Medea Text Response

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Euripides has been accused of being a misogynist as well as the world's first feminist. In your view, do the portrayals of Medea and Jason allow such contradictory interpretations? Euripides' Greek tragic play, 'Medea', depicts a wife's desire to right the wrongs done to her by her husband and in the pursuit of satisfaction, she commits the heinous of crimes, infanticide. The play is set in a patriarchal society, where women are treated as mere tools to satisfy their male partners. Euripides' portrays Medea as both a weak and strong woman, being able to stand up to some of the male characters and simultaneously succumb to their presence. Jason is illustrated by Euripides' as a stereotypical male in a patriarchal society, convinced that his choices are for the best while completely disregarding Medea's opinions on them. As a woman cast into the patriarchal society of Corinth, Medea is at first portrayed as powerless, a feeble person who was 'scorned and shamed' by her husband. In the opening sequence of the play, the Nurse's prologue characterizes Medea as heartbroken as well as 'raging, illogical and suicidal'. Euripides' use of extended descriptive sentences in the prologue allows him to portray two sides to Medea, a fragile woman and a strong-willed one. During the time in which she was still married to Jason, Euripides draws on the powerlessness of women in a marriage, evident when the Nurse says that 'to Jason [Medea] is all obedience - and... that's the saving thing, when a wife obediently accepts her husband's will.' To further emphasize on the male dominated society of Corinth, Medea, in the presence of King Creon, was immediately ordered to 'remove [herself]'. Despite being exiled due to fear, Medea adheres to the parental role in Creon, saying that '[he is] a father too', manipulating him into giving her one day to plot her revenge. This shows that
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