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gender roles in medea

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Eden Minichiello

on 15 December 2015

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Transcript of gender roles in medea

only men were allowed to take part in...
-men felt the need to prove their masculinity in order to prove their worth to women and to attain a prestigious place in society
-men were regarded as superior to women, but were not seen as equal to each other
-saw themselves as very strong, masculine beings
The Oppression Of women In ancient greece
Medea's role In Greek Society
-Medea did not follow the traditional roles society tried to force her into
-her marriage to Jason was her choice (arguably) whereas it is usually up to a father
-she defied the standards that people in Ancient Greece believed in
-she also expressed "male"
"female" tendencies
- she was able to detach herself from her "womanly" emotions and perform acts that society did not see women as capable of doing

jason's ROle in greek society

A person's social status was determined by...
how they were perceived by others
their lineage
how wealthy they were
their gender

Only men cared about their status in society as women were not even considered important enough to be awarded status.

general statuses in ancient greece
Roles of males in greek society
Roles of females in greek society

-a woman's purpose was to reproduce and satisfy their husband
-women from poor families were only allowed to leave their houses to either work on a farm or to sell bread and agricultural products
-according to men, they had easy lives
-women were slaves made solely to serve men
-they had no power and held no importance in the greek society apart from taking care of their husbands and having children
-were subjected to dowries
-had to see their husbands commit adultery and could not do anything about it
-if they wanted to divorce their husbands, they were seen as indecent
-were constantly belittled by men

Women, Foreigners & Slaves
Seen As equals, had no control over politics, civil rights, or society.

"A foreigner especially must fall in love with the city's ways..." (Euripides, 7)
"... we cannot refuse a husband his rights. We come to new ways of behaviour, to new customs..." (Euripides, 6)

The jobs and responsibilities of women
Is it necessary for females to rebel in order to be content in a male dominated society?
What forms of revenge did greek women, like medea, use?
- Jason is a symbol of of the intensely patriarchal Society

- he is very sexist, and sees himself as superior to women

-like every man in ancient Greece, the opinions of other men overwrite his own morals

-he decides to leave Medea for the daughter of creon in hopes of advancing statuses, exhibiting the intense need to prove ones self as a man in ancient greek society
-a woman in ancient greece was only valued for sex, reproduction and home making
-Women who were educated or longed for more than this would not be content without rebelling
-in order for a woman to be Satisfied, she must feel in control and powerful in her life
-In a male dominated society, there is no way to do so
-in order to be free of societies standards and to accomplish what they wish to accomplish, women needed to let it be known that they would no longer be slaves to men

Gender Roles In Medea
Acts of revenge are triggered because of one's anger towards someone/something.
women in greek mythology have turned to violent means, as well as magic/sorcery as their main strategies for revenge.
"if she takes these adornments and puts them on her flesh, she will die horribly...with such drugs shall i anoint the gifts," (euripides 786-9)
: "but will you bring yourself to kill the fruit of your womb lady?"

: "yes, for this would be the best way to hurt my
husband," (euripides 815-7)
Hera, wife of Zeus, would torture all the women Zeus seduced/sexually assaulted
Hera also created a revolt along with other gods Zeus has treated poorly; she drugged him and had the other gods bound him to a couch
"...my purpose is to kill the king's daughter with trickery. For i shall send them holding gifts in their hands...to win repeal from exile" (Euripides 782-3)
"he stuck to the subtle robe as ivy clings to the shoots of the bay tree...if he pulled violently, he kept tearing his old flesh from his bones," (euripides 1212,14-15)
when Poseidon raped Medusa in Athena's temple, Athena turned medusa into a monster with snakes for hair.
is it possible for a woman to find happiness in a patriarchal society?
"... we need prophetic powers to tell us specifically what sort of husband we shall have to deal with. and if we manage this well and our husband lives with us and bears the yoke of marriage lightly, then life is enviable. but if not, death would be welcome." (Euripides, 7)
"do you think that this is a small hurt for a woman?" (Euripides, 37)
"you should consider it all gain that you are being punished simply with exile." (Euripides, 13)
"men say of us that we live a life free from danger at home while they fight wars. ho wrong they are! i would rather stand three times in the battle line than bear one child." (Euripides, 7)
"a woman is a delicate creature, ever prone to tears." (Euripides, 25)
"certainly, and if she is like the rest of her sex, i think i shall persuade her." (euripides, 26)
"...her dear father and her country and the home which she betrayed to come here with the man who now holds her in dishonor" (Euripides, 2)

"Her temperament is dangerous and will not tolerate bad treatment...she may kill the princess and the bridegroom and then meet some greater disaster" (Euripides, 2)
Medea's Role In Greek Society
"we have to buy a husband with a vast outlay of money - we have to take master of our body" (Euripides, 6)

"...some scheme to take revenge for these evils...when [a woman] is wronged in her marriage bed, no creature has a mind more murderous" (Euripides, 8)
"if you were living at the furthest limits of the earth, no one would have heard you...i would not want to have gold in my house...if my good fortune did not become far-famed," (euripides 541-4)

"You killed [their children] because our sex life was over," (euripides 1339)
"The human race should produce children from some other source and a female sex should not exist...mankind would be free from every evil," (Euripides 573-6)

"You live in the land of Greece instead of a barbarian country," (euripides 534-5)
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