Loneliness and powerlessness spring from the social isolation that Medea and Blanche felt when they were alienated from society. However, the women reacted to their circumstances in a different way. They were also influenced by the context of their society which reflected the values of the time. The drama, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams in 1957 and Medea by Euripides in 431 BC challenges our emotional understanding of the characters in the plays. Medea and Blanche were representative of their times, Medea preyed on the gullibility of others as a queen of high status while Blanche is preyed upon in her working class environment. These tragedies are witnessed through Medea and Blanche’s difficulties which position us to respond to their choices and compare their reactions to the events that happened to them which threatened to engulf them. In Medea, the protagonist’s feelings of loneliness and disempowerment led to social isolation. As the audience witnesses the struggles of Medea we are positioned to respond in a variety of ways. This is firstly seen when Medea is considered as an outsider as she “betrayed and left” her home forced her to “conform” to a new culture. The audience is positioned to have a strong compassion towards Medea as she has no friends and women have no power in this society but are “the most wretched”. Ironically after all her trials, Medea was then rejected by her husband when “her world has turned to enmity”. When her husband Jason took another wife, Medea was “scorned and shamed” leaving her “alone”. Medea was so hurt that her state of mind was emotionally rough as she considers “to end my life”. At this stage of the play the audience’s sympathy and empathy for Medea is reinforced through the chorus of Corinthian women which is an element of classical tragedy. In classical tragedy, the experience of the character’s suffering resulted in an emotional cleansing for the viewers. Initially Medea has...
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