Women’s lives are represented by the roles they either choose or have imposed on them. This is evident in the play Medea by Euripides through the characters of Medea and the nurse. During the time period which Medea is set women have very limited social power and no political power at all, although a women’s maternal and domestic power was respected in the privacy of the home, “Our lives depend on how his lordship feels”. The limited power these women were given is different to modern society yet roles are still imposed on women to conform and be a dutiful wife.
Women have always been disempowered due to their gender in modern and ancient times alike. In Corinth they are expected to run the household and conform to social expectations of
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Medea steadily empowers herself and shifts these gender constructions. She gains this certain power and influence over male characters, such as the childless Aegus and manipulated them for her own benefit. “If Id not had secret plans? The fool could have me banished today”. Medea was one of the first plays in which powerful and vivid women are presented as the protagonist. Women are slotted into the roles of the maternal house keeper as Men believe this is their duty. Women are capable of doing most of the things men can do, although this would revoke men of the power they believe they constitute.
As Medea is not the average Greek Drama the roles of the gender are reversed at some points, when Medea gains power. Medea’s empowerment is taken on silently as she hides her power to seem vulnerable and deliberately manipulate men. The character of Medea displays many traits which breakdown the traditional views of Greek women by displaying her proactive in taking revenge against Jason, having cruel and savage passionate views and also empowering herself through the manipulation of the male characters. Medea’s first public statement demonstrates her complex and contradictory representation of gender. For