Phaedra And Medea Essay

2005 Words9 Pages
Phaedra from Hippolytus by Euripides and Medea from Medea by Euripides are sympathetic victims of the patriarchy. The women hold very little power and are representative of the dysfunction that can arise from a calculated, male-dominated society skewed by a disproportionate power struggle. From the start of both plays, Hippolytus and Medea, it is clear that both women are fated to be victims because their actions, though cruel, are simply reactions to the injustices they have been subject to and occur as a result of the lack of power among women, and these acts are catalyzed by oppression. It is true that Phaedra and Medea committed cruel crimes against their loved ones, but these violent acts were self-preservative in nature.
Moreover, Phaedra and Medea are complex and well-developed characters, antithetical to the ideal Greek woman. As women, they are expected to let things happen to them, especially if the
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Phaedra and Medea were both sympathetic victims, though Phaedra earned more sympathy. Throughout both plays and many others within, the alleged general faultiness yet calculated cruelty of women are noted often by both male and female characters many times, including Phaedra and Medea. Since women only had the ability to be respected for few things, for example, the ability to bear children and keep a husband, it follows that acting out of the norm could have severe consequences for them and their societal standing. The imbalance of power in Greek and Roman society in both Hippolytus and Medea has created an outlet of seemingly disproportionate revenge committed by women, in response to their oppression. However, it is not truly disproportionate if one considers that a woman who had never been able to fight back or speak up in her life will one day respond with a collective blow to the patriarchy when it is vital for
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