This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Comparison Between The Bacchae And The Medea

1266 words - 5 pages

In Euripides’ The Bacchae and in the Medea, there are significant binary oppositions in both plays. Binary opposition is the two opposite terms, such as good versus bad. Binary opposition is used to present both sides of a contrast (Marvin, 1). In The Bacchae and the Medea, Euripides used binary opposition to highlight the central themes. The significant binary oppositions that are used are men versus women, foreigner versus citizen, and god versus man.
The contrast between men versus women is an important opposition in both plays. The women in the Greek society have no control of their life; the men are in control (Barlow 159). In The Bacchae Dionysus underminded the Greek society point view on women and empowers them. Pentheus is furious about Dionysus; he states in this first speech to his Grandfather Cadmus and Tiresias that the women have betrayed their houses to go off into the mountains to dance to Dionysus and are committing sexual acts (Bacchae 217-224). Pentheus is offended that an “effeminate looking stranger” has come into his land and is giving freedom to the women (353). There is a binary opposition between the way Greek society and Pentheus are treating the women (men) versus the way Dionysus treats them (women).
In Medea, the society is similar when it comes to men versus women. Barlow states that the “[h]usband have complete physical control of their wives,” which is similar to the society in Bacchae (Barlow 159). Medea is mistreated by almost all the men that she encounters within the play. Jason betrays her and leaves her to marry Creon’s daughter. Creon wants to banish Medea and her two sons from his land (Medea 272-273). When Creon is banishing Medea from his land he has no heart for her or her children; he treats her like a man would treat a woman in the Greek society. These are all situations where Medea is being looked down on, and there is no sympathy for her when she is losing everything she had worked for.
The binary opposition of man versus woman starts off strong, but Euripides switches the roles in both plays. In The Bacchae the woman worship Dionysus. Pentheus disguises himself as a woman, and goes off to view the women in the mountains, which is Dionysus plan the whole time. Pentheus dresses up as a woman and admits to wanting to see the women up at the mountains, and this goes against Pentheus’ anger at the beginning of the play (Bacchae 813-814). In the end of the play the women overpower Pentheus and destroy him to pieces (Bacchae 1125-1140). This is an example of the women being controlling of their own actions and being stronger than the men. In Medea the stereotype of the man and the woman switch. Medea is no longer going to sit around and let every man walk all over her; she states in her speech that she will take revenge on everybody that caused her misery (Medea 364-409). Barlow emphasizes on the reversal of the stereotype, stating that Medea, “is a woman,...

Find Another Essay On Comparison Between The Bacchae and The Medea

Otherness in Euripides' Bacchae and Soyinka's The Bacchae of Euripides

800 words - 3 pages Otherness in Euripides'Bacchae and Soyinka's The Bacchae of Euripides   Both Euripides and Wole Soyinka are focused on a fundamental ethical imperative in their plays: welcome the stranger into your midst. Acceptance of Dionysus as a god, as "an essence that will not exclude or be excluded", is stressed (Soyinka 1). Pentheus is punished severely for excluding, for refusing to acknowledge or submit to, Dionysus' divine authority. In order to

Sophocles´ Antigone and Euripides´ The Bacchae

1314 words - 6 pages Sophocles’ Antigone and Euripides’ The Bacchae are indubitably plays of antitheses and conflicts, and this condition is personified in the manifestation of their characters, each completely opposed to the other. Both tragedians reveal tensions between two permanent and irreconcilable moral codes; divine law represented by Antigone and Dionysus and human law represented by Creon and Pentheus. The central purpose is evidently the association of

Women in Euripides' Alcestis, Medea, Andromache, and Bacchae

2885 words - 12 pages Euripides portrayal of women in his plays has been somewhat bizarre. His female characters kill out of revenge, kill out of jealousy and kill because a god possessed them too. In Alcestis and Andromache Euripides does produce classic heroic female characters. The women in Medea and The Bacchae are not your typical heroines but serve to show the same theme of female liberation as the women in Alcestis and Andromache. While Alcestis is straight

Play Analysis - The Bacchae

1792 words - 7 pages of the 'three great tragedists'; Himself, Aeschylus, and Sophocles. Both Aeschylus and Sophocles had more than double the amount of awards Euripides had received for his work, but Euripides has more work that still exists today, and is not thought of any less than either of the other two. Several of Euripides' plays are quite famous, including "The Bacchae". It is believe that it was famous around 4th Century B.C. because the play featured a male

The Marriage Vows of Medea and Dido: A Comparison, "The Medea" by Euripides and "The Aeneid" by Virgil

