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Exile And Otherness Analysis

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My essay is primarily written to describe the differences and similarities between the two texts I chose. I chose these texts because they both revolve around the theme ‘Exile and Otherness’. Including the theme, they have many other points in common. And despite the clear similarities, the difference is still there. I think that both texts are able to clearly produce and demonstrate the tragic states of fictional characters associated with exile, otherness, alongside being different and alone. To begin with, exile is not a laughing matter to ancient Greeks, in fact it is not to anyone. The Greeks saw exile as a cruel punishment, one fit for traitors and evil people. Their native land is their identity; the place they call home, and nothing…show more content…
Upon being bitten by a poisonous snake, Philoctetes was afflicted with severe pain and disease. “A slow death by hunger and torture and by this horrible, insatiable disease!” demonstrates the sickness and pain Philoctetes had to undergo.Because of his illness and the stench from his foot, Philoctetes was seen as someone distinctive and peculiar;he was seen as “the other” and was simply exiled from the community. According to Edith Hall, the concept of ‘otherness’ tends to be embodied in the monstrous or the supernatural.So Medea’s multifaceted otherness emerges from her nature and status as a sorceress. Her talent and cleverness made her inferior rather than loved .Medea portrayed a different image for women.She made sure that everyone knows her powers, and what she’s capable of. Despite her evident strength, she was hated by the Greek men who tried not to approve of her and her natural prowess as a sorceress.This means that her gender and natural strength automatically put her into exile and isolation. To add to this, Medea came from a different island as stated by the nurse. It is accentuated and intensified that Medea has a different ethnicity.She is a Barbarian,and by being so, she was already alienated and seen as a castaway by the majority of Greeks.Even her husband thought that she is uncivilized.Unlike her, Philoctetes was only different because of his painful groans which annoyed the Greek generals. He was of a noble descendant, as his father was King Poeas. Medea’s nobility was still disparaged because it was a rather Barbaric one as mentioned by the
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