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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 #7

Chorus: If only Apollo,
Prince of the lyric, had put
in our hearts the invention
Of music and songs for the lyre
Wouldn't I then have raised
up a feminine paean
To answer the epic of men? (58)

The Chorus is pointing out that their culture's depictions of women have all been created by men. This idea, that their entire culture is male centered, wouldn't pop up again until the twentieth century. Medea was in many ways ahead of its time.

Quote #8

Chorus: Woman of stone, heart of iron,
Disconsolate woman, ready to kill
The seed of your hands with the hand that
tilled. (193)

Is the play damaging to women in some way? It's definitely revolutionary in its blatantly pro-woman themes. We have to question, though: if you're trying to champion the feminine cause, why make your heroine a serial killer? Aristophanes, Euripides's comic contemporary, would later satirize Medea for that very reason.

Quote #9

Jason: Oh, I married a tigress,
not a woman, not a wife,
and yoked myself to a hater and destroyer (204)

Could it be argued that Jason and the patriarchal (male-run) society that he represents turned Medea into this monster? Perhaps the lack of respect for her in part drove her to her horrendous actions.

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