Ancient Greece

Topics: Woman, Tragedy, Gender Pages: 4 (1556 words) Published: April 29, 2013
Role of Women through Euripides Alcestis
In ancient Greece there were separate gender roles. Women were expected to act a certain way. They had many limitations in their life. How they were supposed to act was regulated by Greek men. Euripides creates a tragedy that has a positive tone through its main character Alcestis. Alcestis is shown as a perfect submissive wife capable of making tremendous personal sacrifices. She is seen as a positive force, more so than real Greek women were. Euripides was a play writer in ancient Greece. He was born around 485 B.C. in Athens. His mother’s name was Cleito and his father was Mnesarchus, they were a noble, prominent family. Euripides competed in his first dramatic festival in 455 B.C.. It wasn’t until 441 B.C. that he accomplished his first victory at a festival. Euripides won first prize four times, while competing at dramatic festivals, throughout his life. He left Athens in 408 B.C. and died two years later. His wife’s name was Melito and together they had three sons. He didn’t heavily engage himself in politics and was skeptical of traditional Greek religion. Ideas intrigued him, however. His beliefs are seen in his plays. His characters are faced with natural difficulties like human weakness and mistakes; instead, of the idealized problems in other Greek plays. His stories portrayed social interests of that time, as well as, the doubts, debates, and controversies. His plays were not popularized until near and after his death. The play Alcestis is a Greek tragedy written in 438 B.C., by Euripides. It is one of nineteen plays written by Euripides that has been discovered. Alcestis was the fourth piece of a tetralogy; the other pieces were The Cretan Woman, Alcmaeon in Psophis, and Telephus. Alcestis is a story of trickery, regret, vulnerability, and sacrifice. It is also a tragedy with a happy ending. Apollo, punished by Zeus, is forced to serve a mortal king Ademtus for one year. Apollo aids Ademtus in winning the...
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