The theme of The Roles of Men and Women in Medea from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
Everything you ever wanted to know about the quotes talking about Marriage in Nurse: [Medea] was in everything Jason's perfect foil, being in marriage that. The women's feelings of sympathy, but advice for restraint;. Medea's words . rhetorical agones: accusations by Jason, response by Medea, new response by Jason oaths/marriage (again the image of hand); his betrayal, and her and the . The exhibition “Medea's Love” at the Liebieghaus tells the myth of Medea and .. In gratitude, the seer gives the Argonauts crucial advice for their continuing . Jason seizes the Fleece from the tree, and the couple escape together with the.
An African version of Medea was created in by J. Samuel Barber wrote ballet music for Medea in A different ballet version of the play was produced in the Soviet Union in and videotaped; it is available from Kultur Video Distributors. Medea catches him lying when he tells her he is marrying Creusa simply to increase their fortune, and he never accepts responsibility for his new love alliance. Jason almost deserves the punishment Medea serves him.
A foreigner to Corinth, Medea nevertheless found favor with the Corinthians and all of Hellas because of her cleverness. For a while she and Jason were in harmony and her life with him and their two sons was blissful. Even after she has accomplished the deed her rage outstrips her better nature, for she will not allow Jason to bury or even kiss the children farewell. She claims that the price she has paid is worth the harm she has caused Jason.
She kills them because she hates them, because she loves them, to spite and hurt Jason, to leave him without posterity, to vindicate the rights and prestige of herself and her country, to save them from the Corintihians who, she supposes, would kill them if she did not.
In the end she does not know why she kills them and neither do we. The nurse herself demonstrates more resolve; she catches herself cursing Jason and stops herself because he is still her master. The implication is that Medea cannot so successfully contain her anger, both because the harm is hers and because of her savage nature. They appear initially with their attendant, immediately drawing audience sympathy, and are sent inside by the nurse to protect them from their raging mother.
Later their sweet smiles cause Medea to pause in her resolve to kill them. Their pitiful screams as she pursues and then slays them are finally heard offstage. Thus she is unlawfully abandoned, emotionally wounded, and legitimately outraged. She bridles at the idea that she might be the laughing-stock of Corinth. Even when Aegeus offers her a secure future in Athens, Medea remains unsolaced—she now only seeks revenge.
The chorus of Corinthian women legitimize her outrage, sympathizing with her grief as well as her desire for revenge. But Medea takes revenge that goes far beyond the conventionally accepted forms of retribution. Euripides altered the traditional myth to include Medea murdering her own children to avenge her errant husband.
The excess of her revenge can be measured by the reaction of the Chorus: They ask Medea how she will be able to look upon her own children and murder them simply to hurt Jason. When Medea commits her horrendous crime the chorus withdraws its alliance. What are some of the ways spouses exact revenge upon each other for marital indiscretions?
Jason too recognizes her self-inflicted pain and demands that she acknowledge her error. In a final, shocking outburst of hatred, Medea retorts that her pain is worth the price of avenging herself upon him. The chorus sings that love in excess brings neither glory nor repute, though love in moderation is blissful.
Medea loved not in moderation but in excess. Then, when Jason removed himself from her love, her passion turned to anger and since hate is the nearest thing to passionate love, she also hated in excess. It is as though Medea goes mad with the urgent need to punish her husband for his betrayal.
The nurse suggests that Medea enrages herself, goading herself to greater heights of fury. In a state of self-aggravated wrath, Medea is immune to the warnings of the chorus of Corinthian women who, almough sympathizing with her, warn her not to break the law. But the law is meaningless to Medea; she tells the chorus that its words are wasted. And yet, in the exchange with Aegeus Medea behaves perfectly rationally. Smoldering with rage wimin, she is capable of convincing Creon to allow her to stay another day and of charming Jason into taking her gifts to Creusa.
These moments complicate the question whether Medea could have controlled her passion enough to spare her children. Typically of Euripides, he leaves the question unanswered.
Euripides fabricated the murder of the two children—in variations of the myth they are either killed by accident or not involved at all. STYLE Chorus Taking his cue from Sophocles, who demoted the chorus from primary character status to that of a speaking spectator, Euripides reduced this dramatic device even further.
At the same time, the acting characters now have chanting parts a move that eventually led to the development of opera —further eroding the unique contribution of the chorus. Euripides also reduced the interaction between chorus and characters. The chours in Medea goads the consciences of the audience while it sympathizes with, pleads to, and chides Medea.
The chorus follows a clear progression of observations that influence and validate the reactions of the audience. Conacher, in his Euripidean Drama: The women shift their attitude, however, as soon as they learn that Medea intends to murder her own children. As the play progresses, the chorus moves from sympathy to horror, interacting less with the characters and turning to address the gods of nature and, late in the play, the audience.
