Narratives across time explore the relationship between gender & power. The authors, Euripides and Robert Browning convey the significant difference between the two genders. In the play Medea, Euripides represent the Greek values and society through the characters in the play. The English poet Robert Browning reflect the relationship between gender & power, the poems are written in a way which audiences can clearly see the dominant men have over women. In the play Medea, Euripides uses the characters to show the patriarchy of Ancient Greece. Medea is a demigod and marries Jason by betraying her father. However Jason betrays Medea and marries another woman, breaking the marriage oath. Although Medea is a demigod, she still keeps the Greek ideal as to Jason she is all/ obedience. Throughout the play, Medea symbolises all women whilst talking to the nurse and the chorus. Euripides ” We women are the most wretched”. The play Chorus rhetorical question “ what thanks has she received for her fidelity” highlights that the Chorus that agrees that Medea has been wronged by Jason abandonment, as Medea has been a loyal wife and mother. Medea had killed her own brother, enemies and her own sons, the audience now see that Medea is the evil and awful character, however the Gods excuse her actions over the actions of the oath breaking Jason. Through her high modality proclamations “let her no one think of me/ As humble or weak or passive”, this shows that Medea cares about her pride. The nurse described Medea through the simile “her eyes like a wild bull” suggest she has become more powerful than men and the fact that she is seeking for her revenge on Jason. However, her actions were getting out of control making the audience to change sides as to now Medea being the villain. Although Jason created this situation, it is Medea who is now wicked than his crimes. The end of the poem examines that the sun god helped Medea escape showing that the gods support Medea. The play explores the Greek society as the Gods and their power rule over the two genders. On the other hand, Victorian poet Robert Browning’s poem ‘Porphyria’s’ Lover’ explores the relationship between gender and power in the Victorian era. The poem starts off with “The rain set early in to-night”,the use of pathetic fallacy can be seen as the character is putting his own thoughts onto the external environment. In this poem, Porphyria is symbolised as warmth by her presence making “all the cottage warm. However the protagonist puts Porphyria as a sexual being, showing that he is in control of her. In the poem, the audience can see that she is the one to go through everything to see her lover. The author then shows that Porphyria is only committed to her lover, giving up her own life as it was expected from society. Audiences can see the possessive nature when he murders her in the moment “Porphyria worshipped me”. The use of repetition of possessive personal pronouns “she was mine, mine” is an example that his was not true love but as women being seen as just ‘sexual beings’. In this relationship it was not true love but a controlled love as the man was in control. The poem shows that Porphyria was strangled to death by her lover, but the last part of the poem makes the audience confused and leaving them with questions as it ends with “ And yet God has not said a word!” Robert Browning’s poem explores the horrific depiction of gender and power.The play Medea written by Euripides and poems by Robert Browning both explore the relationship between the two genders and their power in society. The similarities between the two writers make it clear for the audience to see how women were less powerful than men and the limits women have against men and society.
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