Butt 1Zainab Butt2011146Dr Aamir AzizEnglish 33123 April 2019Forman Christian College A Chartered

Butt 1Zainab Butt20-11146Dr. Aamir AzizEnglish 33123 April 2019Forman Christian College( A Chartered University)Title: Is Euripides’ Medea A Feminist Or A Misogynist Play?Abstract: Euripides’ Medea challenges the dominant views of feminity in the patriarchal society of Greeks. While pursuing her ambition Medea disregards many of the feminine characteristics of the patriarchal Greek society. By focusing on the character portrayal of Medea, this paper argues to prove Medea a feminist text. And such tragedies represent Euripides feminist and liberal views as well relative to the society he lived in.Key words: Athenian society, Feminism, patriarchal stereotypesIntroduction Many literary evidences, primarily from comedy, tragedy and oratory, show that ancient Greece were very patriarchal and misogynistic. Women rights were limited. Their primary role Butt 2Was to marry and bear children. Nevertheless, there have been numerous attempts to salvage voices from the classical world at least sympathetic to the plight of women. The ancient texts and Archeological remains have been culled and analyzed repeatedly in the often vain attempt to find authentic feminine and feminist voices from the overwhelmingly negative evaluation of women by patriarchal Greece. Too often these attempts have been wholly, or at least largely, abject failures, and many have turned elsewhere (such as to Celtic people) in the hopes of finding feminist voices in the ancient world (Hutton 250-51). Nonetheless, many continue to peruse the Greek literary tradition and archeological remnants for non-misogynist voices. Euripides, at least within fairly recent history, is for much just such a voice.Euripides, one of the greatest Greek tragedians, is generally categorized with Sophocles and Aeschylus, yet his works are very different than those of most Greek writers. The characters crafted by Euripides tended to be more realistic than those found in most plays, including strong female leads and intelligent slaves that was against the Athenian ways of thinking. His lead characters were mostly people from middle class, unlike the characters of Sophocles, who mostly portrayed the people of Elite class such as the King Oedipus and Creon. Euripides’ writing style is very different than most of the other authors, that is why he is identified with theatrical innovations that have influenced drama in modern times. Instead of just basing all of his works on the deeds of powerful people in society and those with outstanding traits or something of the likes, he actually focused on the realistic side of the story. His plays weren’t so much based on spectacle or any events, but more so on how people actually lived their lives and the problems that they would most likely encounter. He also did not focus so much on Butt 3How detailed and complex his language was, what each word meant and what occurred as a result.Statement of the problem:In this paper, I attempt to show that Euripides’ play Medea is feminist, not misogynist. The portrayal of such character shows Euripides’ viewpoint on women, proving him to be a feminist and not a misogynist. He was well aware of the problems faced by women in 5th century B.C. Athens was aware of the tension concerning women within Athenian society. Through his work he was able to make his audience, made up of Athenian male citizens, aware of these issues and prompted them to ask their own beliefs, values and ideologies about women by protecting these views back at them through his tragedies. Euripides didn’t furnish his audience with a solution, rather, he was attempting to facilitate debate in attempt to remedy issues in society that needed to be addressed, perhaps to make a social change and to facilitate understanding within Athenian society, particularly for women.Research Questions:This research paper tries to answer the following questions?1- Is Euripides’ play Medea a feminist and not misogynist?2- Does character portrayal like Medea show Euripides own feminist views with respect to ancient Greek society?3- What was the motive behind writing such feminist tragedies?Research Objective:Butt 4The objective of this research is to prove the feminist views of Euripides by relating them with his most famous tragedy Medea, and to prove the accusations that claim him to be a misogynist who hates slanders and denigrates women unfounded.Significance of the study:This research paper tends to prove all the accusations unfounded that label Euripides to be a misogynist, who wanted to see Athenian women subordinate to men in ancient Greek society. By proving such claims false, this research tends to find a voice in ancient Greek society that was relatively liberal and feminist, and did not conform to the patriarchal stereotypes. Delimitation of the study:This research paper primarily focuses on investigating the elements of feminism in Euripidean tragedy Medea, and proving it to be a feminist play not a misogynistic. Euripides was undoubtedly the first playwright to place women at the centre of many of his works. However, there is much debate as to whether by doing this; Euripides can be considered to be a prototype feminist, or whether the portrayal of these women in the plays themselves undermines this completely. Literature review Euripides utilized what would have been considered deviant female characters, from popular myths such as Medea, Phaedra, and Helen. These women were villain in tragedies that preceded Euripides’ treatment of them in Medea, Hippolytus and Helen. Medea is well known from the myth of Jason and the Argonauts in which she killed her brother and betrayed her father to help Jason and the Argonauts in which she killed her brother and betrayed her father to help Jason, her lover. By portrayal of such character, he challenged the patriarchal stereotypes and his Butt 5Women defied the social norms and values in Athenian socio-political culture.Euripides is considered relatively liberal and feminist as compared to other ancient Greek writers. For such advocates of Euripides, the verdict ranges for him as “in no way…a misogynist”” (March 63) to Euripides as “”a champion of woman’s equality”” (Wright 7). If the evidence indeed Points to Euripides as somewhat of a proto-feminist

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