What does the play Medea seem to tell us about how the Greeks viewed life?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Euripides's work reveals a few elements about Greek society that is quite telling.  Overall, the work demonstrates how destructive the Classical vision of passion can actually be.  The Greek society is one where praise is heaped because of the authenticity of emotions felt and the intensity within which individuals experienced such feelings.  Yet, after seeing Jason's emotions and Medea's responses, there might be an argument that says Greek displays of emotions can be highly destructive.  The lack of rights that women had in Greek society is also seen.  Medea's condition is only enhanced because she has no recourse against Jason in any legal or social realm.  Jason is able to pursue his relationship with Cruesa and there is no path for Medea to follow in terms of achieving satisfaction.  The destructive nature of her actions might be attributed to the fact that Greek society did not validate the rights of women.  Had she possessed some other avenue that could be pursued maybe she would not have felt the need to kill her own children to avenge her pain at Jason's hands.

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