Use of Children as Props in "The Father" by Strindberg and "Medea" by Euripedes

Topics: August Strindberg, Jason, Play Pages: 4 (1283 words) Published: February 26, 2013
International Baccalaureate Diploma Program
World Literature Assignment 1

The use of children as props in August Strindberg’s “The Father” and Euripides’s “Medea”

Candidate Name: Aasir Tavawala
Candidate Number: 2228-043
Level: English A1 HL
Session: May 2012
School: Podar International School
Word Count: 1,220 words

The relationship between a parent and a child is usually described as one of unconditional love. In the plays mentioned above, parents manipulate their influence over their children in order to satisfy their ulterior motive and disregard the role of the child as anything more than a prop to be used to gratify their own purpose. This essay displays instances and discusses where and how the characters of the play make use of the children in their respective plays. The titles of each of the play also allow a reader to gauge just how useful the role of the child or the relevance of the child to the plot would be. In “The Father”, the title itself is rather descriptive of the relevance of the child, as the saying goes, the child gives birth to the parent. In “Medea” the play is centred on Medea alone, and the involvement of the children is virtually non-existent up until Medea talks them into taking the poisoned clothes with them. When comparing the two, obvious differences are bound to arise and this would be the first instance. In “The Father”, Bertha, the child is whom the plot is centred on. The constant self doubt and paranoia which the Captain faces due to the fact that Laura says that perhaps the child isn’t his own is what finally drives him to madness. The constant questioning of the loyalty of his wife and whatever claim he has over his daughter is brought under scrutiny and the pressure is too much. “Medea” on the other hand focuses on the Medea, and her quest for revenge as she also faces the moral crisis of letting her children die. The children, throughout the play are spoken about but if actual stage presence would be counted...

Bibliography: August, Strindberg, The Father, Kessinger Publications
Henrik, Ibsen, Ghosts, New York: Dover Publication Inc., 1997
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