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by Euripides

Medea Women and Femininity Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used Paul Roche's translation.

Quote #4

Medea: I had rather stand my ground three times among
the shields
than face a childbirth once. (31)

Is Medea by some standards a "masculine" woman? Here she says she'd rather do battle than give birth. In some ways, this is a rejection of the foundation of the traditional role of women.

Quote #5

Medea: Well, suppose they are dead: […]
will any man afford me home in a country safe
for living […]? (57)

Even a woman as powerful as Medea feels the need to be protected by a man. You'd think that she be all right on her own. She does have a couple of dragons at her disposal. The fact that she still wants a man around, even after her last one dissed her so badly, seems to show just how deeply entrenched patriarchy was in Greek society.

Quote #6

Chorus: One day the story will change:
then shall the glory
of women resound […]
Reversing at last the sad
reputation of ladies. (58)

The Chorus seems to be almost sounding a battle cry for a feminist revolution. We wonder how this would've been received by the all-male audience that attended the plays in ancient Athens. Of course, it would've been performed by male actors as well.

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