Discuss gender as a social construction of identity in Medea.

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Medea, gender works as a social construction of power in Corinthian society.  Jason has only been able to complete his trials with Medea's help, and she has given up her family and left her home behind for him.  Jason, however, is more compelled by status and power than he is by love and loyalty, so he immediately marries the king's daughter upon arriving in Corinth.  Medea, however, can do nothing about this.  She tells Jason that she does not accept his leaving her to enter into a new marriage, but she cannot stop his actions.  Medea cannot protest to anyone because as a woman she does not have this right.  Medea realizes the constraints placed on her by the social construction of gender in society, and this realization is one of the major reasons why she decides to kill her sons.  Her actions are not simply an act of revenge against Jason--they are an act of agency to speak against the dismantling of her immediate family.  Medea must find alternate ways to exercise her power because society does not allow such rights to women.