Manipulation In Medea Essay

1133 words - 5 pages

Medea's Manipulation Many stories have underlying themes and morals, ancient Greek tragedies are no exception. Throughout Euripides?s play Medea, there is a common theme of manipulation. Medea manipulates everyone from the princess to her own children. She does this in order to reap revenge upon Jason, who was her husband but betrayed their marriage to marry the princess. Manipulation, as portrayed through Medea, can both aid and destroy a person's morale.First, Medea manipulates the chorus so that they do not tell the people of Corinth about her plan to murder her children and husband. Since the chorus is entirely female Medea shows them the many ways in which men mistreat women. She states: ?Of all the things that have life and sense we women are the most hapless creatures; first must we buy a husband at a great price, and o?re ourselves a tyrant set which is an evil worse than the first; and herein lies the most important issue, whether our choice be good or bad. For divorce is not honourable to women nor can we disown out lords. Next must the wife, coming as she does to ways and customs new, since she hath not learnt the lesson in her home, have a diviner?s eye to see how best to treat the partner of her life. If haply we perform these tasks with thoroughness and tact, and the husband live with us, without resenting the yoke, our life is a happy one; if not, ?twere best to die. But when a man is vexed with what he finds indoors, he goeth forth and rids his soul of its disgust, betaking him to some friend or comrade of like age; whilst we must needs regard his single self. And yet they say we live secure at home, while they are at the wars, with their sorry reasoning, for I would gladly take my stand in battle array three times o?er, than once give birth.? (6) Medea is explaining to the chorus that men think they work so had in battle, but they do not realize what women go through. Men feel women should have no choices and no rights, but women, once they realize their shortcomings, feel different. After bringing to the attention of the chorus how under-appreciated women are, she goes on to speak of how her revenge against Jason would change the way men see women. When the chorus realizes how frequently men take advantage of women they agree not to tell anyone of Medea's plans and even feel that her actions may change the way woman are perceived in Greek society. The chorus says, ?Order and the universe are being reversed. 'Tis men whose counsels are treacherous, whose oath by heaven is no longer sure. Rumour shall bring a change o'er my life, bringing it into good repute. Honour's dawn is breaking for woman's sex; no more shall the foul tongue of slander fix upon us.? (9) The chorus is announcing that they feel Medea's revenge upon Jason will bring a change to the way women are treated. Apparently, by showing the chorus what men have been doing to women for years, Medea convinces the chorus into believing that her actions of revenge would show...

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