Doc 1 Essay

1526 words - 7 pages

‘Which of the themes in Euripides’ ‘Medea’ develop the plot more significantly than others?’ (45 marks)
In the Medea, by Euripides, there are many themes which are portrayed in a variety of ways through most of the characters in the play. These include: The role of men/women in Greek society, marriage/love, the importance of oaths, and parents/children. Plot development is when a theme helps the plot move on in the play; it could be considered that ‘the importance of oaths’ is more significant in developing the plot than the other themes.
The theme of ‘the importance of oaths’ is a very significant theme in terms of plot development. This is because oaths are very important to Medea, and ...view middle of the document...

Has this not occurred, then Medea would have been prevented from carrying out her treacherous acts. Thus, the theme of ‘the importance of oaths’ is very significant through plot development, because without it, Medea may not have carried out her actions – as she would not have guaranteed sanctuary afterwards, and the Chorus may have told the other characters about her intentions – also, Zeus may not have allowed the punishment of Jason in such a way.
‘The role of men/women in Greek society’ is also a significant theme in the play in terms of plot development, but not as significant as ‘the importance of oaths’. This is a highly significant theme, because the rights involved within this are often conflicted by the titular character. For such example, Jason is completely within his right to leave Medea to marry Glauce – because it is the role of the Ancient Greek male to marry who he likes, in an attempt to increase his kleos, especially as Glauce is the Princess and daughter of the King of Corinth. However, Medea does not react well to this. Being a woman, she is supposed to just accept this, but Medea does not and instead goes against the norm by attempting to take revenge – acting less typical of a female in an Ancient Greek environment, which would have completely shocked the predominantly male Ancient Greek audience. Thus, had Jason not remarried, which he was completely allowed to do, then Medea may not have been so spiteful. However, it could be considered that this theme has little significance, through Medea and her attempt to break away from the status of women – because the theme seems to be ignored instead of emphasised for plot development. The plot is also comparably insignificant in terms of plot development, as the Chorus are a group of women, which in itself was considered odd. They also constantly displayed emotions rather than being of an actual opinion, so their presence does not necessarily develop the plot. Also, the Ancient Greek male audience would not have been able to relate to the Chorus. Thus, ‘the role of men/women in Greek society’ is somewhat significant as it causes Medea to enact her rage upon Jason and his new family, however, it doesn’t really carry significance elsewhere.
Although closely associated with ‘the role of men/women in Greek society’, the theme of ‘marriage/love’ bares slightly more significance in terms of plot development, but still less than ‘the importance of oaths’. This is significant, because although Medea and Jason are not technically married, her love for him is obsessive, put upon her by Aphrodite, and she references much of the time that they are married. This obsession with Jason drives the plot on, as it leads to the killing of Glauce, perhaps, as Medea believes that if Jason cannot be with her, he cannot be with anyone else. The theme of marriage is also important in plot development, because Medea feels that she played her part in the marriage (although they are not married): having...

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