Medea By Euripides Essay, Research Paper
Euripides was intrigued by the old Greek myths that surrounded him. Some writers 1 feel that he represented a critical, sceptical mind at work on these myths, being more interested in individual psychology and removed from the ritual origins of drama. Considered to be third in time of the three great tragic poets of Greek theatre, his reputation grew even after his death in 406 B.C. His formula tended to be provocative and he has been called the first of the realists. At the same time, introducing new techniques into play writing and performance. His plays break out of the rigid mould of Greek tragedy both emotionally and in form. Euripides created both the prologue (chorus in Medea) to provide direct explanation to the audience of where we are and, maybe, more significantly, the “Deus ex Machina” to sort things out at the end.
“…many matters the gods bring to surprising ends. The things we thought would happen do not happen; the unexpected God makes possible……” 2
Euripides was particularly interested in using strong female characters in his plays, usually involved in extreme situations. The character of Medea is especially tantalizing as through her character many issues of society, social justice and culture are raised.
Medea was a sorceress, which may be interpreted to imply some special privileges different to mere mortals. The myths speak of her using her powers both for “good and evil”. Some of her sorcery seems to have been integrated by Shakespeare into the witches in Macbeth. However, there is certainly a body of thought that would indicate that without her interventions, little would have remained of the Argonauts including Jason. From the point of view of this paper, it was determined that she fall in love with him 3. It appears that for about ten years they lived in relative harmony, having two children in that time.
Euripides version on Medea’s story requires us to face our attitudes, beliefs and opinions on several fronts within constructions of social order and organization, institutional, political and familial authority.
The social role of the women, wife, her rights or lack of them:-
“…for women divorce is not respectable; to repel the man, not possible…”
Our views on acceptable behaviour, antagonism to clever intelligent women: – 4