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TMA 07: Myths and Conventions

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  • Essay length: 1538 words
  • Submitted: 01/09/2008
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TMA 07: Myths and Conventions

With careful reference to two of the works studied in Block 5 (Medea and Pygmalion), show how attributes traditionally associated with masculinity and femininity are contrasted.

Medea by Euripides (431 BCE) and Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (1913 ACE) are plays that share common themes of sexuality and alienation with both their roots firmly set in mythology.

Euripides and Shaw employ a range of techniques to present the compelling personas of their female protagonists, Medea and Eliza Doolittle respectively. The plays revolve around the powerful and physiological transformation of Medea and Eliza's striking aesthetic reform through the writers' skilful use of stage direction, language, tone and theme development. The actions and dialogues of the supporting characters also manipulate the audiences' and other characters opinions. The playwrights have carefully considered each effect when constructing and developing their lead character.

Euripides has already launched the transformation of his protagonist at the opening of the play. Medea the queen, wife and mother shows signs of a more masculine and at times, an extremely 'barbaric' role, through her howling lamentations. The play begins with Medea's nurse setting the scene, she introduces the main

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