the medea paper

the medea paper - Euripides The Medea neatly encompasses...

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Euripides’ The Medea neatly encompasses nearly every concept found in a classic Greek tragedy. Included in virtually any section of Euripides’ text are key thematic elements and crucial ideas of Greek philosophy. Firstly, lack of moderation and reason is shown to be conductive to impulsive, unpredictable and even angry behavior. Medea’s actions and decisions after she has been betrayed by her beloved demonstrate this concept. Gender roles in Euripides’ work reflect the notion of a patriarchal society, where a woman is reduced to near-servant status, and is but a body to its male master. The reversal of roles invariably leads to chaos and instability, going against all ancient Greek stipulations. Perhaps the most universal and recurrent of all themes in Greek tragedies, however, is the conflict between social ties and relations of blood. In The Medea , Euripides promotes the unbalanced importance of social ties, as Medea gives up her own flesh and blood for a man with whom she engages in strictly physical relations. Trust, yet another crucial theme, is particularly important in Medea’s case, for when she cannot trust, her life, and those of the people around her, spiral into estrangement, and ultimately, chaos. As a whole, Medea is a bitter woman- the embodiment of a heartbroken wife. In such a state, she perfectly exemplifies the antithesis of a classic Greek woman, giving way to her harsh penalties at having been trespassed upon. “O Coward in every way- that is what I call you, with bitterest reproach for your lack of manliness, you have come, you, my worst enemy, have come to me!” This line with which Medea opens her speech makes direct reference to her newly estranged husband, Jason. The hatred that fuels her words allow for the development of one of The Medea’s most important themes. Here, Medea is putting to questioning Jason’s manliness, a severe insult to any Greek man. In typical ancient Greek culture, the man is characterized as being the head of the household, the prize fighter, whereas the wife is seen as subservient. Through this declaration, Gonzalez-1
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Medea calls Jason, and all men who commit similar offenses, feminine and weak. The “weak” Jason comes to Medea to implore her for her obedience. Her brutal philippic against Jason continues as she calls him “worst of all human diseases, shamelessness.” In this, she is belittling Jason, likening him to a manifestation of infection, and saying that he does not care that he has left her and their children in order to better his social standing. In reading this text, readers must be aware that this is coming from a woman who betrayed her family and homeland in order to save her lover, and was then betrayed by him for another woman. Therefore, her point of view is
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the medea paper - Euripides The Medea neatly encompasses...

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