The chorus does not simply condemn Medea, however. It complicates a too-easy judgement of Medea by showing pity for her throughout the play. When Medea puts her plan into action, the chorus expresses pity for the children, Creusa, Jason, and Medea in turn—in order, apparently, from innocence to guilt.
In this crime, all parties deserve pity, even the perpetrator, because the perpetrator had a reasonable cause for anger.
The Euripidean chorus also reminds the audience of the larger issues involved in the action of the play. It evokes the concept of pollution, warning Medea that no city will want to be polluted by her presence if she should commit the deed she threatens. The Euripidean chorus frequently reminds the audience of ideal values, such as in the second choral stanza when it expounds on the virtues of moderate love and fidelity and proclaims the misery of the loss of fatherland to elicit sympathy for Medea.
The action of the play consists of the here and now, while the choral odes consists of the eternal. However, some Euripidiean choral odes, including those in Medea, seem only slightly connected with the events of the play, and it was this innovation that led to the elimination of the chorus altogether. The same stock ending appears in three other Euripidean plays that have survived.
The effect is a rather abrupt return to reality. Deus ex Machina In the final scene, Medea rides off with the corpses of her murdered sons in a chariot pulled by dragons. Normally, a god would descend from the heavens to bring the action to a close and ordain the ritual the play celebrates.
In any event, the scene is glaringly inconsistent with the realism of the rest of the play. But considering that Medea is now guilty of multiple murders, it seems one of a very few possible means of escape available to her. Prologue and Duologue The prologue precedes the action of the play.
The duologue between Jason and Medea is called the agon, an intense argument between powerful antagonists. The tensions which precipitated this conflict between Athens and its neighbors on the Peloponnesian peninsula, primarily the cities of Sparta and Corinth certainly existed before the first recorded battle and possibly led Euripides to set his play in Corinth.
However, trade rivalry with Corinth may also have fueled the conflict. At any rate the Peloponnesian War was to last the next thirty years, with great losses suffered by both winners and losers. Ultimately, after a victory at Aegospotami, Sparta forced Athens—decimated in money and ships, emotionally enervated, and without allies—to submit to its terms.
The Golden Age of Athens had come to an end. By the time of his death, Euripides had fled his beloved city to take refuge in calmer Macedonia. The sense of uncertainty and adversity that pervade Euripidean tragedy stem at least partially from the anguished, extended demise of the greatness that was Athens. Although women could only under exceptional conditions obtain a divorce, any Athenian man could rid himself of a wife simply by publicly renouncing his marriage.
The daughter came with a dowry, a substantial one if the family was wealthy. Once married, the woman served her husband by caring for the children and slaves, who legally belonged to her husband. Medea accurately describes the conditions of married life for women in lines Athenian women never experienced independence during their lives.
They received no education, lived in separate quarters from their husbands, and seldom went out. Athenian law forbade Athenian men to marry any but Athenian women, but it was not uncommon for Athenian men to keep foreign concubines, who often had more education than their Athenian rivals.
Greek Theater Greek theater evolved from rituals in honor of Dionysus. Three playwrights would each present three tragedies and one satyr play that burlesqued one of the tragedies. To be invited to produce a tetralogy was a significant honor; to win the coveted prize of the festival was a cherished one. Although the dramas belonged to a religious festival, the audience was by no means solemn. It was his festival, conducted in March over a three-day period, that hosted the competition in which Medea was performed, the first play of the conventional tetralogy.
His tetralogy containing Medea placed last in the competition. In Greece, humans are considered part of the vast web of life; what was important about any individual is the way in which he or she is like all others and connected to them through society. Thus art, philosophy, and religion sought to explain and represent the whole order of things and not the individual within that order, with fate ultimately in control of human events.
Humans are seen as unique individuals and contemporary art, philosophy, and religion conform to a world view in which the individual is central—and responsible. Women in Ancient Greece essentially lived in a separate society from their husbands and fathers, and they held few rights. Women kept quarters and ate apart from men; they seldom went out and never walked in public without a male escort.
They did not own property or money, did not choose their own husbands, did not receive an education, and could only terminate a marriage under extreme conditions. Women have equal rights to men and, in most fields, equal opportunities in the workplace. Thousands of Greek city-states polis in Greek practiced a wide range of different governing systems during this period of fertile political experimentation.
Greek tragic theater was produced in March for the ritual celebration of Dionysus, the god of wine. Everyone in the city attended the festival and the overall mood was festive—but also serious—this was a religious festival and the outcome of the competition was a matter of civic pride.
