"Manly Medea" An Analysis Of Euripides' "The Medea"

1254 words - 5 pages

When writing The Medea, Euripides challenged the social norms by abandoning the gender roles of the ancient Greek society. The main characters, Jason and Medea, are atypical characters in many ways. Medea defies perceptions of the normal attitudes of men and women by overcoming her "female" emotions and performing acts that the ancient Greeks considered manly. Meanwhile, Jason seems to be much more meek and diminished. These gender anomalies are apparent through Medea and Jason's character traits, actions, and reasoning. Medea pushes the limit of the stereotypical restrictions on her gender by committing murderous acts; while her husband Jason acts very womanly. The two main characters seem to almost switch or reverse gender roles, and then behave in accordance with the reversed roles.The most notable "male" characteristic that Medea embodies is pride. After Jason betrays her, she seems all too willing to commit murder for the sake of her reputation and revenge. The Chorus comments:Things have gone badly in every way...there are still trials to come for the new-wedded pair, and for their relations pain that will mean something...and in this I will make dead bodies of three of my enemies-father, the girl, and my husband. I have many ways of death which I might suit to them, and do not know friends, which one to take in hand (Euripides 364-378).Medea has obviously not lost her mind, but instead just feels inexplicably drawn to action to avoid being made a fool.This unnatural pride is typically associated with the male gender, but Medea desires revenge more than any man would. The ancient Greek society often considered women submissive and weaker, but Medea's character stands directly in opposition of this view. "Now, friends, has come the time of my triumph over my enemies, and now my foot is on the road. Now I am confident they will pay the penalty...listen to these words that are not spoken idly" (Euripides 765-773). Medea is a strong and powerful character, while Jason seems much weaker, so much so that Medea completely destroys Jason's life in the course of a single day.After making up her mind that Jason must suffer for betraying her, she goes through amazing lengths to take all the joy from his life. Medea's desire for revenge is so strong that it enables her to kill her own children. "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 none who can give them safety. And when I have ruined the whole of Jason's house I shall leave and flee from the murder of my dear children, and I shall have done a dreadful deed. For it is not bearable to be mocked by enemies" (Euripides 791-796). The length to which Medea is ready to go is a testament to her extreme pride and strength.Unlike Medea, Jason does not seem to have any delusional attachments to his reputation. In fact, the Chorus rebukes him saying "you have betrayed your wife and are acting badly" (Euripides 578), but Jason does not...

Find Another Essay On "Manly Medea" An analysis of Euripides' "The Medea"

Medea: Euripides' Tragic Hero Essay

1511 words - 6 pages tragic hero. Without the use of these techniques, the audience would fail to see Medea in this role. Thus, they would not experience the emotional turmoil that Euripides intended to bring them to view the world with new perspective. Yet, although the Greek audience came to recognize Medea's role, they were unwilling to accept her role because it was far different from that of an ideal woman. They were not open the feminist view, that women should

"Medea" by Euripides. Essay

1032 words - 4 pages Throughout the play Medea by Euripides, Jason extends a helping hand to the dispossessed Medea. This kind gesture extends from Jason's guilty conscience over his engagement to the princess of Corinth. Through the abolition of guilt, false justification is built. There are three types of justifications shown. Firstly, justification through intentions which is shown by Jason; secondly, justification through fear which is shown by Kreon, and

The Characterization of Medea in Euripides and Ovid

1560 words - 6 pages a different set of reasons.Although the Queen of Colchis displays signs of anger towards Jason, indignation does not kindle her actions which all gear towards winning her husband back. She refers to herself as a "simple maid" (91) and a "suppliant" (185), completely departing from the image of an abnormally confident and proud Medea that Euripides perceived. So what causes her to act the way she does? The Queen of Colchis knows all to well the

Representation of Society in Euripides' Medea

525 words - 2 pages Representation of Society in Euripides' Medea During the time of Euripides, approximately the second half of the fifth century B.C., it was a period of immense cultural crisis and political convulsion (Arrowsmith 350). Euripides, like many other of his contemporaries, used the whole machinery of the theater as a way of thinking about their world (Arrowsmith 349). His interest in particular was the analysis of culture and relationship

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

1163 words - 5 pages because she is married to Jason. He has left her for another woman. Because they had no commitment, Dido cannot justify her suicide and curse with the abandonment from a man she has an affair with and chooses to develop this affair into a liaison. Virgil does not specifically condemn Dido, but the tone of her commentary seems to put the blame on her. While Euripides' Medea and Virgil's Dido have similar reasons, reactions, and motivations, Medea is understood and Dido is just seen as bitter, vindictive, and pathetic.

