Comment on the significance of the Nurse's lines below:  "How much better to have been accustomed To live on equal terms with one's neighbors. I would like to be safe and grow old in a Humble...

Comment on the significance of the Nurse's lines below:

 

"How much better to have been accustomed To live on equal terms with one's neighbors. I would like to be safe and grow old in a Humble way. What is moderate sounds best, Also in practice is best for everyone. Greatness brings no profit to people. God indeed, when in anger, brings Greater ruin to great men's houses."

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

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The sense of control and sense of deliberation that the Nurse possesses is something that Medea lacks.  These traits are evident in the selection of lines featured.  The Nurse is one who favors a sense of the deliberate, something more traditional.  The implications here are that Medea, to a certain extent, is doomed in terms of functioning within society because her actions lack such a sound and deliberate framework.  The Nurse's lines reflect a sense of practicality and pragmatism, something that Medea herself lacks.  The notion of living "on equal terms" helps to bring out the fundamental Greek belief that one lives in a social setting with others and one is not isolated.  In order to acknowledge the condition of others and the social nature in which one lives, the need to live "on equal terms" is essential.  This is emphasized in the ideas of "humble" living and "moderate sounds best."  The ever-present fear of divine retribution is evident in the closing element, and in this, the Nurse possesses a sense of fear and simultaneous control that Medea lacks.  Another implication that might arise out of the Nurse's lines is how women from the Greek period are intended to see themselves.  Part of the reason that Medea, as a character, is so heavily debated because she is a woman breaking the norm of how women are supposed to behave.  The Nurse's sentiment are not only a more traditional articulation of how Greek society saw people, but more essential, how they saw women.  Medea challenges this and for this, she endures much in way of criticism.  Certainly, she is to be criticized for her actions, but the Nurse's lines show how far off Medea's actions are from the conventional notion of how women, and perhaps people, in general, are viewed in Greek society.

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