Euripides Iphigenia At Aulis And Medea Analysis

Good Essays
Within Euripides Iphigenia at Aulis, and Seneca’s Medea, a variety of atrocious acts take place, sparing no violence and certainly no mercy. Although Seneca and Euripides hail from much different time periods, many parallels can be drawn between the atrocious acts depicted within their works. While the scenarios that lead up to the atrocious acts that take place within Medea and Iphigenia at Aulis differ, many similarities can be found between both antagonists. In addition to the similarities, there is strong suggestion of Seneca’s ability to deeper develop and adapt the works of Euripides, as evidenced through his decision to let human nature supersede divine control. Medea and Iphigenia at Aulis both represent products of their time and location. …show more content…
If Agamemnon did not go through with the sacrifice of his daughter, the masses of troops and greater good of Greece would be in jeopardy and likely toppled. It is in Agamemnon’s best personal interest to save his daughter and all the grief and pain that would come with him sacrificing her. However, the unselfish King is able to accept the pain of his daughter dying for the ultimate selfless act of saving his military and land. Medea on the other hand represents the ultimate selfishness. Medea, although she loves her two sons, doesn’t accept any other option besides killing them. The murder, or sacrifice in Medea’s eyes, was all in favor of Medea achieving the revenge on Jason she so desperately seeks. Well aware that the sacrifice will not bring Jason and Medea back together, the idea of the grief and sadness it will bring upon Jason is enough for Medea to be convinced. Medea, who loves her sons, will feel the same grief and sadness, but her extremist ways towards achieving her desires supersede any emotional connection she …show more content…
This is much different from the motivating factors for King Agamemnon in Euripides’ Iphigenia at Aulis. Euripides, and the atrocious act in which he composes, is guided by the powers of the Gods and Goddesses. King Agamemnon is instructed by a divine power that he must sacrifice his daughter, to which Euripides writes that he must comply and go forth with said sacrifice. It is interesting to compare the two motivating factors, divine vs. human, between the two playwrights. Seneca is able to adapt the Greek dramatic template, which includes divine powers having ultimate and decisive control in atrocious acts, to now putting the control in that of the culprit. The adaptation in approach between divine power and human intellect speaks volumes to what was taking place in society at the times. The difference in culpability allows the audience to reconsider who truly deserves the blame for such acts. In Seneca’s Medea you couldn’t blame a God or Goddess for such a brutal act-taking place as you could in Euripides Iphigenia at Aulis. Similarly, you could not argue the capacity for a human to commit such a brutal act on their own in Iphigenia at Aulis, like you can in Medea, for King Agamemnon was instructed by a greater power, unlike Medea’s mortal self who made her own

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Contrary to Hesiod, Homer aligns more with the idea that justice is a societal attribute that is enforced by acts of revenge. These vengeful acts are carried out by the gods and man alike as they both are able to carry out forms of justice. However, the gods and man do not govern justice equally. A theme that is identified early on in the Odyssey is that the injustices against man are often blamed on the gods. As a result, the gods label these mortal actions as part of the recklessness of man and the gods must impose divine justice and intervene in mortal affairs ensure order is continuously established in the world.…

    • 777 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Apollo is the lord of reason and the discerning, while Dionysus is the divine force of the nonsensical and mayhem. The Greeks did not view the two divine beings as contrary energies or opponents, albeit frequently the two gods were twisted together by nature. The Apollonian depends on reason and sensible considering. By differentiation, the Dionysian depends on confusion and requests to the feelings and impulses. The conflicting ideologies of the Dionysian and Apollonian are focal subjects inside Nietzsche's first significant work, The Birth of Tragedy.…

    • 926 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Medea Passion Analysis

