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Gender roles in Medea and 431 B.C.

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lauren castillo

on 18 September 2013

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Transcript of Gender roles in Medea and 431 B.C.

Some views on women
Aristotle considered the "unscrupulously clever" woman so distasteful as to be a subject unfit for drama;

Aristotle, explains the clear disadvantage of the female compared to the male. He believes that women are failed "males" and thus struggle with a significant handicap

Semonides, from Samos, describes women as
"Yet, this is the worst plague Zeus has made, and he has bound us to them with a fetter that cannot be broken. Because of this some have gone to Hades fighting for a woman." – about Helen

Women's roles
Women, foreigners and slaves had no influence or true civil rights.

Men held controlled politics and influence in the public sphere, and women lived in a society completely dominated by men.

Girls were raised to their role of producing new citizens for the city. A womens job was having kids
Women were kept isolated indoors to ensure legitimate heirs,

If a family had no male heir, the daughter, was forced to marry the closest male relative to ensure that the family's financial resources were kept within the family.

Women from poor families , were able to leave the house to sell bread and agricultural products, and to work in the field
Roles of women in Medea
Medea tells Creon that it is better to be born stupid, for men despise the clever

In Medea's first long speech to the chorus she says that women are afflicted with the most "wretched" existence on earth.

Men were free to divorce women on a whim, and thus wives suffered the insecurity of having no control over their own futures

Women are bad, but they are made bad by circumstances they cannot control. the only avenues of power left available to them by society. Women are bad,

Gender roles in Medea and 431 B.C.
By having Medea kill her children Euripides challenged society's view that women are the givers of life and that men take it away. it was thought that women would never kill their kids

Medea displays extreme pride, which is considered a "male" characteristic. She is willing to sacrifice everything to restore her reputation. .

Medea is not really a feminist role model. Euripides shows the difficulties that women have, he doesn't give the perfect women role model. He gives us real women, who have suffered and become twisted by their suffering.
"Women they say can do no good but in childbirth"

"women are weak for warfare"

"A women is such a weak thing always dreaming of evil"

"What can a women do in the course of a day?"


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