The poetic tone of Aristophanes' Lysistrata differs greatly from the poetic tone of the Greek tragedies we have read in class. However, after analyzing this Greek comedy, it seems to share some of the main characteristics of Euripides' Medea. Within these plays, we meet shrewd, powerful masculine women who use the art of manipulation to get what they want from others and to accomplish their goals. This theme of manipulation is employed through various means and techniques. The women of these plays also seem to contradict the stereotypical woman and have characteristics similar to the Homeric Greek warrior.
In the opening scene of the Medea, the nurse tells the audience of Medea's sorrow. Although Medea has done everything possible to please Jason including committing crimes in his behalf, Jason leaves her and decides to wed the daughter of Creon, the king of Corinth. Though Jason is able to manipulate Medea in the beginning, his powers of manipulation are no match for Medea. Jason also tries to rationalize his actions by claiming that his sole purpose in marrying Creon's daughter is to better the lives of Medea and their children. However, after Medea is full of rage, it is impossible for Jason to manipulate her any further. Throughout the rest of the play, we see several examples of her excellent manipulative skills.
When Medea admits to her murderous intentions to the women of Corinth, she is able to convince them to keep silent about it. She pleads to them using their feministic views to her advantage. When Aegus, the king of Greece arrives in Corinth, she manipulates him to offers her refuge from her enemies in return for a cure for his in...
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...nd coaching them, but never physically joining them in their demonstration against the war.
Although Lysistrata is manipulative, her character is more likeable than Medea's character. Lysistrata is not vengeful when carrying out these plans. Although Lysistrata does gain much power when she organized this movement, her intention is not selfish. Lysistrata manipulates these men and women for, what she believes is a greater good, peace. Also, Medea is feared and deemed powerful because of her passionate rages, while Lysistrata's power comes from her ability to remain strong and composed throughout the play. They are both shrewd characters who undermine the stereotypical subservient female. While Lysistrata serves as a great leader and earns the respect of many men and Medea gains power by cruel means, both use manipulative tactics to accomplish their goals.
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