Medea Research Paper

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Rebecca Goldberg Professor Thomas Rooney English 214: Literary Classics 31 March 2015 Medea Defying the Role of a Typical Greek Woman In ancient Greece, especially in the Greek tragedies, the views of females by men are derogatory and often times negative perspectives. Females and males are not equal by any means. The Greek playwrights typically portray the women as domestic and submissive beings whose only purpose is to act as the perfect wife and mother and adhere to their family’s every whim. In the play “Medea” written by Euripides, Medea plays a major role as the female protagonist unlike in many other Greek tragedies where women only play minor roles. Medea’s character dominates much of the story as she exhibits unusual emotional and…show more content…
At first Medea struggles with the idea of killing her children and the chorus advises her against doing so however Medea decides to go through with her evil plot. Medea says, “By exiling me, he has given me this one day to stay here, and in this I will make dead bodies of my three enemies- father, the girl, and my husband […] I am most skilled, and make away with them by poison” (187). The children will be used in a ploy to kill Glauce by presenting her gifts tainted with a deadly poison. In order to protect her children Medea believes killing them would be the best option which is cruel and highly unethical for anyone to do, but especially a traditional Greek woman of the time. Medea says when discussing her plot, “I weep to think of what a deed I have to do next after that; for I shall kill my own children. My children, there is no one who can give them safety” (200). When Medea weeps over the thought of killing her children she shows remorse but that remorse quickly dissipates as the play progresses. Medea lets her passion and disgust toward Jason take over her thinking as she commits heinous crimes that is not only hurting Jason, but hurting herself in the process as…show more content…
In the beginning of the play Medea comments on the state of women and says, “We women are the most unfortunate creatures. Firstly, with an excess of wealth it is required for us to buy a husband and take for a bodies a master […] she arrives among new modes of behavior and manners” (182). Medea portrays women as helpless as they become their husband’s property and are forced to live by certain standards. However, this description fits the average Greek woman and not Medea. Medea is not a defenseless woman but rather a person that people need to be defended from. At the end of the play Medea displays her cruelty in full impact as Jason says about the children “You loved them, and killed them” to which Medea replies “To make you feel pain” (220). Medea’s anger takes over and she not only admits to killing the children to hurt Jason, but Medea’s reaction is odd as she displays no remorse for her crime. A typical woman would show remorse and hate herself for committing such a crime but in Medea’s case she breaks down the standards of a Greek woman by not showing any remorse for killing her only two

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