Euripides 'Medea': Questions About Women And Femininity

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Medea: Questions About Women and Femininity
Euripides’ play, Medea, is an ambiguous narrative relating to feminism. Depending on one’s viewpoint, the eponymous character can either be one of the most unconventional delegates of women’s rights or an oblivious saboteur willing to undermine the cause. I believe the former, holding the opinion that Medea was a pioneer for feminism, being the original driving force behind breaking the stereotypes assigned to women. Although I also hold the stance that her impact is short-term due to the fact that her surrounding actions have overshadowed her ambitious acts.
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The act of murder is abhorrent in itself, although even more so when it’s your own children. Medea demonstrated through these killings that she greatly lacks a sense of morality. The Nurse often commented on Medea’s practicality and logic throughout the Greek tragedy in quotes such as “[Medea] hates her sons […] I dread to think of what is hatching in her mind. (1)” and “Why make the sons share in their father 's guilt? (20-21)”. The Nurse acquired the sensibility that Medea lacked. Even if Medea’s actions can be somewhat rationalized or explained, murdering the aforesaid kids is unjustifiable. Although it can be argued that Medea wasn’t the only character with a damaged moral compass. Jason used Medea for his own personal gain and shortly disowned her which is a large transgression. Both the characters committed horrible acts or transgressions that contributed to the downfall of others. Through Euripides’ writing, both Jason and Medea projected the concept that each sex is capable of being equally inhuman. This further supports the notion that no gender is triumphant over the…show more content…
Early in the story, Medea states “Of all creatures that can feel and think, we women are the worst treated things alive (31)”. As a woman, she has been used, put down and discriminated against by the men in society. These various forms of disregard and contempt all have come from the basis of her gender. Due to Medea being female, she’s seen as inferior to the male’s around her. This isn’t helped by the fact that she is also the only foreigner in Corinth. Although, Medea is able to overcome all the prejudices she is met with by asserting her power (without taking any morality into question). This can be implemented to women today in that they are still being oppressed and discriminated against by the opposite sex. Whether it’s suffrage, job opportunities or comparable worth, women have had a prolonged fight against men for equal rights. Aside from economic discrimination, women in modern times are also discriminated against socially. Medea claims “We [women] bid the highest price in dowries just to buy some man to be dictator of our bodies […] How that compounds the wrong! (31)”. This can roughly translate to mean that women were practically bought and sold into marriages, which can make them comparable to property. Women today are faced with similar discrimination more so in underdeveloped countries

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