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Medea – Male and Female Perceptions of the World

Ask yourself this, Is this world biased against a particular gender? Do we mainly focus on women’s issues or men’s? What would your answer be? I bet most of you would say no, we aren’t biased at all. And, in many cases, that would be correct. But look at some of the other parts of the world where woman aren’t allowed a say, they aren’t allowed to put their point of view forward even in our own society. They aren’t allowed to know information until the male passes it on to them. This gap between women and men is widest in these areas. This type of treatment was happening at the times of the great ancient Greek playwrights such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, and the controversial Euripides. Euripides play Medea explores these themes as well as many others.

Unlike today where women are usually regarded as important as men are, the ancient Greek men were ranked much higher than women in the hierarchy and therefore there was quite a gap between them. This meant that men were able to order women around and information was available to them before anybody else. Men were regarded as smarter than women so they were chosen to do special tasks while the women were left to be servants. But men didn’t seem to understand women much at all. Some men believed that they were just Poor women, Harping on trouble, where really they were doing things that would have helped themselves as well as the people around them.

Medea is expected to love Jason with all her heart, and she does. She is expected to take care of her children and do just about anything for Jason, and she does this too. But Medea is also expected to understand that Jason wishes to get married to another woman in order for him to gain the power that had always wanted. She doesn’t understand this at all. All Medea expects from Jason is for him to love her. When men have more power than women, they expect more understanding from women.

The play shows the views of both genders. The tutor, the messenger, Creon (king of Corinth), and Aegus (king of Athens) represent the male point of view. The nurse and the Chorus of Corinthian women represent the female point of view. Euripides intended to only have two voices representing the women to show that the women were less important than the men were. He has the views of a nurse, who is regarded as a servant, against the views of two kings, a teacher and a messenger. Who would people listen to? It would most likely be the men. They had more power being kings and educators. Who would listen to a servant who cant stop talking? In spite of all of this, Medea had more power than any of the other characters in the play. Why is this? She has the willpower and the passion for revenge. She doesn’t think of what could have been, she just gets out there and does it.

Medea is quite ahead of her time, she is almost ahead of our time too. Her ideas of speaking her mind and standing for her rights are things that some of us could only talk about today. Everybody thought she was out of her mind when she began her plan for revenge on Jason. If you were dumped, you were meant to take it and live with it. Retaliating like Medea did was something that wasn’t done at that time  that’s why nobody understood her actions.

But today, women will go to all sorts of lengths to get revenge on their ex-lover. Things such as letting their exs car tyres down each morning is a good example of this. Although Medea did a bit more than letting Jason’s tyres down (she killed Jason’s new wife, Jason’s new father-in-law, and her very own children), she still had the right to be angry. She stood for women’s rights and was one of the few fictional feminists of her time.

This gap was made by two totally different genders who have totally different views and who cant understand each other at all because of this. Medea reversed the gap. She made women equal to men.

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