Transformation of Medea in Levett's Verbal Autonomy and Verbal Self-Restraint in Euripides' Medea

Topics: Femininity, Greek mythology, Medea Pages: 4 (1270 words) Published: May 15, 2012
Medea’s Transformation

Medea is a play featuring a title character who is a very unusual woman. Brad Levett’s essay “Verbal Autonomy and Verbal Self-Restraint in Euripides’ Medea” exemplifies the thoughts of three authors after discussing how Medea relates to a Greek hero that was invulnerable in all of his body except for one minor spot and/or the play resembling a Greek tragedy that narrated the fate of a warrior after memorable battles. These scholars believed that Medea “comes into conflict with that part of herself that would have been viewed as more feminine, most obviously her love for her children” (54). This is because at the end of the play Medea murdered her children to get revenge on her ex-husband who had betrayed their family. Levett examined not only her actions but her use of words. His main idea was that “First, Medea shows personal autonomy in her ability to over-come her so called feminine susceptibility to persuasion, in particular erotic persuasion. Secondly, Medea learns to restrain and control her own words, hiding her true intentions as she effects her revenge; in particular by suppressing her “feminine” instinct to lament. The result of this combination of verbal autonomy and verbal self-restraint is her victory over Jason and the verbal mastery she evinces in the conclusion of the play. (55)” Within Brad Levett’s essay there are three key elements that strongly support my ideas bout Medea’s characteristics. He restates that verbal autonomy and verbal self-restraint are both perceived as masculine traits. I agree that Medea lacks verbal self-restraint and I believe this reveals her feminine side. Then, towards the end of the play we witness Medea’s dual personalities conflicting with each other when she questions whether or not to kill her beloved children. She does, in a short amount of time, overcome this conflict but it results in actions no feminine woman in her right mind would or could go through with. Throughout Medea, Medea is...

Cited: Scholarly Journal
Levett, Brad. "Verbal Autonomy And Verbal Self-Restraint In Euripides ' Medea." Classical Philology 105.1 (2010): 54-68. Academic Search Complete. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.
Euripides. Medea. Ed and trans. Johnston, Ian. Malaspina University-College, Nanaimo, BC. Jan. 2012. Online Print.
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