The classical age of Greek art spans the years from the end of the Persian Wars (479B.C.) to the death of Alexander the Great ( 323B.C.) During this period, standards were established that would dominate Western art until the emergence of modern art in the late nineteenth century. Greek drama and great poets like Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides gave huge expression to the rise of the individual through their awareness of human personality. Euripides was by far the most modern of these great tragic poets of Greece. He was the first so-called realist who brought the idea of realism in many aspects of the Greek stage. Like the Sophists, Euripides subjected the problems of human life to critical analysis and challenged human conversations. He also was the first who introduced the art of reasoning into tragedy.
His famous tragic-comedy, Alcestis was the first one to be presented in dramatic history. Euripides was one of the three great Attic tragic poets working in comparison to Aeschylus and Sophocles. His work had a great influence on Roman drama. Euripides represented the moral, social, and political movements that were taking place in Athens toward the end of 5th century BC. This was a period of intellectual discovery, in which wisdom established the highest earthly accomplishment. Dale points out that, “Aeschylus and Sophocles were splendid: the believed in gods, they wrote beautiful poetry, they respected the immutable principles of dramatic art. But Euripides could not, or would not, obey the rules: he was careless, or incompetent, in making his plots; his poetry had none of Aeschylus’s splendor or of Sophocles’s dignity; and what are after all more serious matters, namely religion and morality, he was a dangerous skeptic” Although Euripides drew on the old mythology, he treated its characters in a realistic fashion.
"Why me? Why did I have to go so soon? I could have done more with my life. Who is going to take care of the children?" These are thoughts that could have poured through the mind of the woman in the marble stele. The chosen piece is a marble grave marker from the mid-fourth century B.C. It depicts a woman sitting to the right side, with her left side facing the world, in a chair with her head half ...
He no longer idealized symbols remote from the common life, but from contemporary Athenians. “He shared in the intellectual skepticism of the day and his plays challenged the religion and moral doctrine of the past” One part of Euripidess dramatic critique of Greek culture involved an unusual emphasis on women. Euripides was the first one to introduce women on the stage, not as heroines but as they are in actual life. But As Euripides was unhappy in his own family being betrayed by his first wife, Melito, and not having more fortunate with his second one, many people believed that he was a misogynist and expressed this in his writings. He indeed was often far from complimentary to the other sex, which, probably, was the result of his unhappy personal life. Thus, for instance, after a burst of indignation before the nurse, who approaches him with overtures of love on behalf of Phadra, he makes Hippolytus express his opinion of womankind: O Zeus, why hast thou brought into the world To plague us such a tricky thing as woman? If thou didnt wish to propagate mankind, Couldst thou not find some better way than this? But many people in ancient times and many Greek scholars, who described him as a woman hater, misunderstood this emphasis.
Wright sees him as “an aggressive champion of women,” pointing out that ” his tragic heroines are famous and are almost always treated with greater interest and insight than his heroes”. His play Medea is a prime example. Anyone wishing to explore feminist themes in Euripides’ work must inevitably come to Medea, simply because it is a play which so directly addresses women’s issues. Written in 431 BC, Medea, a classic Greek tragedy by Euripides, presents the deepest feelings of a Greek woman. It was everything to me to think well of one man, And he, my own husband, ahs turned out wholly vile. Of all things which are living and can form a judgement We women are the most unfortunate creatures Medea is the first fully developed female character in Greek drama. She is treated as an independent woman, not as Jason’s wife or someone’s mother.
Women in Greek history have had many roles. In Ancient Greece the mythological stories tell of very powerful women. Some archeological finds hint at the same suggestion. Women also represent some of the most powerful of deities. In the Classical Age women were subservient and primarily homebound. Women did the sewing, cooking, cleaning and raising of the children.In Hellenistic times women were ...
She is herself. In Media Euripides tells the story about the jealous and revenge woman who is angry with her husband for leaving her. She kills the woman he left her for and also kills her own two children she had with Jason to seek revenge on him for leaving her. Medea, which is not hindered by seemingly direct influence from above, allows to alter the stereotype of women. Medea shows a great and complex character development. She is strong-willed, passionate, scheming, revengeful, and even considered a sorceress. Euripides expresses this theme that tells that women, though seemingly submissive and shallow on the surface, posses very deep feelings, emotions, and traits. Euripides, if compared to Sophocles, believed more that the reader should sympathize with the tragic hero and understand the moral dilemma, that all men and women are equal in nobility and ability, and that ill-treatment of women or humanity will lead to disaster.
