Love In Medea

1388 Words 6 Pages
Many stories from ancient dialogues feature themes of love. These stories provide insight into ancient ideas about love. There are many differences and similarities between the way love was thought about in ancient times compared to modern times. In the ancient world Love can cause anything to happen. People go crazy, fighters refuse to fight, and love can even stop war. Medea shows ancient perspectives on love and gender. Medea goes crazy with revenge because Jason betrayed her. In Homer’s Iliad Achilles refuses to fight because of Agamemnon's betrayal of stealing the woman that Achilles loves. This presents ancient thinking of women as possessions. In the Aeneid Aeneas leaves dido to fulfill his destiny. The Aeneid shows the ancient notion …show more content…
This is much different than the way love is thought about today. Medea talks about buying a husband “...We have to buy a husband: spend vast amounts of money just to get a master for our body… And the stakes could not be higher, will you get a good husband or a bad one?” (Euripides 233-237). This is different than ideas about love today. In the modern world the common belief is that a people should marry for love and be happy with each other. Even in the modern world this is not always the case. People do marry for money and other reasons, but in the ancient world women were thought of as property. Medea presents a cynical view of love because Jason made Medea think he was in love with her. He caused her to fall in love with him because he needed her. When Medea finds out about Jason’s betrayal, however, she changes her mood completely. She is consumed by revenge, and she starts talking like she can not live without him. “My friends, I want to die. My husband who was everything to me… is the worst of men” (Euripides 228-230) This makes Medea seem like she is fully dependent on Jason. She has nothing without him because women can only be consumed by love. In this story Medea is left helpless and vengeful when she loses her husband. She is depicted in a way that implies that women are nothing without men. Most modern ideas of love present women as more independent; and while a woman might …show more content…
The ideal love described in socrates’ speech is similar to modern thought about love. The love in Socrates’ speech is described as loving all beautiful things. In Socrates’s speech Diotima says “to see that every type of beauty is closely related to every other. So that he will regard beauty of body as something petty” (Plato 48). This is a similarity between the modern and ancient perspective of love. In socrates’ view of ideal love the physical beauty is unimportant and the beauty of the mind is what affects love the most. This is similar to the modern perspective that physical beauty doesn’t matter if two people love each other. The concept of beautiful bodys being a petty way to love is considered true by many people in the modern world as well. Diotima talks about love of beauty. “Human life should be lived, gazing on beauty itself.” The love of beauty is a concept that is accepted in the modern world. However, we don’t think about this type of love as a traditional love. The Modern perspective is that of two people loving each other. This aspect of the modern perspective is much like the ancient perspective of love. Socrates goes beyond both definitions of love in his explanation of ideal love.
The stories from ancient dialogues allow us to compare and contrast ancient ideas of love with modern ideas. The ancient world thought of women as property, and story’s like Medea and the Iliad show

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