Comparing the Characters of Lysitrata, Penelope, and Medea Essay

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The purpose of the paper is to compare and contrast the characters of Penelope in the epic, The Odyssey, Lysistrata in the comedy, Lysistrata, and Medea in the tragedy, Medea. The writer will first give a brief synopsis of each character, followed by a comparison and climaxing with the contrast.

Penelope, a loyal, faithful and patient wife is faced with suitors pressuring her daily to remarry. She uses her wit and cleverness to hold them off. She assures the suitors that she will remarry as soon as she finishes the burial shroud for her husband, which she has no intention of finishing until her husband returns. Upon realizing that her husband had returned she makes an announcement to marry the winner of the archery contest.
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Nevertheless, she kept putting them off by knitting a burial shroud for her husband that she had no intention of completing. Lysistrata showed great strength when she was able to gather the women together for the sex strike, this action was usual for a woman in that era yet she succeeded in getting the women to participate. Although the play starts with Medea being suicidal her strength is quickly restore as her hate for her husband surfaces. Her strength was fueled by hate and thoughts of sweet revenge, which she carries out toward the end of the play.

Penelope, Lysistrata, and Medea were clever female characters. Penelope believes that the shroud is unnecessary because her husband will return to her. Due to her station in society, however, she can't simply refuse to remarry. By delaying her suitors until Odysseus' return, she shows some amount of cleverness.

Lysistrata's whole plan to have a sex strike was clever. She caught the men by surprise as she played on their vulnerability. By requesting that the women use their attractiveness to make the males want them sexually, Lysistrata encourages the women to play to their stereotype and exploit the sexual, romanticized female. Myrrhine is used by Lysistrata to seduce her husband, Kinesias, who is left with his painful erection unsatisfied (pg763-765)

Medea, during her escape across the Mediterranean, killed her own brother and dumped him overboard, so that her pursuers would have to
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