Medea, Medea:Looking for Revenge

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateF, November 1995

download word file, 4 pages 4.6

Downloaded 206 times

Medea:Looking for Revenge

Medea, a play by the Greek playwright Euripides, explores the

Greek-barbarian dichotomy through the character of Medea, a princess

from the 'barbarian', or non-Greek, land of Colchis. Throughout the

play, it becomes evident to the reader that Medea is no ordinary woman

by Greek standards. Central to the whole plot is Medea's barbarian

origins and how they are related to her actions. In this paper, I am

attempting to answer questions such as how Medea behaves like a female,

how she acts heroically from a male point of view, why she killed her

children, if she could have achieved her goal without killing them, if

the murder was motivated by her barbarian origins, and how she deals

with the pain of killing her children.

As an introduction to the play, the status of women in Greek society

should be briefly discussed. In general, women had very few rights.


the eyes of men, the main purposes of women in Greek society were to do

housework such as cooking and cleaning, and bear children. They could

not vote, own property, or choose a husband, and had to be represented

by men in all legal proceedings. In some ways, these Greek women were

almost like slaves. There is a definite relationship between this

subordination of women and what transpires in the play. Jason decides

that he wants to divorce Medea and marry the princess of Corinth,

casting Medea aside as if they had never been married. This sort of

activity was acceptable by Greek standards, and shows the subordinate

status of the woman, who had no say in any matter like this.

Even though some of Medea's actions were not typical of the average

Greek woman, she still had attitudes and emotions common among women.

For instance, Medea...