1163 words - 5 pages cares for her children as a loving mother should. Euripides and Virgil leave many options for both Medea and Dido if they can only get past the desires of their hearts and see past them to what is the superior good.Each development of Medea and Dido builds their similarities, but the crucial difference between the two "wives" in their justification for their actions and emotions is in the very foundation of their relationship with their "husbands

Female Rebellion and It's Impliactions in The Bacchae

980 words - 4 pages wher emy soldiers keep guard...After fastening them tight in nets of iron” (216-231). For Pentheus, the best method of creating obedience is through boundaries and enclosure. Boundaries play an interesting role in The Bacchae as they serve as a guide between what constitutes as a good or bad member of society. The Theban women who have escaped to nature pose as particular threats since they've broken away from these preconcieved boundaries

Comparing the Odyssey and Medea

1527 words - 6 pages , reflects upon her ill-fated relationship with Jason, who she said had to be managed with a sense of “prophetic power” . She also states: “[I] had [not] learned at home how best to manage him…” This reflects the discrepancy between the values she learned and brought from home and the values she now lives among in Greece. Medea was not prepared to find Jason so disloyal yet so certain of the validity of his actions. Overall, she finds

Comparison between The Lottery and The Village

668 words - 3 pages "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, and the movie "The Village" directed by M. Night Shyamalan, deal with the same theme; the danger related with following traditions and rituals blindly. In both cases, the townspeople are deceived into believing the established systems and values, the elders are not questionned and many ploys are used to keep the followers in line. In "The lottery," the people are forced to follow the custom of holding the

A Comparison between Othello and The Trial

1303 words - 5 pages A Comparison between Othello and The Trial    In the same way that the concept innocence and arrogance appear at cross-purposes, a comparison between "Othello" by William Shakespeare and " The Trial " by Franz Kafka at first sight appears contradictory. On closer analysis however, both these terms and these two works can be shown to have demonstrated the same inseparable idea.   The philosophy of both times introduces the ideas

Comparison Between the Sunnis and Shiites

1381 words - 6 pages A Comparison Between the Sunnis and Shiites Have you ever wondered about other religions that are out there and why they are out there? I have and that is why I chose to write my paper on the Sunnis and Shiites. Read on to learn more about a brief history and then I will break each of them into separate religions. In books written on Islam the word "hadith" usually refers to the sayings or "traditions" which have been given from the

Comparison Between Oedipus and The Winter Olympics

674 words - 3 pages are unpleasant to the tops, resulting in criticizing or even assaulting of the poors. For example, as citizens protest in downtown about the negative sides of the Olympic Games, Gordon orders the police to control them by using violence such as pepper spray, punching, and taser. Secondly, the relationship within the hierarchy also contributed to the issued mentioned. The relationship between the top and the middle is intimate and dependent

Similar Essays

"The Bacchae" Essay

513 words - 2 pages Greek tragedy, "The Bacchae".The idea that a woman's place is in the home is all too common in our culture, just take into consideration the Southern Baptist Convention's declaration stating wives must be submissive to their husbands. This belief was held strongly in the Greek civilization as well. A woman's function was to bear and raise children, cook, clean and care for any other needs the family may have. They weren't entitled to the basic

The Bacchae Essay

809 words - 3 pages BACCHAE "In the kitchen Pregnant and Barefoot", is the reality that Greek women had to face in everyday life. In the ancient Greek society women had this certain role in their culture that they were to abide by no matter what that's just how it was. A majority of Greek men were brought with a particular view of women instilled in them, that they were property and they were taught how to train their women. But did all men have this same view of

The Bacchae Essay

1032 words - 4 pages In The Bacchae, Euripedes portrays the character of Pentheus as an ignorant, stubborn, and arrogant ruler. These character flaws accompanied with his foolish decisions set the stage for his tragic downfall. Pentheus' blatant disregard to all warnings and incidents, which prove that Dionysus is truly a god, lead him to his own death. In the end, his mistakes are unforgiving and his punishment is just.      Throughout

The Bacchae, Reactions And Interpretations Essay

2499 words - 10 pages all doings of possession of Dionysus, along with drunken madness and melancholy silence.One of the reactors to the Bacchic cult and frenzy was that of Euripides. He wrote the play The Bacchae. The story is as follows; in the ancient town of Thebes uproar is taking place. Pentheus is enraged over a strange person who is taking the woman of Thebes and giving them supernatural powers, "The earth flows with milk, flows with wine, flows with nectar