Essay on Medea Vs. Greek Stereotypes And Gender Roles

Essay on Medea Vs. Greek Stereotypes And Gender Roles

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Medea vs. Greek Prejudices and Gender Roles

In the story of Medea, the author, Euripides, addresses the topics of foreignism and female roles in the ancient Greek society. In the play, Medea, a foreign born woman, marries Jason, a Greek man, and moves to Greece to be with him after leaving her homeland with death and devastation. Then, when their marriage fails, Medea lashes out against Jason, causing her own exile and murdering her children, to which she has no love connection, and Jason’s new wife in the process. The main character, Medea, confirms many of the alleged Greek prejudices against foreigners and creates some prejudices of her own in return. Medea’s foreign roots and misconceptions, as well as her familial and societal atrocities, and difference of feminine beliefs are a topics of discussion throughout the work in its entirety, showing that she is to blame for much of her own mistreatment.
The people of ancient Greece have a strong sense of nationalism and, often times, think of themselves as a highly elite society as shown by Jason when he says, “In the first place, you have your home in Greece, instead of in a barbarian land. You have learned the blessing of Law and Justice, instead of the caprice of the strong” (Page 201). Greece is described as a prosperous country with strong, warrior-like men, and beautiful, obedient women. This patriotism causes Greece to look down upon those coming from less noble lands. This is what leads to the prejudices placed on Medea when she moves to Greece to be with her new husband, Jason.
*Through this marriage, Medea was marginally accepted into Greek culture, despite her poor reputation and emotional baggage, but as her marriage to Jason and her mental competence crumbles a...


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...own children, so she uses them as an instrumental piece in her plan. They are used to deliver the poisoned gifts to Princess Glauce, whose tragic flaw, her vanity, will be the death of her. The death of the princess causes the city to go into a panic, Medea being the only one to blame for the catastrophe. All the calamities caused by Medea prove that the xenophobia of the Greeks is entirely justifiable.
In the play, Euripides may have displayed Medea as an outcast from her society, but in all reality, it was her own decisions, actions, and beliefs that caused the downfall of her social standing and her exile from the community. Her destruction of Greek lives, property, and values along with her inflexible, gender-specific viewpoints and atypical moral beliefs, the Greek people were given reasonable grounds to distrust Medea’s intervention into Greek civilization.

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