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In Euripides Play, how important is it that Medea is a foreigner, not a Greek woman?

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Essay Practice - Section B In Euripides' Play, how important is it that Medea is a foreigner, not a Greek woman? This essay shall explore the aspects as to why it is important that Medea is a foreign women or a 'barbaroi' (literally means that foreign people had a different language and the Greeks didn't understand them, they heard bar-bar-bar which is where the word 'barbaroi' came from) in a Greek society in Corinth. This means that the following aspects will be taken into account when deciding whether Medea is an important figure when she is foreign: the issue of being foreign in Greek society and how this would make Medea and others view her; also, the fact that she is a woman in Greek society and how important that she is a foreign women rather than a man; the effect and views that she has on the audience as a 'barbaroi'; and that, if she wasn't foreign then would this, at all, change the way things happened in the play. This will take into account the fact that there are different morals, Medea as a character and her reaction to killing her children, but also the reaction from different characters in the Medea such as the chorus. Medea is from the island of Colchis and she helped Jason get the Golden Fleece, she risked her life for him, and left her home to go with Jason. ...read more.


Women in Greek society are supposed to follow the orders of the men above them, look after their household and bare children. It is important that women do this because men take care of politics and make the decisions in society and the home. Many women do this unless they are courtesans (prostitutes that were free to do what they pleased). Women were property of their fathers until marriage and after that of their husbands. This means that men could do what they pleased with a woman. However, Medea is a totally different kind of woman and is not true to type as she is a woman that makes her own decisions. She doesn't listen to Jason, she is possessed by the furies and the anger against Jason getting another wife. She looks at the morals literally and women aren't supposed to do this, they are quiet beings who take orders, but they do have to understand the morals fully. Medea doesn't fully understand the morals, she picks and chooses the ones she wants to use, for example revenge and xenia. Women play a very minor part in society and should not go about killing people out of pure anger against their husbands. It was legal for men to choose another wife, although, it is quite rare to not find pleasure in the first wife they have. She says that though she killed her children she loved them very dearly and life had been cruel to her. ...read more.


In conclusion, it is very important that Medea is a foreign woman not a Greek woman because it brings forward the contrast between the ways foreign barbaroi views the world compared to a Greek woman. Medea views herself as an exile and she has left her home to be with Jason. She is not regarded as important to the Corinthians as a Greek woman. This means that she is overlooked and this is important because no one can persuade her against what she wants to do as she is a foreigner with different morals and makes her own decisions. Even before the play starts she decides that she must kill her brother and Pelios so that she is in more control. She is not a woman true to type because she takes matters into her own hands and interprets the Greek morals in the way of a man. Others view her as an outsider and Medea can see that she isn't thought of well, especially when she becomes a "sick murderess". Medea is a woman that would scare an audience full of men as she is foreign and acts like a man in many ways, they didn't know if his wife was going to do the same thing. If Medea wasn't a foreigner then the play wouldn't work and there wouldn't be a play at all. This means that she must be a foreign woman not a Greek woman because she brings a good, different element to the play, "and such is the conclusion to this" essay. ?? ?? ?? ?? Amy Porter ...read more.

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