Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Then vs. Now

Today in class, we talked about if we felt Medea's actions were appropriate. Obviously, by today's standards, her actions are completely unwarranted and insane. It is understandable that she would be furious with Jason, but committing murder is too much. Certainly, Athenian men of the time would've also thought that her actions were crazy. But I am not so sure women would've thought the same thing. Women back then were probably very frustrated with having no rights and being a slave to their husbands. Although they realistically could do nothing if their husband left them for another woman, they probably wished they could. Perhaps Medea's actions were the fantasies of Athenian women. Although they are insane, being able to do something would probably satisfy the women.

6 comments:

Joseph Martin said...

Building on thr discussion of Medea's actions and sentiments, I would say that they play varying roles in the purpose of the play. At the beginning, the audience would see Medea with pity, which would hint that Euripides creates Medea with the purpose of challenging genders roles and the inability for women to be considered citizens. But by ending the play with Medea going to far and murdering her own children, I feel that the audience of the playear at that time would use the play as proof that women cannot be trusted with free speech and do not deserve to be citizens. Coming at it from today's perspective, we would see Medea as so desperate for human rights that she feels she has no choice but to kill her children. This shows how Euripides was well ahead of his time.

Joseph Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brooke Williamson said...

I think understanding the role of Medea requires perspective into the Athenian society. Like Joseph and Savannah mentioned, women were rarely regarded as citizens, lacking a voice and basic rights compared to men. I think the chorus, made up on women, seems to comment on the fact that Medea's actions are understandable, but not completely justified. In actuality, one can say Medea acted rightfully based on what Jason did in abandoning her. Also, on the other hand, a reader can see Medea's actions are unruly and rash, signifying her as the antagonist like Savannah mentions.

Rickeia Coleman said...

Based upon what we know, we know some Athenian women had Great Depression an anxiety over belonging to their husbands. However, what if this wasn't the majority opinion. We don't know enough about what Athenian women thought because they were so limited. However, some may have been perfectly content in their complacent roles which I think is interesting.

Bailey Taylor said...

I feel as if Medea thought she was doing her kids a favor by killing them. Although we cannot see how that is rational now (and maybe it wasn't then), but she felt she had no other option. As a woman during the time, she did not have any of the options women have today. I don't think that the debate over whether or not this was rational is necessary because the story was meant to be a social criticism, not a true story.

Julia Scofield said...

Medea's actions were irrational and over dramatic. From our perspective, we can understand why she did it, she had no rights, she was completely abandoned, and she was pushed to the edge. However, I don't think that the Greeks would have seen it that way. Medea came from a place that the Greeks considered barbaric. I believe that even though we can empathize with Medea, the Greeks would have seen merely a barbaric foreigner and a woman who stepped out of place. The play may have made some people think, but also enforced negative predjudices.