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The Role Of Women In Medea

1220 words - 5 pages

Medea is the tragic tale of a woman scorned. It was written in 431 B.C. by the Greek playwright, Euripides. Eruipides was the first Greek poet to suffer the fate of so many of the great modern writers: rejected by most of his contemporaries (he rarely won first prize and was the favorite target for the scurrilous humor of the comic poets), he was universally admired and revered by the Greeks of the centuries that followed his death("Norton Anthology"). Euripides showed his interest in psychology in his many understanding portraits of women ("World Book"). Euripides choice of women support characters such as the nurse and the chorus is imperative to the magnification of Medea's emotions. The ...view middle of the document...

Poor creature, she has discovered by her sufferings What it means to one not to have lost one's own country." (Medea 31-35) The Chorus are sympathetic to Medea's heartache also, and offer a more simple and acceptable approach to help Medea deal with her troubles. "Suppose your man gives honor To another woman's bed.It often happens. Don't be hurt. God will be your friend in this.You must not waste away Grieving too much for him who shared your bed." (Medea 153-158) The truth of the matter is that in Athenian society during this time it was acceptable for men to take new wives on a whim, and getting mad and upset were the only choice, or result of the lack of choice, women had. "We women are the most unfortunate creatures." (Medea 229) "A man, when he's tired of the company in his home, Goes out of the house and puts an end to his boredom And turns to a friend or companion of his own age.But we are forced to keep our eyes on one alone." (Medea 242-245) Medea's tears soon dry with the thoughts of revenge. After Kreon grants her one last day before exhile, Medea uses her cleverness to produce plots of revenge."... he has given me this one day To stay here, and in this I will make dead bodies Of three of my enemies, --father, the girl and my husband."(Medea 369-379) Medea never lets societies norms of a female discourage her from doing the justice she sees fit. Weak and submissive are not something she's going to settle for. Medea talking about herself..."You have the skill. What is more, you were born a woman, And women, thought most helpless in doing good deeds, Are of every evil the cleverest of contrivers." (Medea 404-406) Her rage empowers her with liberation and free thought that far surpasses the women of her time. Although the Chorus never adds to Medea's frenzy directly, they add fuel to the fire of the audience and evokes a certain "You go girl!" attitude that makes the...

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