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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 #1

Medea: Of all creatures that can feel and think,
we women are the worst treated things alive. (31)

Euripides boldly states the central theme of the play: the sorry state of the female in Greece. This theme popped up in many of his plays. He is noted for taking up the cause of women as well as the next lowest group on the totem pole: slaves.

Quote #2

Medea: we [women] bid the highest price in dowries
just to buy some man
to be dictator of our bodies […]
How that compounds the wrong! (31)

This isn't necessarily accurate, as girls' fathers paid dowries. Still, though, Medea's outrage is more than justified. Women were basically bought and sold like cattle. Though they were above slaves on the social ladder, they were at times still treated like nothing more than property.

Quote #3

Medea: Divorce is a disgrace
(at least for women),
to repudiate the man, not possible. (31)

Women were in some ways prisoners. If they got sold off to a man who mistreated them, there was really no good escape route. The rest of society would reject them if they left their husband.

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