    • 1075 Words
    • 4 Pages

    There exists between Medea and the Greek society a fundamental disjunction in the beliefs that they maintain throughout the entirety of the play. The state of Corinth concerns itself with preserving a façade of orderliness derived from rationality and order; on the contrary, Medea, “who left a barbarous land to become a resident of Hellas” is the embodiment of excess that the civilised world fears, ruled by passionate anger in her lust for revenge. She is forthright in that the emotions in her outward demeanour are aligned with her inner impulses. Euripides constructs Medea in a manner, uncharacteristic of the archetypal Greek woman founded upon pragmatism, who is commonly considered quiet, powerless and purposely unintelligent, Medea is a manipulative, conniving and “clever woman” and assumes a reserved exterior, whilst stifling her own emotions. In her commitment to revenge, Medea defies the expectations of Greek society and the role of women, transforming from the passive Medea, who is “scorned and shamed”, “[lying] collapsed” from the reins of reason imposed by society, into “a woman of hot temper”, who yields to the temptations of raw emotions.…

    • 1075 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    As she argues with Creon about burying Polyneices, he shames her and she retorts, “Not ashamed for a moment, not to honor my brother, my own flesh and blood” (Sophocles 670). Nothing earthly is more important to her than the bond between her family and herself, which is why she goes to such extreme measures to give her brother the burial she believes he deserves no matter what his crimes might have been. Her loyalty to her family—her mother and father, her two brothers, and her sister—is something that was so precious to her, she had no regret sacrificing herself for its…

    • 805 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Creon denies Polyneices, Antigone’s brother, burial rights and Antigone feels obligated to give him the proper burial because it is extremely important to her and for him. She is willing to go against Creon while her sister is not, due to the lack of her selfless qualities. Because her family is so important to her, she tells her sister that, “no man shall say that I betrayed my brother” (Sophocles 2). Antigone would rather honor her brother than obey Creon because she feels that his burial is imperative to Creon’s rules. She is willing to risk her life to empower the people around her to stand up for what they believe in.…

    • 1080 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It is the reason why their children were gone forever and gone devastated. Besides, Romeo and Juliet will not die if their parents can just accept them. They are against to their relationship because if they know about it, they will be furious. They despise each other’s name for no valid reason. Thus, the death of the two young lovers taught them a life lesson that they will not succeed and be happy if their hearts are ruled by hatred and anger.…

    • 1189 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    She also knows that her husband is too kind to kill anyone let alone the King without her help she fears “thy nature:/It is too full o’th’ milk of human kindness/to catch the nearest way” (I.v. 16-18) She know very much that Macbeth will not kill Duncan without a little push from her or he will not kill. Macbeth’s hesitance to murder the list, when he makes a list of reasons not to kill. As soon as they have reached their goals on becoming King and Queen, there is a huge change in their relationship. The two stop sharing about their lives as much as thy use too, making Lady Macbeth not happy with the situation.…

    • 1034 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Ismene answer Antigone when she asked her to help her with “You mean to bury him? In spite of the edict” (line 51). Even Antigone's own sister who is also the sister of Polyneices will not help he bury their fallen brother. This shows that everyone else in the kingdom but Antigone see’s Polyneices body staying unburied as the right thing or they are too afraid to take action. But not Antigone, she knows deep in her heart that this was the right thing to do no matter what others say or do.…

    • 1354 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In that case, democracy in Greece would be ironic to its definition and instead should be reflected on the absolute power of one rather than the power of many. This further ties into the evidence that free will is controlled by fate, even if society presumes otherwise. Questions could also arise on how Greeks determined their ethics, laws and morality, and whether these ideas were reflections of humanity or the gods. Sophocles writes the two tragedies that leaves many unanswered questions, yet these epics can suggest that in ancient Greek society, the power of destiny and the gods were immensely potent, and the free will of humans could have been governed by that…

    • 1522 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Humans are greedy by nature and this is portrayed in both stories very well. In Grendel, Grendel would basically kill any human that he wanted to for whatever reason he wanted to, but would not kill Wealtheow. “I have not commited the ultimate act of nihilism: I have not killed the queen” (93). Every human would kill Grendel, if they had the chance, but the compassion and selflessness of Wealtheow is what saved her. Grendel saw her as someone who would give of her own life to a perfect stranger in order to save her brother’s kingdom.…

    • 1112 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays