An Analysis of the Play Medea by Euripides

Topics: Trojan War, Greek mythology, Odyssey, Odysseus, Homer, Sophocles / Pages: 6 (1410 words) / Published: Jul 1st, 2013
The notion of the ideal man presented in the play Medea, by Euripides, is an exceptionally important one in the context of 5th Century Athens, a culture based very much upon the importance of the man both in his household and the general society. In Greece during the time of the play, the ideal man showed strong attributes of physical skill and aesthetics, intelligence and wisdom, and courage and bravery, especially in the face of adversity. This representation is shown in many ways throughout the play, and in some aspects, it is greatly challenged, causing the audience to question his or her own morals and societal views. Although these representations are still important to today’s society, the effect they would have had on the Athenian society at the time would be far greater, as men had a much more powerful role in the society. Euripides portrays these views through the use of his language and style of delivery, and combining this with the setting of the piece provides a perfect backdrop to raise these issues. Jason’s choices throughout the play both reflect and challenge the notion of the ideal man in 5th Century Athenian Culture.

The intelligence and wisdom of the men portrayed in Medea play an important part in showing the ideals of the perfect man in Athens at the time, and reflect that of the Greek culture as a whole. Throughout the play, an Athenian audience would believe that Jason is following a suitable custom, securing a wealthy future for himself and his children, with the belief that the man has the right to decide what would better himself and his children, without regard to his wife. Jason states, while justifying his actions, “Will you get this straight? I marry not for sex, hot for the royal bed, but as I said: to care for you, to make royal brothers for our sons, to protect us all.” This shows that Jason believes that he has made the wise decision, however hard it may be on Medea, in order to secure their future. Jason sees this decision,

Bibliography: Euripides. (431 B.C.). Medea. Theatre of Dionysus, Athens, Greece. Richards, C. (2012). Gender & Gender Identity. Retrieved from Planned Parenthood: Shelby. (2010). What were the actions and qualities of the ideal greek man and woman in the odyssey? Retrieved from Yahoo Answers: Unknown. (2010, February 4). Man Knowledge: The Greek Philosophers. Retrieved from The Art of Manliness: Unknown. (2009). Medea- An Abandonment of Gender Roles. Retrieved from Big Wonk: Unknown. (2009, February 9). The Doryphoros. Retrieved from Arts Connected: Whitley, T. (2011, September 8). The Ideal Greek Man. Retrieved from Thomas Whitley:

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