Actors offer generalizations about the nature and predicament of women. Should the audience take as serious assessments all, some, or none of these?

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sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, the audience does need to take all of this seriously. In Euripides’ Medea, the chorus understands why Medea commits her crime:  they understand she was seriously wronged and why she wants revenge. They are horrified by her act of murdering her children, so that the audience understands the lengths to which a woman might go when abused as she had been. The fact that other works of literature, such as Toni Morrison’s Beloved, draws upon the act of infanticide to portray the deep wrongs in a society suggests the reality of the emotions upon which Euripides draws for his drama. It is “natural” for a woman to love her children, yet doing the “unnatural,” murdering them, can result in an unjust world where men have power over women.

grlucas eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Something, too, we have to remember is that Jason makes assumptions about "Greek" women, of which Medea is not. In fact, after Medea kills his boys, he states that a Greek woman would never do such a thing. He is prone to make generalizations about the women of his society (dangerous) and then apply them to Medea (fatal).

Also, remember about Medea's famous speech: we shoud take it seriously, but as sagetrieb points out above, that speech is for the benefit of the chorus -- to get them on her side. Remember that Medea has a history of manipulating women, particularly Pelias' daughters.

Part of the wrong she is trying to right is the patriarchial society that produces men like Jason.

a-chan | Student

Thank you for your help again:)

But how about Jason's comment about women.

When he says "You women have got into such a state of mind, that, if your life at night is good, you think you have everything; but, if in taht quarter things go wrong, you will consider your best and truest interests most hateful."

or When Medea tricked Jason, she says "Woman is a frail thing, prone to crying."