It took place in the heart of the city at the altar of Dionysus and was at the center of Greek culture as well. The Modern theater no longer has ties to religion, although dramas for religious rituals are produced in some organized religions for important holidays. In the public theater, the sense of solemn ritual as experienced by the Athenians has no counterpart today. In a horseshoe around the other sides ranged rows of stone seats fitted into a natural hill slope. Because of the bowl-shaped site, acoustics were excellent for the 14, or so spectators the theater would accommodate.
Unlike modern theatre, Greek dramatic presentations were more like readings. Different characters were represented by masks that the actors would wear. Usually only a handful of actors would enact a play, with one actor often performing multiple roles or wearing multiple masks. It explores the breakdown of the Jason-Medea marriage in terms of the social-psychological theory of love as an exchange in a power game in which a certain degree of imbalance in the exchange could account for such a breakdown.
I shall take "social power" to mean the ability to influence the behaviour of others and to resist their influence on us Bannester; Huston, and "love" to mean a kind of feeling of attraction that impels one to want an enduring relationship with another. This conception of love evokes the debate about whether the emotions are transhistorical - whether love as generally experienced by the ancient Greeks is different from or the same as what is generally experienced in today's Western culture.
In recent contributions to the debate, Kalimtzis argues that the emotions are transhistorical, while Konstan holds that they are significantly conditioned by culture, although certain affects are common to humanity.
Although social power can be studied in terms of personality characteristics Veroff and Feld, 3 I shall analyse the Medea text from a different perspective -Olson and Cromwell'stripartite framework of the bases on which social power is built, the processes by which social power is wielded, and the outcomes produced by the use of social power.
A Viewed as a kind of exchange, social power is based on the control of resources. This view raises at least two questions: What is it to have control of resources? This second question will be answered much later in this section. To answer the first question now, a resource is anything a person, x, controls which another, y, wants; for y will be motivated to comply with x's wishes in order to secure the resource from x.
Thus x will have power over y. The range of things that normally count as resources in power relations is broad. A useful typology was developed by French and Ravendecades ago: B This study concentrates on the referent power of love because love, which at any rate includes "respect" for the other, is both a central theme in the Medea, and an important resource for the analysis of social power in the Jason-Medea relationship.
The centrality of the theme of love in the Medea may be gleaned from the first six of the following quotations from the Medea, labelled for convenience as T1 text oneT2, T3, etc.
Let us begin from the moment when Medea confronts Jason for marrying another wife - Glauce, the virgin princess of Corinth - behind her back. Jason's response is essentially that it is a marriage of convenience, intended ultimately to benefit Medea herself and their children Medea, of course, rejects Jason's reasons, believing one thing: Thus she tells the visiting Athenian King Aegeus: Did he grow weary of your marriage-bed?
CL is a secure, trusting attachment that endures between lovers, friends and family members over time; its intensity is equal or similar to liking Hatfield, Pillemer, O'Brien and Le, Yen-Chi. In contrast, PL is a state of high arousal, filled with the ecstasy of being loved by the partner and the agony of being rejected Brehm Thus PL is never pure pleasure; it is a mixture of pleasure, obsession, and anxiety Hindy, Schwartz and Brodsky Paradoxically, the anxiety may sustain the pleasure and obsession, given the observation that if the beloved's commitment seems uncertain, arousal is constantly recharged and keeps the lover hoping for a state of perfect stability and happiness Brehm Given the distinction between CL and PL, I shall now attempt to determine the relative degree of love Jason and Medea had for each other before the break-up; this is a necessary step towards defining the mechanisms by which love acquires potency as a source of power in an intimate relationship.
Let us first determine Medea's degree of love towards Jason. In the prologue, the Nurse recalls Medea's obviously passionate love for Jason in their early encounter: Much later, the Chorus sing the refrain: And Medea, addressing Jason's ungratefulness: When you were sent to master the fire-breathing bulls, yoke them and sow the deadly furrow, then I saved your life.
Every Greek who sailed with you in the Ago knows. The serpent which kept watch over the Golden Fleece coiled round it fold on fold, sleepless. It was I who killed it and so lit the torch of your success. I willingly deceived my father; and left my home. With you I came to Iolcus There, [to help you succeed to your father's throne] I put your uncle King Pelias [the usurper] to the most horrible deaths, by the hands of his own daughters, and ruined his whole house.
Medea | Greek mythology | gtfd.info
And in return for this you have the wickedness to turn me out, to get yourself another wife, even when I had borne you sons [my emphasis]. Whoever is prepared to stain her conscience for a life-time by committing such heinous crimes for the sake of a spouse must indeed "show more zeal than wisdom" - must more than merely like the spouse.
Finally, even when Jason rubbishes the help he received from Medea, he incidentally acknowledges that Medea used to love him passionately: I hold that credit for my successful voyage was solely due to Aphrodite, no one else divine or human.
