Medea Essay

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Medea, a woman scorned Sexual differences have set men and women apart for centuries, and women have often been forced to face injustices. Euridipes’ Medea clearly illustrates the lack of liberty women face in closed-minded societies, underlining how unfair men, in general, and their husbands, in particular can be. Medea’s only recourse is to seek revenge for Jason’s betrayal. In the end, however, Medea triumphs over her male enemies but enters into a despair only a mother could feel. As both a foreigner and a woman, Medea is forced to live within limitations set by her male society. However, Medea seeks justice. To this end, she chooses not to embrace the Greek behavior expected of her -- not accepting the inequalities of her status imposed by society -- and rebels by denouncing Jason: “You filthy coward! – if I knew any worse name / For such unmanliness I’d use it” (31). With great strength and forceful rhetoric, she eventually reveals herself as a threat to Jason and Creon: Jason: You called down wicked curses on the king and his house. Medea: I did. On your house too Fate sends me as a curse (35). Here Medea has assumed control of the situation and shows both strength and courage in opposing her husband. Refusing to conform to what is expected of her as a woman, wife and mother, Medea provokes fear in Creon and Jason. “Ungoverned” and acting by emotions rather than reason, Medea’s behavior alarms Creon who eventually decides to banish her from the city. Enraged and left with only one day in which to leave, Medea, victim of the Greek male-dominated society, craves revenge; however, she realizes that her vengeance will come with a high price: the death of her children by her own hands. Torn between revenge against Jason and pity for her children, Medea engages in a mental battle within herself. However, the justice of revenge overcomes her reason,

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