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Medea vs. Lysistrata ? Contrasting two strong Greek females

Both Medea by Euripides and Lysistrata by Aristophanes illustrate the injustices that women suffered. Each author uses strong-willed characters to protest social situations.

Medea is the victim of divorce. She had no say in her situations, since in ancient Greece men could divorce their wives with the simple announcement of separation. Medea’s husband, Jason, left her when offered the chance to elevate his social status through the marriage of a princess. It is because of society’s rules that Medea was forced into actions that would later bring about her down fall. Society can be held accountable for Medea’s tragedy. Medea endures great suffering and humiliation because of Jason’s divorce. A woman in ancient Greece lived with the constant fear that her husband may someday divorce her. The same was not true for men. No matter how caustic he treated her, a woman could not divorce her husband. It is because of society’s treatment of her that Medea is forced to slay her children Because of society’s rules Medea suffers the loss of her children. It is actually society/Jason’s fault for the death of the children. Medea kills them in the act of protecting them from facing a much crueler fate. Euripides was known speaking out for the suffering. Euripides, a critic of social injustices, used Medea to challenge the way women were treated. Medea, a cunning, strong-minded woman was hurt. She used these attributes to hurt the one(s) that scorned her. Although, society ultimately destroyed her, she was able to demonstrate her strength.

The women of Lysistrata are the casualties of war. These women lost their husbands to war, yet are examples of determination. They refuse to accept the injustice paid to them. Instead, they devised a plan to end the war even though it meant self-sacrifice. Although the plan was not enthusiastically accepted, the women did decide to withhold sex until peace was made. The women finally did succeed in their goal to end the war. The men finally succumb to the to the women’s actions, therefore, ending the war. The women of Lysistrata fought injustice with sexuality.

The disservices women suffered were illustrated in the Greek plays Medea and Lysistrata. Both plays portray women as strong-minded characters faced with great suffering. The difference between the two is in their outcome. Medea, a tragedy, opposes society’s maltreatment of women with the use of counter suffering, involving death and destruction. Lysistrata, a comedy, has characters who use intelligence to overcome social evil. Lysistrata ends positively, whereas Medea does not.


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