Women's Role In Greek Theatre

1354 Words 6 Pages
In ancient Greece, the role of women in society was to stay at home and produce children. Women were not educated, and they had no place in the theater, even as audience members. However, women were often portrayed in theater, and prominent characters were often women. These women did things atypical of what a traditional greek woman would do. Lysistrata brought an end to the Peloponnesian War, Medea enacted a cunning revenge, and Antigone valiantly ensured her brother received a proper burial. Despite these heroic actions (except in Medea’s case), some argue that women had an overall negative portrayal in Greek theater. In Lysistrata, the only power the women had was their sexuality, in Antigone Antigone’s only motivation was to remain loyal to her family, and the largest power Medea had over Jason were the lives of her children. The only bargaining chip women are given in these plays is their sexuality and family, which makes them one-dimensional. However, they use their one-dimensional role as sexual beings to achieve a large impact on society. The playwrights emphasize that the child rearing family based lifestyle is …show more content…
If Lysistrata and Antigone show how this role can be used for good, Medea shows how a lack of this role leads to chaos. In Medea, when Jason leaves Medea to marry the princess Glauce, and Medea responds by killing Glauce and her children, in an attempt at revenge. She exemplifies the exact opposite of what a Greek woman should be; instead of caring for her children, she kills them. Medea’s selfish act of trying to have the last laugh exudes the power hungry greed that typically only afflicts Greek men. Her abandonment of her family-centric role caused her to forfeit her moral superiority, and the results negatively affect society. After Medea is aided in escape by her grandfather, the sun god, the chorus addresses the injustice that took

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