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...
... middle of paper ...
...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.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Thematic Antithesis in Greek Tragedies The binary oppositions in Euripides plays, Medea and Bacchae, emphasize the structural techniques seen throughout both of the plays works are “[described as] a pair of theoretical opposites or thematic contrasts” (Marvin 1). The themes are highly symmetrical throughout and typical of the structure of Greek tragedies. Euripides use of thematic antithesis gives greater irony within Greek plays. The gender roles of female and male challenge the traditional stereotypical roles as observed in Greek society, and when those roles are crossed or blurred, the rational becomes irrational and the order of civilized Greek society itself falls into disorder.... [tags: Medea, Bacchae, Gnder Roles, Greek Society]
1349 words (3.9 pages)
- Throughout history women have been victims of many stereotypes. The stereotypes that will be analyzed in this essay are the ideas that women are somehow inferior to men, the weaker sex, both mentally and physically; they are self-sacrificing mothers and wives and that they are dependent on men. This is seen in the play Medea, set in Greece during a time that was dominated by men. Women could only, under exceptional conditions, obtain a divorce yet any Greek man could rid himself of a wife simply by publicly renouncing his marriage.... [tags: Gender Studies]
1579 words (4.5 pages)
- In Euripides' Medea, the protagonist abandoned the gender roles of ancient Greek society. Medea defied perceptions of gender by exhibiting both "male" and "female" tendencies. She was able to detach herself from her "womanly" emotions at times and perform acts that society did not see women capable of doing. However, Medea did not fully abandon her role as a woman and did express many female emotions throughout the play. In ancient Greek society, murder was not commonly associated with women. Throughout the play, however, Medea committed several acts of murder.... [tags: Euripides essays research papers]
771 words (2.2 pages)
- INTRODUCTION Medea was first performed in 431 BCE at the City Dionysia festival. Here every year three playwrights competed against each other, each writing a tetralogy of four tragedies and a satyr play (alongside Medea were Philoctetes, Dictys and the satyr play Theristai). In 431 BCE the competition was between Euphorion (the son of famed playwright Aeschylus, Sophocles (Euripides ' main rival) and Euripides. Euphorion won, and Euripides placed last. The form of the play differs from many other Greek tragedies by its simplicity: All scenes involve only two actors, Medea and someone else.... [tags: Tragedy, Sophocles, Euripides, Dionysia]
1050 words (3 pages)
- Euripides’ play, Medea, is an ambiguous narrative relating to self-serving feminism. Depending on one’s viewpoint, the title character can either be one of the most unconventional delegates of women’s rights or an oblivious saboteur willing to undermine the cause. With all factors from the play taken into account, signs point toward the former. Medea was a pioneer of feminism, acting as a driving force behind breaking the stereotypes assigned to women. Despite being a foreigner and having a questionable moral compass, Medea succeeds in being a benefactress even if it wasn’t the goal she had in mind.... [tags: Medea, Jason, Tragedy, Gender]
1390 words (4 pages)
- The Gender Roles of Characters in “The Medea” by Euripides The popular and controversial play “The Medea” was produced by Euripides in 431 B.C.E. This Greek tragedy displays a war between two lovers and between the sexes. It speaks of the controversial gender roles and relations throughout Greece during the time (Damrosch, 2011, pg. 283). It was ages ahead of its time bringing up the questions and opinions on women’s roles in society and their rights within. Euripides expresses the hardships women must endure during this era.... [tags: Woman, Gender, Medea, Medea]
1030 words (2.9 pages)
- Centuries of traditions has enabled men and women to define gender roles in society. Although some critics declare gender roles do not exist today, others believe they do. In society, men and women are defined by gender roles throughout their activities and emotions. A doctor is typically portrayed by a male while women rear the children and cook for the men. However, although still in existence, today these roles are less obvious but tend to have similar meaning when compared to the past. In ancient Greece, women suffered great hardships.... [tags: Gender Roles in Greek Society]
1283 words (3.7 pages)
- Spectrum of Wrongness: Medea v. Jason Jason is culpable for his decision to leave his family in Euripides’ Medea, however, the murder of his children by Medea is heinous. This does not mean that Medea is right to kill her children. Although it is true that Jason broke his oath, there is no justifying Medea’s actions. The children are a product of a power-hungry couple and they should not face the wrath of Medea because of their father's infidelity. Even before Medea thought of killing her children, she exclaims, “You horrible children, of a mother who hates you / goddamn you with your father / and the whole house go to hell” (Euripides 81-83).... [tags: KILL, Medea, Medea, Greek mythology, Woman]
917 words (2.6 pages)
- Gender Roles in Ancient Greek Society Throughout history, the roles of women and men have always differed to some degree. In ancient Greece, the traditional roles were clear-cut and defined. Women stayed home to care for children and do housework while men left to work. This system of society was not too far off the hunter gatherer concept where women cared for the house and the men hunted. Intriguingly enough, despite the customary submissive role, women had a more multifaceted role and image in society as juxtaposed with the rather simple role men played.... [tags: Greek Gender Roles]
1385 words (4 pages)
- Observation and Interpretation: Throughout the text, fate and the gods are blamed for the cause of the problems, however subsequent choices made later on by the characters appear to be free will, however are actually influenced by fate and the gods. So what?: This makes the audience blame the gods for the overall out come, but still blame the main character for her choices. Quotes: P48 l. 1014-1015 “The gods/ And my evil-hearted plots have led to this.” P39 l. 717 “What good luck chance has brought you.” P61 l.... [tags: Classics Medea Greek Essays]
858 words (2.5 pages)