This caused Medea to be justified in her actions as revenge to Jason for the unscrupulous affair. This story follows the usual Greek tragedy plot and story line and Euripides conveys his idea of a woman well. The concept of a dominant female is still applicable in today’s world. Medea is still a popular story today because of this. A second distinctive feature of Euripidean tragedy is its humanitarianism. No other Greek thinker expressed such concern for a fellow human being, such compassion for human sufferings especially womens ones.
In the Trojan Women, Euripides depicted was as agony and not glory, and the warrior as brutish and not noble. He emphases womens feeling here by describing the torments of women for whom war meant the loss of homes, husbands, children, and freedom. In this play Euripides presents women as equal to men in a very subtle yet powerful way. His portrayal of men is especially radical because of their apparent weakness. In the ancient times in Greece most men were very proud of their states accomplishments. This strength and pride in Greek society, was a factor in what led one gender to consider another gender as inferior. This play along with many other plays of Euripides is yet another strong protest against the mistreatment of women in Ancient Greek society.
In most of the ancient Greek world, gender roles were fairly static throughout time and outside circumstances had little or no influence on gender construction. Men functioned within the public sphere, whereas women were restricted to the private, domestic sphere. This was the typical gender construction of most ancient societies, and remained so in much of the world until modern times. Unlike the ...
The Women of Troy, written by Euripides, was one of the first plays which tried to show the suffering of women after the Greek army defeated the Trojans. There were many writers that wrote about and described the Trojan War, no one except Euripides had spent so much time trying to make the reader believe in the extreme and distraught emotions of the Trojan women. The majority of the play revolves around the characters of Hecabe, Cassandra, Helen, and Menelaus. The three women mentioned are all captives of the Greek army, awaiting their transfer into slavery. Menelaus is a shallow Greek general unable to show sympathy to the complaints of the women. Those relations and interactions between opposite sexes make this play to look like a simple tragedy.
But what Euripides was trying to address in reality was the protest against societys treatment of women in general. His purpose was not to account the historical events but to show the reader the real attitude towards women at that time. Greece, during the time the play was written, viewed women as inferior and mere objects that should be concerned with household matters. Men who dominated the upper class even used women as political tools by means of strategic marriage. By describing each womans state of suffering and by making men appear shallow and coward, Euripides indirectly supports the idea that women can be equal to men. One character who presents herself as an intelligent and strong woman is Cassandra.
Cassandra is the daughter of Hecabe who suffers at the hands of the Greek men. She is a virgin who, after capture, has been ordered to reside with King Agamemnon. Hecabe suffers over this fact because she knows her daughter cannot marry a man on her own free will. Cassandra must now give up her virginity to an unknown king in a foreign land. The thought of this fate is extremely disturbing to Cassandra who has saved herself all of these years for a man of her choice. Cassandra is important because she elevates the status of women by accurately stating the way men are preferred in society. In one powerful monologue, Cassandra says: How different for the men of Troy, whose glory it was To die defending their own country! Those who fell Were carried back by comrades to their homes, prepared For burial by the hands they loved, and laid rest In the land that bore them; those who survived the field returned Each evening to their wives and children.
Aristophanes' play "Qesmoforiazogsai" ("The Poet and the Women") is an excellent comedy. Standing the test of time and the often diminishing process of translation into English it remains amusing today just as it doubtlessly was to its original Athenian audience. It is a well-controlled comedy with a fluent plot, striking dialogue and intelligent characterisation. But above all it passes the ...
This speech points out how men are honored in battle and how they always win. A man can die in war and be glorified at home for his efforts or if he survives he gets to go home to his wife and children. Women on the other hand are merely tools of men. In the case of The Women of Troy, those who survived the war (namely women) are disregarded and traded among men as slaves. Euripides portrayal of Cassandra and her wisdom is an excellent example of how he regarded women as equals.
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