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CLA232 - Medea.docx

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Victoria Wohl

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Euripedes‟ Medea Medea  female, barbarian and witch  comparing Greek male (Jason) to barbarian female (Medea)  primarily male focal points  play preformed as tragedy at City Dionysia – expected to be in favor of male  audience: probably consisted mostly of males, but partially females too  hard to imagine “average” woman there – women there would have been prostitutes, foreigners or unmarried  male with a male mindset  male audience, male playwright  festival where it was preformed was a civic institution -> citizens paid for it *fully expect play to be in favor with Jason *actually: Medea civilized and sensible (more so than Jason)  women insuperior to men they were with  when preformed, Medea was played by a man  tragedies usually depict strong women in comparison to men  many women come to bad ends, never simple morality tale  plays create empathy for women  lets Athenian men feel like women 1. masculine genre 2. exploring women and playing the “Other” Medea/Jason  conflict between Greek man and the foreign, female “Other”  Medea: barbaros (Scythian)  in play: exhile (no home at all)  “rescued” from barbarity by Jason  not so much emphasis on “foreignness” but on exhile Backstory  Jason and Argonauts looking for Golden Fleece  owned by Aeetes (Medea‟s father)  he will give it to Jason, but Jason must kill dragon  Medea falls in love with Jason and offers help (granddaughter of Helias (god) and neice of Cersei (witch)  sorceress („Medea‟ means trickery)  clever: everyone is wary of how clever she is  her magic charm enables Jason to get Fleece and escape Aeetes  (basically Medea betrayed everyone at home so she could never return there) How are the Greeks going to deal with her/Jason‟s relationship? Metics: resident aliens (never became full citizens but lived in the city)  their children will never be citizens either proxenos: citizen guardian: acts for them in legal/economic situations (how  Jason proxenos for Medea  when Jason betrays her she becomes “homeless”  differentiates herself from women because she‟s an exhile  status as a women = status as a foreigner women are exhiles  Medea makes it clear  sort of feminist icon (mixed role model)  insight into what i
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