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In writing an essay comparing Medea and Antigone, on what should I focus in both...

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dodibobi | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 18, 2011 at 7:56 AM via web

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In writing an essay comparing Medea and Antigone, on what should I focus in both protagonists?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 18, 2011 at 10:15 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that one of the most valid points of comparison in writing about both protagonists is that they are representative of strong women.  Sophocles and Euripedes construct women who are the very epitome of strength.  They resist social conventions and the judgments of others in what they believe.  Being a woman does invoke more criticisms of their actions, but this is something they dismiss in the name of their belief systems.  Medea is told that as a mother, she must honor her children and not "cross that line," while Ismene implores Antigone to reconsider her actions as a woman.  I think that you can find some similarities in their speeches of why they must do what they must do.  Comparing their language in tone in several moments where they express their conviction could prove to reflect some basic similarity between them.  Another point of comparison would be to point out how their positions, regardless of strength, bring about despair and destruction, as a result.  Antigone's own life is taken, as well as Creon's son who is in love with Antigone, and Creon's wife. As for Medea, Jason is forced to see his children murdered by their mother.  In the end, these positions of strength are non- negotiable ends, and the result is death for those who are fated to love them.

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