Euripides’ Medea is a controversial play which explores the actions of the protagonist as a result of a moral dilemma. Immediately, the audience’s sympathies for Medea are stirred by the Chorus and Nurse who describe Medea’s suffering coupled with betrayal and immoral actions of her former husband Jason. Despite this however, the audience cannot help being disgusted by the extent Medea goes to in order to guarantee the questionable revenge of her traitorous husband. Although it is without a doubt easy to see that the sorceress’ situation is miserable because of the betrayal by Jason, it is nevertheless very difficult for the viewers to forget that she is vindictive and heartless due to the events that occur during the play’s climax.
Amongst Euripides' most famous plays, Medea went against the audience's expectations at his time. Indeed, the main character of the play is Medea, a strong independent female who neglected moral and . She was therefore in all ways different to how women were perceived in Ancient Greece. This essay will explore how Euripides' controversial characters demonstrate that his views were ahead of his time.
The different portrayals of female characters Antigone and Lysistrata illustrate the fundamental nature of the proper Athenian woman. Sophocles' Antigone allows the reader to see that outrage over social injustices does not give women the excuse to rebel against authority, while Aristophanes' Lysistrata reveals that challenging authority in the polis becomes acceptable only when it's faced with destruction through war. Sophocles and Aristophanes use different means to illustrate the same idea; the ideal Athenian woman's ultimate loyalty lies with her polis. This Greek concept of the proper woman seems so vital when considering Athenian society because both a tragedy and comedy revolve around this concept. The differing roles accorded to
As the play begins to unfold love is immediately illustrated to be the main theme of the play; starting with a wedding and leading up to tears shed by miserable lovers.Although it is an extremely rewarding, love is never an easy adventure. Lovers must be prepared to protect and fight for one another against everyone and anyone. In Hermia’s tragic situation her enemy was her father. Egeus passionately voices his disapproval by taking his daughter to Theseus and stating, “ full of vexation come I with complaint Against my child, my daughter Hermia.—Stand forth, Demetrius.—My noble lord,This man hath my consent to marry her.—Stand forth, Lysander.—And my gracious duke,This man hath bewitched the bosom of my child” (1.1. 22-27). When love is at last passionately felt amongst both lovers, it encounters a malevolent invincible demon; parental disapproval. Hermia and Lysander’s love is cursed and forbidden by her father’s
Artemis’ informative speech to Hippolytus not only displays the dramatic irony present throughout the play, but also solidifies many predominant themes present during the play. This passage summarizes the entire play as Artemis describes the plans of the characters, going on to blame Phaedra, the Nurse, Aphrodite, and Theseus. (Halleran, 276) Through Artemis’ passage (Euripides, 1283-1312), the truth about Phaedra and Hippolytus, unknown and misunderstood by Theseus, finally surfaces. As Artemis reveals the plot to Theseus in the passage, the themes of honour and relationship between man and god are evident. Hippolytus’ relationship with the goddesses Artemis and Aphrodite, along with his honour and pride, are
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 between culture and the individual. Euripides used his characters as a function to shape the ideas of the play (Arrowsmith 359).
Euripides adopts the themes of speech and silence within Hippolytus in order to enable plot progression, to create dramatic effect and to develop his characterisation of key individuals such as Aphrodite, Phaedra, the Nurse, Theseus and Hippolytus himself. Through exploration of the themes in relation to the characters and chronologically it is clear that the sporadic pattern of speech and silence creates suspense and induces a far more intrinsic and natural response among the audience.
