Analysis Of ' Medea ' And ' Homer 's The Odyssey '
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The ancient Greek culture greatly emphasized strength, more in the sharpness of the mind than in the physical body. It also emphasized gender specific roles and specific actions of men and women living in that society. When examining some of the great works of literature, we come across Euripides’ Medea translated by Rex Warner and Homer’s The Odyssey translated by Richmond Lattimore. The main characters of these novels, Medea and Odysseus respectively, show character traits and skills that set them as heroes. A hero is a great character who is destined to suffer and is distinguished from his/her courage, skill and strength. While Odysseus generally conforms to the stereotypical gender roles within his culture, Medea does not; and despite their differences, both Odysseus and Medea display heroic assets when attempting to take control over their fate.
Medea attempts to gain control over her fate and although her actions may not be socially acceptable, she surely proves to be a hero. In the Greek society, women had power through their husbands or another manly figure. When Medea feels helpless before a disloyal husband and a tyrant king, she decides to turn to her abilities and take control of her fate. Her violent resistance symbolizes the struggles of women in the male-dominated Greek society. During that time women were discriminated against because of their intellect. However, Medea does nothing to eliminate such discriminations and she instead adds to it when she commits