Euripides Iphigenia At Aulis And Medea Analysis

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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

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