Essay on An Analysis of the Play Medea by Euripides

1416 Words Jun 16th, 2013 6 Pages
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 …show more content…
With the gods' help, I've made secure provision for you”. This shows his support and care for his children, whom are most important to him, as they will carry on the family name. Euripides uses language in the following quotation wisely to show Jason’s care for himself above all, as he states to his children, “I pray I see you mature into fine young men, victorious all my enemies”. Despite the fact that the children will have grown up, Euripides twists the words to portray Jason’s care for his children as a calculated tool against his enemies. The problem which has occurred, from Jason’s perspective, is that Medea won’t accept his decision to further their lives, stating “I’ve done all I could – for you, for them – but what’s good for others is no good to you: You kick our help aside. You’re mad. What but worse can come out of this?” Euripides uses these dialogues to show Jason’s strictly rational thinking, causing him to lose touch with the social and emotional realities of his actions, questioning his suitability as a true man in Greek culture.

This idea of a wise and intelligent man is challenged to an even greater extent when the audience is introduced to King Aigeus of Athens. Naturally, the audience would see the King of Athens as a brave, wise and intelligent man, due to the fact that it was being performed to an Athenian audience, and would initially see

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