One of the biggest acts of betrayal would have to be in the Aeneid, which Virgil, one of the most renowned poets in ancient Greece, wrote. The most applicable section to the idea would have to be Book IV, where the story begins with Queen Dido, after her husband, Sychaeus, dies after a fateful blow dealt by the Queen’s own brother. She soon falls into a mad state of depression, preaching to her husband’s ghost that she will never love again; for her heart belonged to him and him only. But after her city goes into an economic slowdown, Dido’s sister Anna informs her that she must remarry in order for the city to return to normal. It is at this point where Dido meets Aeneas, the hero destined to restore and found the city of Rome. Dido immediately falls
Further along in the story, he ends up blaming Zeus for creating women and he also blames him after finding out about Phaedra's feelings; which seems to me that he was even blaming Zeus for making her become infatuated with him. The infatuation was Aphrodite's doing for lack of worship, not Zeus'. So even though Hippolytus did not sin toward Phaedra, he ends up sinning toward Zeus, by questioning his putting of women on the earth and blaming him for something he had no part in, and to Aphrodite by not giving her the respect she thought she deserved.
The female characters portrayed in Aeschylus and Sophocles’ works have considerably different personalities and roles, yet those females all have the common weaknesses of being short-sighted and stubborn. They intensify the conflicts within their families while being inconsiderate of the impacts that they may bring to their nations and societies, which leads to consequences that they are incapable of taking responsibilities for. Clytemnestra and Antigone, two major characters in their respective author’s works, possess different motivations for their deeds in the stories. While Clytemnestra is driven by the desire of revenge to murder her husband Agamemnon, Antigone acts against Creon’s will and strives to properly bury her brother. Despite having different motivations and personalities, Clytemnestra and Antigone both commit
The story of Theseus and Hippolytus is another myth that shows the role of women in Greco-Roman society. In this story Hippolytus rejects Aphrodite to follow Artemis. In revenge, Aphrodite makes Hippolytus' mother Phaedra fall in love with him. Phaedra, unable to control her sexual desire, makes her move on Hippolytus. After he rejects her, she hangs her self and leaves a note saying that Hippolytus raped her. When his father Theseus returns he kills him. This story shows that the Roman-Greco society thought women were filled with lies and the cause of many bad things. This is different than women's roles in today society because today it is usually thought that more men lie to avoid
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 to accomplish their goals. This theme of manipulation is employed through various means and techniques. The women of these plays also seem to contradict the stereotypical woman and have characteristics similar to the Homeric Greek warrior.
Lysistrata by Aristophanes is seen to be a comical play used to show the impact of war not only on the ones physically in the war, but the ones mentally involved also. This play was written to help express the feeling the author had about the war occurring during the time the work was written. Lysistrata, the main character, is a strong woman who decides to become as what could be said as being “rebellious”. She does this by refusing to have sexual relations with the men in the city until it was agreed that peace would be declared between the two troops. She calls a meeting with the women in the city and include them in her vindictive ideas to bring the war to an end. This play is sure to bring a smile to the readers face due to the comical events that occur. However, comedy is not the only thing that becomes apparent within the play. Throughout the work of Lysistrata there are three themes that become apparent during this play: peace and harmony, control by gender, and politics.
As the famous Greek playwright Euripides once said: “Stronger than lover's love is lover's hate. Incurable, in each, the wounds they make.” Such ideas are portrayed in one of him most famous plays, Medea. This play is a fascinating classic centered on the Greek goddess Medea. Despite its recent fame, during his time, Euripides was unpopular since he used what would be considered a ‘modern’ view where he would focus on women, slaves and persons from the lower classes. In the play, Medea commits filicide, which initially appears extremely horrendous, but as the audience is guided through the play, they develop sympathy towards Medea. In order to achieve this empathy and enhance the understanding of Medea’s pride and ideals, Euripides
Euripides Medea is a play that largely embodies themes of sex and gender within Greek life, marriage and society. Lars Von Trier, Danish Screen writer, controversially took on and altered Euripides' classic Medea in the form of film. Although complex and compelling, Von Trier's film fails to capture major themes and qualities presented in the text version of the infamous Medea and relay them to an audience. Through the use of close reading and comparison, it can be proved that Lars Von Trier's film depiction of Euripides' Medea does not allow an audience to see the complexity and major themes of gender and masculinity that Euripides originally portrays to his audience, but rather depicts a story of lost love and femininity within the protagonist.