Womens' roles in Greek tradgedies

Essay by Pie7775High School, 11th grade December 2004

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Women's roles in Greek tragedies are being selfish and troublesome characters whose only reason in the stories is to stir up bad situations. Women do nothing but suffer from misery and misfortune and because of their selfishness they bring others down with them. In almost all Greek tragedies men are the protagonists and the women are either the antagonist or the one that causes their husband's grief. The main woman in Greek tragedies is Helen of Troy and she is the prime example of women's selfishness. She causes a war because she wants to be with someone else. Three women that bring down others with their selfishness are Medea from Medea, Iocaste from Oedipus Rex, and Antigone from Antigone.

This can be seen greatly in Medea. Medea takes her anger out on people that her former husband, Jason, loves because she is angry that he left her. She is extremely selfish because some of the people she murders aren't at all responsible for anything.

There is some reason for her to be angry, but what she does is wrong. "But don't imagine things will end as they are now. Trials are yet to come for this wedded pair (Euripedes)". Her misery makes her go insane and turn into a villain. She knows the horrible way she is turning when she says, "I understand the horror of what I am going to do; but anger, the spring of all life's horror, master's my resolve (Euripedes)". Her selfishness because of Jason leaving her is the reason she turns evil and for the murders of Jason's children, his new wife, and Creon. She is the only one of the three that actually take another's life by her hands.

However, even though Iocaste does not kill anyone she is the reason for others...