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Greek Theater Essay

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Submitted By MissyMouse123
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ENG 209-001
Greek Theater Essay

Medea by Euripedes and Lysistrata by Aristophanes are two different Greek plays in which the main characters are both strong females with goals to accomplish. Medea is a tragedy written about a woman driven by revenge. Lysistrata is a comedy about a woman who wants to take a stand. Greek tragedies and comedies usually did not have too much in common, besides the general moral background instilled in the people of that time period. Although tragedies always ended in death and comedies often ended in marriage or love, the two characters from opposite genres of theater share many of the same qualities. Both main characters, Medea and Lysistrata, are very strong, smart, determined women whose main goals are to be happy. When first reading Medea you might not think that her goal is to find happiness because it is masked by her want and need for revenge as well. Medea is a very sad story because many characters dead by the end of the play, as is typical in a tragedy. Medea murders Glauce and Creon and then her own two children so that her husband, Jason, must suffer their losses. She did so to get revenge on him for leaving her for the Princess. Medea was so determined to make Jason pay for what he had done to her that she had no restrictions on her actions. She murdered her children only to seek revenge on her ex-husband and to cause him suffering as he did to her. Medea would not be happy until Jason was seeing a consequence for is actions so she did the worst thing she could possibly do and killed their children. She was heartless but also very determined to follow through with her plans. Lysistrata is about a woman’s struggle to make a stand for what she believes in by trying to end the Peloponnesian war. Lysistrata does not want the war between Athens and Sparta to continue anymore but being a female at this time she had no say in what goes on politically. She was a smart woman because she devised a plan to break down the men by refusing to have sex with them. Lysistrata shows that even though they had no political status at all, the women had great power over the men by devising a plan and accomplishing their goal of ending the war. She was extremely intelligent to come up with such a plan and determined to get all of the women on board with her. Lysistrata was driven by her desire for peace but also her desire to make a stand for what she believed in during a time where women’s thoughts or ideas would never be considered. Both Medea and Lysistrata are extremely rash but determined women throughout the course of the plays. Medea, determined to eternally punish Jason, commits the worst crime of all by murdering her own children. She makes rash decisions driven by her want and need for revenge for what her husband had done to her. She was protesting against the normal life-style for that time where women obey their husbands and have no say in pretty much anything. In Lysistrata the same struggle to be heard is present. Lysistrata had no say in politics or how the state/country should be run but she was determined to do something about it and get her opinion heard. Both extremely intelligent women Medea and Lysistrata, although in very different situations, share a common desire for happiness and a common determination to do anything it takes to achieve their goal.

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