Greek culture is one of the most ancient and unique cultures that exist in the modern world. The traditional beliefs, norms and separation of gender roles have been always prevalent. For a long time, there has been a gender difference between men and women in life and social environment. Even though there were times when women were an instrumental part of the world and family, they were still oppressed.
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A play “Medea” has several major themes that describe the way women were treated in ancient society. Not only has there been a gender difference between men and women in life and social environment, but extreme discrimination and external conditions of the world and governmental ruling added to the role division.
It is made clear that women have realized their burden when Medea exclaims: “Ah, me! A wretched suffering woman I! O would that I could die!” (Euripides 8). The despair and helplessness are very obvious, as women were constantly oppressed and deprived of any rights. The factors could be seen in the community itself, as well as environmental factors, discrimination and segregation, as well as economical position of the society.
Not only did this life create a vicious circle where it became close to impossible to get rid of role division, it separated women from the rest of society. At the same time, there were those who believed that a strong nation could not have such separation between genders and people.
This is evident from Medea’s words when she says: “…Some think me clever and hate me, others say I am too reserved, and some the very reverse; others find me hard to please and not so very clever after all…” (Euripides 12). The passage is a clear example of how controversial the views were and what role women played in society. This divides the civilization and does not add to the greater good.
Another important theme is that women were boxed inside for seeming protection, but were really feeling like prisoners and objects of their husbands who were in reality “owners”. They had their wives’ pride, freedom and pursuit of personal goals under control and did not allow them to step outside their duties.
Not only is this a representation of the physical limitation, it is also a mental block that has been set up by society to keep women obedient and with no rights whatsoever. But more importantly, “Medea” tells a story of a personal character, in relation to family and changes that take place in social life. It illustrates the connection between family members and the relationship that shifts according to the country and the political matters that take place.
A family is an integral part of any society, but women were made unnoticeable being one of the most critical factors present. It is shown that the effects of the common beliefs and the movements that were going on in the country have engulfed the understanding and beliefs of all men and women.
For a very long time, Greece was somewhat torn apart, from a modern perspective. Men did not take proper steps to establish a unified world with women, using their power and abusing their control of the society and traditions. These historical lessons cannot be forgotten and future generations must realize that division will never be instrumental to progress and a better world.
Euripides. Medea. Irving, TX: Sparklesoup LLC, 2004. Print.