarks on a brutal revenge. Initially, Jason seems rational; exercising a calm manner in presenting his case to Medea, however unlike Medea Jason lacks the ability to foresee how others will behave. Contrastingly, Medea appears to be savage in nature, overpowered by her emotions. However she is shown to be clever and cunning, capable of manipulating others to serve her interests. Although her underlying motive is passionate revenge, she proves to be highly skilled and calculating in executing her vicious plan. Thus it is inaccurate to portray Medea as totally irrational; Medea encapsulates both passion and craft, while Jason underestimates her power and foolishly falls into her trap.
However, even when his life has been ruined by Medea Jason still fails to see the fault in his actions as he blames her and his marrying of her for the tragedies that have befallen him rather than acknowledging that the only reason Medea killed anyone in the first place was because he was unfaithful to her and abandoned her for the prospect of power. And thus at the end we are brought back to the main theme of the play, denial, and as such I have come to believe that Euripides’ main goal with this play was to exhibit the different ways in which men and women react to consequences of actions and also as a way of exposing the injustices committed upon women by men in power and by men who seek
In her first speech Medea wins over the chorus by a plea to solidarity in the face of women's victimization by a male-dominated society, and this response by the chorus is an essential step in the poet's paradoxical task of winning sympathy and understanding for a mother who kills her children. But as that first speech itself indicates, Medea both is and is not a typical (Greek) woman: she is a foreig...
The purpose of the playwright in employing an all-female chorus is to garner respect for the female protagonist, by having them support and identify themselves with the oppressed heroine. The connection between Medea and the chorus is seen in the exposition as the women step forward to help, "advise a friend" and again later in the play as they appeal to her maternal instincts to prevent her from becoming an "unholy child-killer" ; and even though they do fail in stopping her (owing solely to her unwavering determination), the significance of their bond of sisterhood is shown as they manage to make Medea hesitate in the execution of her plans in her only moment of true weakness in the play, by alluding to great women like "Harmony" and "Aphrodite" and speaking of how morally just they had been, contrasting them with her despicable, unholy actions in an attempt to make Medea comprehend the severity of the sin she was about to commit. Through this sisterhood, the playwright enables a sensitive approach to feminism and uses it as the foundation of the plot while avoiding its inclusion as a central theme, to which the Greek audience could have reacted