Medea's Cultural Values Essay

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Euripides' Medea can be seen as the ultimate combination of heroine, villain and victim, all displayed in one play. Throughout the entire story, you are torn with emotions between who should take the fall and who deserves to end with happiness. The alienation, distrust and the lack of power shape Medea’s reason and morals. Values are one's judgment of what is important in life and society. Ancient Greece views their values as a culture, based on life, religion and the quest for joy. The Greeks chose their system of ethics based on the time they were living and the living situations. The cultural values in which Medea found herself trapped around in Greek society were their sense of social justice, the typical role of women, and the foreignism of non-Greeks. Justice is a concept and a value of righteousness where the moral reap rewards, and the immoral reap punishment. Different types of justice receive different forms of punishment. There is social justice, which is usually a large benefit to the people because it establishes a logical code of conduct for everyone. Through social justice everyone knows what's right and wrong according to their peers. Then there’s personal justice commonly called a conscience, which occurs when a person makes a decision of right or wrong. However when passion gets in-between justice to voice of reason is muted. To begin, sympathy is given to Medea when first introduced that her husband, who she has sacrificed literally everything for, has left her for another woman. Medea changed herself to fit the standards for a Greek wife that society had molded, but had no success. She could not understand why he would do this adulterous crime that breaks the logical code of general conduct in ancient Greece. This conflict raises the value of passion over justice because Medea takes whatever steps necessary to achieve what she believes is equal
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