Feminism in Medea Sample Essay

The drama Medea by Euripides challenges the dominant positions of muliebrity in the patriarchal society of the Greeks. While prosecuting her aspiration Medea neglects many of the feminine stereotypes/ features of the patriarchal Grecian society. She inquiries the inequality of adult females in a patriarchal society. contradicts Jason’s chauvinist beliefs. challenges the stereotype that adult females are weak and inactive and wholly ignore the feminine function of maternity.

Feminism is the belief that adult females and work forces are. and have been. treated otherwise by society. and that adult females have often and consistently been unable to take part to the full in all societal spheres and establishments. This belief is confirmed in antediluvian Greece where the position of adult females was really low. Aristotle describes the relationship between work forces and adult females during that clip period:

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‘It is the best for all tame animate beings to be ruled by human existences. For this is how they are unbroken alive. In the same manner. the relationship between the male and the female is by nature such that the male is higher. the female lower. that the male regulations and the female is ruled. ’ Aristotle. Politica. erectile dysfunction. Loeb Classical Library. 1254 b 10-14.

Plato ascribes the inferior position of adult females to degeneration from work forces:

“It is merely males who are created straight by the Gods and are given psyches. Those who live justly return to the stars. but those who are ‘cowards or [ lead unrighteous lives ] may with ground be supposed to hold changed into the nature of adult females in the 2nd generation’ . This downward advancement may go on through consecutive reincarnations unless reversed. In this state of affairs. evidently it is merely work forces who are complete human existences and can trust for ultimate fulfilment ; the best a adult female can trust for is to go a man” ( Plato. Timaeus 90e ) .

In Grecian society. a adult female was confined within the parental place until a hubby was chosen for her. Then she was transferred to the place of her hubby where she was to carry through her chief map. the bearing and rise uping kids.

Medea shows the inequality of adult females in Grecian society. The treachery of Medea by Jason through his matrimony to another adult female enrages Medea. She begins to oppugn the function and place of adult females in a patriarchal society. “Are we adult females non the misery? We scratch and save a dowery to purchase a man…Our lives depends on how his Lordship feels. For better for worse we can’t divorce him. ” ( p. 8. Medea ) . However. “a hubby tired of domesticity. Goes out sees friends and enjoys himself… . ” ( p. 8and 9. Medea ) . Medea compares the practical bondage of adult females to the absolute freedom of work forces. demoing the inequality and disempowerment of adult females in society at that clip.

Jason’s chauvinist beliefs are put under the microscope. Jason airs his positions about what all adult females want: “If they’re ( adult females ) happy in bed. they’re happy everywhere” . By comparing Medea’s pure feminism to Jason’s selfish jingoism. Euripides agents understanding and support for feminism from the audience.

Medea inquiries the steadfastly held belief in Grecian society that adult females are weak and inactive. Desiring retaliation on Jason for his treachery of her. Medea must take control of the state of affairs. a stereotyped masculine quality. Though she can non go a adult male or take power like a adult male. she perceives her ability to take retribution with the same sort of forceful finding that a adult male would show in her state of affairs. “I’ll kill the children…Then. when all Jason’s hopes. his castle hopes. are gone I’ll leave this land” ( p. 27 Medea ) She makes the ultimate forfeit. her children’s lives. in order to resolutely take control of her life and go independent of Jason. demoing that she is neither weak nor inactive. Medea challenges the feminine stereotypes of failing and passivity by taking control of her life.

Medea challenges society’s positions of her matriarchal function in a patriarchal society. She is in a state of affairs where she must fight between her privation for independency and her maternity inherent aptitudes: “My bosom all sticker. Make it. Don’t wince. You must. Come. manus: the blade. This class must run. No failing. No…memories. Flesh of your flesh! Forget you loved them for one short twenty-four hours. forget. Then weep. wretch. weep. Who killed to turn out your love. ( p. 42. Medea ) Medea is forced to take drastic stairss in order to accomplish her feminist ends of freedom and independency.

She must kill her kids and lose the understanding of the audience. Earlier in the drama the chorus. who reflect the dominant values and political orientation of the clip. agreed with her positions on adult females being disempowered and how she was wronged by Jason: ”…what you do is far from merely: abandoning her” ( p. 19. Medea ) . However. at this point in the drama the chorus no longer sympathizes with Medea and her actions and really plead with her: “On our articulatio genuss we beg you- think once more. Your kids must non decease. ” ( p. 29. Medea ) . This reveals the most important portion of the drama in which the audience. who alternatively of back uping Medea now are shocked and disgraced by her. The loss of understanding for Medea because of her programs of infanticide is a tool demoing that the matriarchal stereotype of adult females is a belief that is still steadfastly held by society. The ‘motherhood’ and ‘nurturing’ function are both features refering muliebrity that Medea out justly neglects when she kills her kids.

Medea’s inquiries the inequality of adult females in a patriarchal society. contradicts Jason’s chauvinist beliefs. challenges the stereotype that adult females are weak and inactive and wholly ignore the feminine function of maternity. In society today many people believe Medea to be a innovator of feminism. even though her society/chorus contempts Medea after she killed her kids. Medea still reveals many good and relevant stereotypes. such as the ‘motherhood’ and ‘nurturing’ functions that adult females still object to and contend against today.


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