Delineating the Role of Women in Euripides' Medea Essay

1079 Words5 Pages
Charlotte Bronte once said, “Women are supposed to be very calm generally, but women feel just as men feel. They need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do. They suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow minded in their more privileged fellow creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags”. In the play Medea, Euripides diverged from the traditional role of Greek women through Medea’s characteristics and response to her plight. In delineating the role of women, Medea was unlike any other Greek character. Medea was portrayed…show more content…
Medea accomplished that by giving birth to two children for Jason. As the play slowly unraveled, it plainly displayed that she was faithful towards her husband, but being an ideal Greek wife was not her factual nature. She was independent and her qualities made her different from the Corinth women. In the opening sequence, the nurse introduced Medea as a frightening woman when someone wronged her. “Her temperaments are dangerous and will not tolerate bad treatment. For she is fearsome. No one who joins in conflict with her will celebrate an easy victory”, the nurse presented (page 2, line). From this, the reader can envision how ordinary other Greek women were. How they didn’t have a mind of their own and were defenseless towards those shabby treatments from men. These women were submissive and didn’t have any control over their lives. However, the protagonist Medea did. She took matters in her own hands when her husband betrayed her. For the women in ancient Greece, justice was far from reach. In the Greek society, men were allowed to abandon their wives in order to marry younger ones and Medea was not invulnerable to this fate. Despite all of her devoutness to her husband, he relinquished her for someone new. “Oh how unhappy I am, how wretched my sufferings. Oh woe is me. I wish I could die”, Medea cried out at the horrendous news (page 3, line 9). Euripides created a tragedy that many women during the ancient Greek time could relate to.

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