Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why So Serious?

There are similarities between the women in Madea, The Aeneid, and Oedipus The King. There is more likeness between Madea and Dido, but Jocasta shouldn't be ignored. First off I would like to say that, as of now, I haven't finished reading the Aeneid. However, what I have seen so far is mostly about Dido crying her eyes out over Aeneas. Not to say she doesn't have good reason; at first she fell deep in love with Aeneas, then he left her and broke the oath, (very Jasonesque) but she needs to be a strong women to give the women someone to look up to. As we know, Madea was also wronged and resorted to crying all day and eventually going crazy and killing her children. This is another example of how the men during this time of history had little to no respect for women. Virgil, Sophocles, and Euripides all have their women seem weak at some time in the play, which reinforces the anti-feminist stereotypes of the time. When Virgil has Dido flip flop between sadness and happiness back to sadness he is continuing the belief that if a woman's life at night is good, they think they have everything; but, if in that quarter things go wrong, they will consider it their best and truest interests most hateful. (I don't know whether or not I should put quotations or citations or things of the sort) This post is getting a little lengthy so I'll cut it off with my last point that all of the women have something terrible happen to them and BOOM suicidal thoughts. Jocasta was the only one who really has a justified suicide, however these thoughts go through all the women's minds, and all of them are really too quick to make such a drastic decision.


Austin Falk said...

Like Mr. Williams talked about today, Virgil was told by the Roman leader Augustus to write an epic poem to make Latin more competitive with Greek. At the time before The Aeneid, Latin was viewed as inferior to Greek society whom everyone in the world tried to be like. It is no surprise that we see similarities in the characters in VIrgil's Latin work The Aeneid and Sophocles and Euripides Greek works Oedipus the King and Medea respectively. Medea and Dido both are left heartbroken by the men they love. Since Greek culture was so envied at the time, Virgil most likely somewhat ripped off of the Greek play Medea when writing his epic, The Aeneid. Virgil's plan was to make Latin just as good if not better than Greek society which the world envied. Since Greek literature reflected the Greeks inferior view of women at the time, we also see the same views of women in Roman Literature.

Michell D said...

I would like to continue a point that I started to make during my post until I realized that it wasn't related to the original point I was making. I said "but she [Dido] needs to be a strong women to give the women someone to look up to." Im assuming Greek writers had many plays like Oedipus The King and Madea that shed a negative light on women. And if this is the case then it could not be expected for women to make a better life for themselves because they didn't have the means to do so. They have been oppressed for their entire life and see no way of escaping. These plays may not have been created for the sole reason of making women women feel inferior, but they definitely had that effect. If everywhere you turned you were considered a second class citizen and all the role models you have to look up to are weak, crying, crazy, suicidal, or overall unimportant, then you have no benchmark to set your sights on to try to make a better life for yourself. You'll be forced to continue what you have been doing because it is the only thing you have ever known. Greek and Latin writers were able to put women down because they were able to mold the ways that women saw themselves.