Medea the Feminist
The role of women in Greek society is a major theme in Euripides’ Medea. In ancient Greek society, women are frail and submissive according to men, and their social status is considered very inferior. Feminism is the theory of men being treated differently than women and the male dominance over women in society. Because of Jason’s betrayal of Medea, she is a challenge to the traditional views of ancient Greek society based on her actions. She wonders about the differences between the treatment of men and women and the active roles they play in society, such as the woman’s role to bear and nurture children. Medea ignores those feminine qualities and questions Jason’s sexist ideals. She internally struggles between self independence and
…show more content…
She is swapping gender roles while managing the situation, as being in control is not a feminine quality of ancient Greek culture, but she takes hold of the situation like a man would and demonstrates her power and cleverness. In ancient Greek culture it is not acceptable for females to assume qualities such as intelligence and cleverness. Kreon, the Corinthian King, calls Medea “clever” and tells her “I am afraid of you” (Euripides, 696). An intelligent woman may not be submissive to the desires and wishes of her husband. For that reason, their model wife would be attractive and not intelligent. Intelligent women were considered dangerous and precarious. The men were also jealous of her magical powers because of her knowledge of witchcraft and potions. They knew of no remedies to them; however, Jason did not refuse her magical powers when in need of them to obtain the Golden Fleece before the time of the play “Medea”.
Medea, being of strong mind, ultimately chooses to overcome her weaknesses and murders her sons to keep them from being murdered by her enemies of the Palace. She overtly chooses her independence over motherhood, and any feminine qualities associated with maternity go clearly unnoticed when she murders her sons. Medea emotionally battles between her desire for independence and her motherliness throughout the play. But