Feminism in Medea by Euripides

1029 words - 4 pages Feminism in Medea by Euripides The play Medea by Euripides challenges the dominant views of femininity in the patriarchal society of the Greeks. While pursuing her ambition Medea disregards many of the feminine stereotypes/ characteristics of the patriarchal Greek society. She questions the inequality of women in a patriarchal society, contradicts Jason?s chauvinist beliefs, challenges the stereotype that women are weak and passive and

"Medea" by Euripides, the Embodiment of the New Female in Greek Society.

1263 words - 5 pages In Euripides' Medea, the protagonist, portrayed as the main character, abandoned the gender roles of ancient Greek society. As a result of this, Euripides invented a new version of the gender "female." Medea defied perceptions of gender by exhibiting "male" characteristics while existing in the bounds of the "female" mentality. Medea brings a sense of manly courage to woman's gender by slaying Creon and Creusa. She brings power and hubris

The Most Tragic Character in Medea by Euripides

2199 words - 9 pages The Most Tragic Character in Medea by Euripides Medea is the story of an estranged woman who wishes to seek revenge on her husband (who has left her for another woman) by poisoning his new wife. This, however, is made more difficult when the King of the land, Creon, tells Medea to leave, mainly because he is scared of her. She appeals to him for one more day to sort things out, and uses persuasion by making him feel

Medea and Other Plays by Euripides

1476 words - 6 pages -995). The chorus tries to imply that men, no matter what their place in society is, can be cruel. Medea insults Jason by saying that he is a “man who is no man” and that he is an enemy “to the Gods, to [her], and the whole human race” (Euripides 466-469). Though Jason is a man of status, Medea says that he is not worthy of his position. Medea tries to show that she is not “weak and submissive” but instead “dangerous to [her] enemies and good to

Similarities Between Aristophanes' Lysistrata and Euripides' Medea

933 words - 4 pages Similarities Between Aristophanes' Lysistrata and Euripides' Medea 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

"Medea" by Euripides: A "revenge tragedy"

900 words - 4 pages "Medea", a play by the Greek playwright Euripides, explores the Greek-barbarian dichotomy through the character of Medea, a princess from the"barbarian", or non-Greek, land of Colchis. Throughout the play, it becomesevident to the reader that Medea is no ordinary woman by Greek standards.Central to the whole plot is Medea's barbarian origins and how they are relatedto her actions. In this paper, I am attempting to answer questions such as

Similar Essays

Analysis Of Medea By Euripides

871 words - 3 pages tribulations. In the catastrophic Greek play Medea, by Euripides, the liaison between Medea and Jason demonstrates how both males and females assert power in the relationship and how incorrect usage of this supremacy leads to dilemmas. Initially, males direct the lives all members in the relationship by either negatively or positively utilizing their power. The males most often possess a majority of the power in the relationship. At the outset, Jason

Euripides' Medea Essay

829 words - 3 pages Euripides' Medea I see Medea as a woman who took a chance and stood up for herself. The kind of behavior that Medea displays was very rare for these times: she doesn?t accept the dramatic change in her life; she does something about it. On the other hand, Medea becomes so obsessed she loses herself to revenge. Medea is only heroic to an extent. Medea?s thirst for revenge begins when

Euripides' Medea Essay

928 words - 4 pages Euripides' Medea 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

The Wicked Character Medea In Euripides' Medea

726 words - 3 pages The Wicked Character Medea in Euripides' Medea The character Medea is disliked by many that read Euripides' Medea. She is not really given much of a chance. It is difficult to read the tragedy without having negative feelings towards the main character. Some readers are content to just hate Medea, while others want to know what would compel a mother to come to be able to commit these crimes. Sara Warner writes, "Transgression must be built