Gender Struggles Throughout The Play ' Medea ' Essay

1351 Words Dec 12th, 2016 6 Pages
According to Ovid in his Metamorphoses, Envy lives in a place “forever without any fire, forever enveloped in darkness” (Ovid 2.764). This description seems appropriate for the way envy makes people feel: in the dark and lacking knowledge. Envy appears in most of the texts from this semester and often points out important feelings of characters that relate to either plot developments or themes of the work. In this paper I will discuss the role of envy in the works we have read this semester.
Envy in Euripides’ Medea draws attention to the theme of gender struggles in the play. Medea envies many of the other characters in the play because she is disenfranchised because of her gender. The most prominent example of this is, in her first speech to the Corinthian women, when Medea notes how difficult it is to live as a woman. She says that “women are the most beset by trials of any species that has breath and power of thought” (Euripides 230-231). Her acknowledgement of the trials of being a woman to the Corinthian women, though a ploy partly to command their attention to her plight, makes it clear that Medea envies the status of men because they do not have to deal with the plight of womanhood in a male-dominated society. Medea makes her own comment about envy, saying that “if then our husband lives with us / bearing the yoke without its being forced, / we have an enviable life” (Euripides 243-245). She seems to suggest that women’s lives are never enviable, unless they do…

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