Medea, a play by the Greek playwright Euripides, explores the Greek- .
barbarian dichotomy through the character of Medea, a princess from the .
"barbarian", or non-Greek, land of Colchis. Throughout the play, it becomes .
evident to the reader that Medea is no ordinary woman by Greek standards. .
Central to the whole plot is Medea's barbarian origins and how they are related .
to her actions. In this paper, I am attempting to answer questions such as how .
Medea behaves like a female, how she acts heroically from a male point of view, .
why she killed her children, if she could have achieved her goal without killing .
them, if the murder was motivated by her barbarian origins, and how she deals .
with the pain of killing her children. .
As an introduction to the play, the status of women in Greek society .
should be briefly discussed. In general, women had very few rights. In the .
eyes of men, the main purposes of women in Greek society were to do housework .
such as cooking and cleaning, and bear children. They could not vote, own .
property, or choose a husband, and had to be represented by men in all legal .
proceedings. In some ways, these Greek women were almost like slaves. There is .
a definite relationship between this subordination of women and what transpires .
in the play. Jason decides that he wants to divorce Medea and marry the .
princess of Corinth, casting Medea aside as if they had never been married. .
This sort of activity was acceptable by Greek standards, and shows the .
subordinate status of the woman, who had no say in any matter like this. .
Even though some of Medea's actions were not typical of the average .
Greek woman, she still had attitudes and emotions common among women. For .
instance, Medea speaks out against women's status in society, proclaiming that .
they have no choice of whom to marry, and that a man can rid themselves of a .
woman to get another whenever he wants, but a woman always has to "keep [her] .