Medea, then, was passionately in love with Jason. Did the passion continue? This is suggested by the following passage: Jason was my whole life; and he knows that well The degree of intimacy implied in T6 would be fuelled by the insecurity and uncertainty associated with Medea's unique circumstances, and sustained by her hope for a state of security and certainty. Medea's state of insecurity and uncertainty arises from a number of peculiar circumstances; first, her being a foreigner among Greeks, who pride themselves on their perceived racial superiority to others.
Thus Jason reminds her: Second, out of her passionate love for Jason, Medea had killed her brother who was pursuing to stop her from fleeing with Jason; and she had disclosed the most guarded royal secrets to help him acquire the Golden Fleece T4. By these crimes, she had broken the bond between her and her biological family and country of origin. Jason, too, is an exile, but he is at least in Greece - his ancestral home.
As long as Jason loved Medea, her sordid past receded into her subconscious, and she seemed happy. But Jason stokes up her battered and bruised subconscious when he jilts her: O my father, my city, you I deserted; my brother I shamefully murdered! The same arguments do not apply to you and me.
You have this city, your fathers' home, the enjoyment of your life, and your friends' company. I am alone; I have no city. Now my husband insults me I have no mother, brother, nor any of my own blood to turn to in this extremity ; also and Given a life shot through by such anxiety and insecurity, Medea invests her whole life in Jason T6. Thus we are tempted to read her love for Jason as probably higher than CL, until Jason's infidelity.
Did he love Medea? If so, how much? In T1 Medea admits that Jason used to love her. Of course, this does not imply that Jason loved her passionately. Yet it seems CL is not intense enough to have motivated Jason to commit himself to Medea, as he did, by vows and solemn pledgesby oaths and promisesprobably in the beginning.
Further, the affection Jason displays in the following passage T9 is likely to have extended through much of his marriage with Medea: My knees which you clung to!
How we are besmirched and mocked by this man's broken vows Equally, there is no good reason to think that "Jason's clinging to Medea's knees" would be less frequent. Both forms of affection are romantic, and they are consistent with Medea's confession to King Aegeus at T1 that Jason used to love her.
Jason, then, seems to have loved Medea passionately at the beginning - as suggested by his vows and oaths. Note that CL is compatible with infidelity: Thus, after marrying Glauce, Jason claims to be still attracted to Medea What the foregoing leads us to is that on balance, and towards the moment of Jason's infidelity and betrayal, Medea had a deeper love for Jason than Jason had for Medea.
This imbalance is a significant condition for love to be a power resource in an intimate relationship. How, then, does love work as a basis of power? For a resource to be a basis of power, it is neither necessary nor sufficient that it is possessed. One must also have control of it. Even so, the one who controls it may still lack power, unless at least one condition is met: Thus, a store owner does not have power over a customer just because he has control over resources in his store, unless and until the customer desires the goods, which will be expressed by an act or intention to acquire them.
How much power one has depends on the degree of desire for the resource. Thus if y has a mild desire for the resource that x controls, x has little power over y. This answers the question earlier raised: Can love, a social resource, come to be in anyone's control? Or, rather, is love something that can be controlled? The answer to the above question calls for a comparison with the other sources of power.
Reward, coercion, authority, expertise or information is a resource that can be neatly and wholly located in an agent who exercises or dispenses it. But love is relational in character, and does not appear to be something in anyone's full control. This issue has been clarified by comparing love with money cf. It is clear that whoever owns money, controls it. Equally clear is the vulnerability of money: Money, moreover, is universalistic, tradable and convertible: But love is more complex: Besides, it is particularistic: Further, love is power only when it is bestowed by the lover: This fragility is a significant variable in the power game between a couple.
If, then, love is a fragile thing between a couple, society or culture may increase or complicate that fragility. According to Rodmanresource power works only where culture is unclear about how power should be allocated.
Where the culture or subculture has a clear norm about power, it is the norm that matters and resources are irrelevant. For example, in egalitarian cultures - those which endorse the equal or equitable sharing of power - power is not significantly affected by socioeconomic resources.
Sweden and Denmark have been touted as clear examples Rodman The critical factor, Spreyclaims, is how far cultural norms influence what resources are valued. In a culture where economic factors are highly valued, they would be dominant. Similarly, patriarchal societies tend to value the male gender above other resources, creating a system of male dominance. Medea speaks for all women in the patriarchal setting of Greek antiquity, when she laments: For women, divorce is not respectable; to repel the man, impossible If a man grows tired of the company at home, he can go out and find a cure for tediousness.
We wives are forced to look to one man only And Jason is typically and unashamedly patriarchal: