• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

One of the most prominent surviving plays of Euripides in the presentday era is Medea. In it, he depicted the struggle between a motherslove for her children

Extracts from this document...


Euripides has met the conventions of Attic Tragedy up to a particular extent. Although he was often criticised for his work, he followed the structure and cycles of thetraditional tragedy. However, his stance on the themes and ideas set him apartfrom... Euripides has met the conventions of Attic Tragedy up to a particular extent. Although he was often criticised for his work, he followed the structure and cycles of the traditional tragedy. However, his stance on the themes and ideas set him apart from the other writers. It is unreasonable to compare Euripides with the traditional writers of Attic tragedy without understanding his attitude and the reason for this attitude. Although he was only fifteen years older than Sophocles, he belonged to a whole different generation. Between them lay the chasm of the Sophists moment. The Sophists were professional teachers who applied new methods of criticism to all aspects of life. Euripides was a child of this time. It made him a septic and a critic. It affected his whole attitude towards life and made it impossible for him to accept the presuppositions of tragic art as his predecessors had done. ...read more.


As such Euripides has used a chorus in his play to represent the Corinthian women. However, in other tragedies, the chorus played a much mor, detached role. They were important as narrators of commentators to what was actually occurring. But in Euripides play, they have a more prominent interaction with the main characters, especially that of Medea. Medea and the chorus engage in long conversations concerning her plight and her plan of revenge. Thus, we can see that Euripides sometimes followed conventions. The tragedian stage convention in Attic theatre also followed a specific rule. There were never more than three characters on the stage at one time. By studying Medea, we can see that Euripides never has more than three actors on stage and upholds the tradition. Therefore, we can see that Erupide's Medea only somewhat follows the conventions of Attic tragedy. Although he was maintained the traditional structure, cycles, and actors, he has replaces some age old ideas and themes, including the prominence of gods and the role of the Chorus. But throughout these uses and changes in convention, what really is Euripides trying to express? ...read more.


Women, in the play, are also seen as persuasive, having the ability to achieve their means by begging or supplicating men. Medea is shown as having perfected this ability - every time she is shown attempting to persuade anyone in the play, she succeeds. Women are portrayed as inherently dishonest. This is further emphasised when Medea tells the Chorus: 'We were born women - useless for honest purposes,/ But in all kinds of evil skilled practitioners'. In conclusion, from the play we must assume that women were viewed as sex crazed, overly emotional, and persuasive beings. However this was the view of Euripides. It is impossible to say what others, particularly women's; views were on women from just this source. The universe in which Euripides existed was not benevolent, or just. Hardship fell on all, the wicked and the good. The gods were not only powerful, but often impulsive, cruel and blind to justice. Needless to say, these positions made Euripides unpopular. He was the unwanted voice of conscience in his age, a man unafraid to point out the lies with which a civilization comforts itself. Sophocles gives us heroes, and Aeschylus gives us a vision of history and teleology; Euripides gives us real men and women with all-too human weaknesses, and his visions are often nightmares. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. In Euripides Play, how important is it that Medea is a foreigner, not a ...

    They were very supportive of Medea and these characters and the Chorus say "Poor Medea" through a lot of the play, they pity her, even though she is foreign. The Chorus say that they "are all on her side" showing that they did not think of her wrongly.

  2. "Euripides is not asking us [the audience] to sympathise with Medea..."

    To try and draw on any conclusions as to who is 'bad' or 'good' is futile, as there are too many complications and exceptions. There is no one label for either Medea or Jason. Hence it would be wiser to view Euripides's purposes for them as symbols of human's nature and flaws.

  1. To what extent is the theme of gender confusion used to create comic effect ...

    (the introduction of the motion by the Leader at the beginning of the Thesmophoria gathering is in a comparable style to the introduction of a 'real-life' debate in a political forum), decide verdicts upon such political issues as "...what steps should be taken for the punishment of Euripides..."[25], and deliver

  2. How far was Plato's perception of rhetoric a consistent one?

    still young and tender.'11 It is for this reason that Plato is so opposed to giving uncensored examples of the poets' works to children. He gives the examples from 'Homer and Hesiod'12. Many of these stories are not factually true, although they may be based in truth, nor are they morally true.

  1. Cinderella - play script

    Puddings and pies and rum sufflets Succulent chocolate rounds Cream puffs they can chew away to gain some royal pounds. Lionel + Townspeople The Prince in giving a Ball! The Prince is giving a Ball! ----At Cinderella's House---- Calliope: Thank you.

  2. In Euripides' tragedy, Medea, is plot more important than character?

    This could be another insight into Medea's character and this also suggests that they already know or fear of her murderous intentions. There is the Messenger who brings us details of the violent action that does not happen on the stage, the obscene.

  1. Hippolytus by Euripides

    The Nurse says that the gods cannot even resist Aphrodite's influence so why should Phaedra, she uses examples of the gods used by Aphrodite: Dawn & Cephalus and Zeus & Semele. The Nurse goes to Hippolytus and tells him straight out of her mistress's feelings for him.

  2. The portrayal of Women in The Trojan Women and Medea by Euripides and in ...

    in a sense that they are more worthy than the unjust treatment given to them by men and more specific, their captors. In another play by the same playwright, Euripides shows a similar relationship between men and women in Medea.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work