The tragedies of Euripides test the Sophoclean norm in this direction. His plays present in gruelling detail the wreck of human lives under the stresses that the gods often seem willfully to place upon them. Or, if the gods are not… Life and career It is possible to reconstruct only the sketchiest biography of Euripides.
Slave Women in Euripides: Since so much knowledge about Greek society in general and women in particular has been lost, classical literature, such as poetry and plays, though difficult to interpret, are important sources of knowledge about the lives and attitudes of the ancient Greeks, especially in regards to the politically disenfranchised groups of women and slaves who feature insignificantly in political writings.
Unlike Aeschylus and Sophocles, the other great Greek tragedians, Euripides used slave women as the main characters in several plays: Andromache, Hecuba, and Trojan Women.
In addition, his play Medea depicts a woman whose social status is threatened to the point that her husband could effectively reduce her to the status of a slave by her new marriage.
Taken collectively, this collection of plays driven by feminine issues, strong female heroines and villains, and the element of social status and its relationship to marriage seemed too strong to be a coincidence.
This project was challenging because of the uncertain nature of literary interpretation and the compounded problem of fixing the plays within the context of a society about which our knowledge is quite limited.
In terms of the literary interpretation, I focused on using a feminist approach. I selected the plays Trojan Women, Andromache, and Medea because of the social issues they deal with and their raw, poignant power.
This dichotomy in the views on Euripides presents an interesting opportunity to present my on views on his attitudes toward women. My feeling was that Euripides felt compassion for women and their gender-specific challenges in light of the emotional appeal Trojan Women makes for female prisoners of war.
When placing that play and the others in my study in the context of Athenian laws and social customs regarding women, I hoped to find message in regards to women that what against the grain of normal Athenian practice and custom.
In Trojan Women, I found that the former noblewomen of the play who had recently become slaves gathered emotional strength by mourning together in a beautifully interwoven poetic ballet with Hecuba, the matriarch of the noble family, standing in the center of it.
Andromache illustrates the conflict that could exist between a man, his legitimate wife, and his slave mistress and the difficulties that inevitably arose in some arranged marriages and from sexual unfaithfulness.
Finally, in Medea, Euripides develops the tragedy of a foreign woman, Medea, who had been married to a Greek man, Jason: In this play, Euripides may likely have been illustrating the negative consequences of an Athenian law that only sons having both an Athenian father and an Athenian mother could possess citizenship.
Thus, Medea states that women could only escape domination and perpetual slavery to their husbands was through self-destructive means. My study is lacking an examination into one important characteristic common to all of the female protagonists in my work—noble birth.
Hecuba was a foreign queen, and Andromache and Medea were foreign princesses before the beginning of their respective plays. In any event, more work needs to be done on this element of my study.
In conclusion, studying Euripides was a very rewarding experience. Although it is sometimes difficult to come to any definitive conclusions about an author and his politics by analyzing his literature, the exercise has helped me to read Greek tragedy in a new way.- Medea as Woman, Hero and God In Euripides' play the title role and focus of the play is the foreign witch Medea.
Treated differently through the play by different people and at different times, she adapts and changes her character, . MEDEA.
When we talk about Medea, we might begin by thinking about how reversal plays an important role in understanding Euripides' intentions. First, as the play opens (prologue), the Nurse gives us history and a view of . Euripides succeeds in evoking sympathy for the figure of Medea, who becomes to some extent a representative of women’s oppression in general.
Children of Heracles The plot of Children of Heracles ( bc ; Greek Hērakleidai) concerns the Athenians’ defense of the young children of the dead Heracles from the murderous intentions of King Eurystheus .
Exiled as murderers, Jason and Medea settled in Corinth, the setting of Euripides' play, where they established a family of two children and gained a favorable reputation. All this precedes the action of the play, which opens with Jason having divorced Medea and taken up with a new family.
References in Euripides' plays to contemporary events provide a terminus a quo, though sometimes the references might even precede a datable event (e.g.
lines –89 in Ion describe a procession to Eleusis, which was probably written before the Spartans occupied it during the Peloponnesian War). The old minder of the children of Jason and Medea enters with the children running about him, perhaps playing with hoops or other toys.
Pedagogue (as he approaches).