Medea_Study_Questions.doc - Study Questions In Medea's...

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Study Questions In Medea's first long speech to the chorus she claims that women are afflicted with the most "wretched" existence on earth. How is gender explored in the play? Does Medea emerge as a champion of women's plight through either positive or negative example? Throughout the long speech, Medea is referencing to the women’s duty as a wife. She talks about how once a woman marries a man, she now becomes a possession. A woman no longer has rights to herself and her decisions. Medea even references wanting to be in the line of battle three times than have a child. In this time period, bearing a child is not a choice. It is of the upmost importance to have their husband’s child. In a man’s mind, bearing a child is what makes a woman a woman. Medea also discusses the matter of divorce and the inequity of it. A man is allowed to have as many wives as he desires but the woman no matter how bad she wants to cannot divorce. Medea shows Jason the repercussion of divorce and bedding a new woman. The immorality of forsaking your own blood for a new woman is unrighteous in Medea’s mind. Her murder of the children are the representation of the death of her marriage. To what extent does Medea, protagonist of the play, fit the mold of a tragic hero? Yes, for many reasons. Her tragic flaw is hubris over the subject of just leaving and taking her children. She is so worried about being portrayed as a fool that she strives to prove a point. The point being that she will not seat back as her husband gets a new wife. Instead of leaving passively, she kills her children and Jason’s new wife as a statement. She is responsible for the decision to kill and therefore make her own fate. I believe that she is of nobility but I am not completely sure. The readers do feel sympathetic in some of her long monologues where she is distressed about Jason’s betrayal. She was doomed to make a mistake in honor of having revenge. She takes control of her own fate by making the conscious decision to kill her children and make Jason pay. Medea could have left peacefully but she did not and that was her flaw.

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