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Western Civ lesson 35: Can we learn anything from Medea about the Greeks’ attitudes toward foreigners and women?

The art that the Greeks created such as plays, pottery, paintings, etc. give us insight into the values Greeks held in ancient times. In the play Medea, written by Euripides, there are many things that we can conclude about Greek’s attitude towards woman. In the beginning of the play King Creon weds his daughter to Jason who’s ultimately the husband of Medea. We later learn that Jason leaves Medea for a princess. Medea was devastated to learn about this, because she shared her love deeply for him and even bore sons from him. She even regrets leaving her fathers house for someone that left her for someone else.

By looking at this we can tell that no matter what position they were to be in woman were always under the position of a man. So when the father allows his daughter to marry a man, after they are wed that man would be dominant over the woman. Secondly, a woman wasn’t allowed to make a divorce. Whenever her husband would leave her for someone else (just like in Medea) she would just have to accept it as a sign that the she didn’t serve her husband well enough.

Angered by these news, Medea decides to prepare for murdering the three people who ruined her happiness plus the sons she had from Jason. She has been successful in the end. By looking at the end to this we can conclude that the Greeks saw women as a deceptive being, therefore woman didn’t have much authority and lacked access to certain things that only men were allowed to do/attend to.

Thanks for reading this essay, I’ll post more soon and have a great rest of your day.

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