Heroism In Medea And Antigone Plays English Literature Essay

September 8, 2017 English Literature

Heroism is about portraying qualities of bravery, courage, and heroism along with forfeit and preparedness to put on the line life. They regarded intelligence as one of the highest gifts that all heroes must possess along with bravery. In the two dramas ‘Medea ‘ by Euripides and ‘Antigone ‘ by Sophocles, both the supporters, Medea and Antigone, have been portrayed as heroes and they display epic qualities which is ancient Greece was associated with the males. Womans in ancient Greece of whatever category they belonged to were supposed to follow traditional gender functions and conditionings by remaining in their places, maintaining quiet about affairs, and moving in a inactive and obedient mode. However, both the dramatists defied this position which favored patriarchate by redefining the strength of adult females.

Heroism, involves a batch of altruism and bravery. The drama ‘Medea ‘ revolves around Jason who was the leader of the Argonauts and had won the firedrake guarded hoarded wealths of the Golden Fleece with the aid of Medea, who was a sorceress holding superhuman powers. Jason married Medea and had two kids with her until he abandoned her for the girl of male monarch of Corinth, Creon which was a more favourable lucifer. Euripides convincingly describes Medea ‘s motivations for seeking retaliation against Jason who had betrayed her in return for her altruism and forfeit which is shown when she betrayed her province and household for Jason as she was frantically in love with him. On the other manus ‘Antigone ‘ is about the supporter Antigone, who is seeking to bury her dead brother Polyneices who had gone against the province. Creon, the male monarch and her uncle is forestalling her from making so. This is because of their contrasting positions sing domination of the province and the Godhead Torahs. She is convinced of the righteousness of her base and resolutenesss to bury her brother Polyneices, slain in his onslaught on Thebes under menace of decease as she will disobey the province and still be “ pure and guiltless for all my offense ”[ 1 ]. She is caught in the act by Creon ‘s watchers and brought before the male monarch. She justifies her action, asseverating that she had to obey the ageless Torahs of right and incorrect in malice of any human orders. Creon is grim, though. His boy Haemon, to whom Antigone is engaged, pleads in vain for her life and threatens to decease with her. Her rebellion every bit good as the extravagancy and magnificence of her emotion, her hurting, hatred is epic.

In Medea, we see that at the beginning, the nurse ‘s monologue describes Medea ‘s character and non merely the background of the drama. Euripides has depicted Medea ‘s character linked with boding attractively. “ Oh, I wish that illuming from heaven would divide my caput unfastened. Oh, what usage I have now for life? I would happen my release in decease and leave hateful being behind me ”[ 2 ]. The image of intolerable agony is built up. From this we can declare that her linguistic communication and action, grade her as a heroic character, one of those characters whose intent.was specific, whose audaciousness towards menaces and advice, is rather applaudable. Euripides has portrayed Medea as a Rebel with superhuman powers because the Grecian audience liked to see their heroes and heroines with strong emotions: Medea is a larger than life character. Whereas in ‘Antigone ‘ , Sophocles shows the difference between Antigone and her sister, Ismene through their agon which makes Antigone instantly stand out as a character of great strength. Antigone has more of masculine qualities than feminine qualities. This is proved when Ismene who disagrees with Antigone ‘s determination says that “ We must retrieve that by birth we ‘re adult females, and as such, we should n’t contend with work forces ”[ 3 ].She says “ it would be all right to decease ”[ 4 ]for her discredited brother, Polyneices even though he went against Thebes. This is another brave quality in her as “ my honours for the dead must last much longer than those up here ”[ 5 ]. This shows that she has the bravery to carry through strong moral responsibility.

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Coming back to Medea, she enters the phase for the first clip with her Nurse and says to the adult females of Corinth a small later that “ I would really much instead stand three times in the forepart of conflict than bear one kid ”[ 6 ]( pg no.9 ) . It indicates her instead masculine qualities and quest for their masculine look. Her heartache “ twists back her white cervix and groans ” ; her fury “ for her bosom is violent ” ; her strong sense of treachery “ a psyche bitten into with incorrect ” and her thirst for retaliation is evoked. Her definition of gallantry is her ability to “ ache my enemies and assist my friends ” and which conforms to the Grecian thought of a true hero. The true feature of a heroine of being brave and aggressive has been shown here. So Medea can truly be called the supporter as Euripides has portrayed her to be. Bing a hero unveils assorted qualities. Antigone dauntlessly breaks Torahs of King Creon. “ Zeus did non denote those Torahs to me. And justness life with the Gods below sent no such Torahs for work forces ”[ 7 ]. From this we can reason that she is impenitent, brave and hence heroic. Harmonizing to Antigone, Godhead Torahs are ageless and needed to be obeyed, non the Torahs made by any male monarch if it is person like Creon who fights for the better of province. We besides see that both the supporters are resolute and have soundness of intent. Medea in her 2nd address says to chorus that “ even though decease is certain, I will take the Sword myself and kill, and firm progress to offense ”[ 8 ]( pg 13 ) from this we can do out that she is a epic character ready to decease dauntlessly for retaliation. She is more than willing to slay her enemies like Jason and her new bride for retribution, even though morally it is really much a incorrect way to take. She has such strong finding that she besides uses her kids to finish her undertaking as she justifies that she ca n’t take attention of them in the hereafter particularly after the mode she will kill the male monarch and his girl as retaliation for Jason ‘s treachery. Whereas in Antigone, when Creon finds out about Antigone ‘s workss, Antigone in answer says “ Then why hold? There ‘s nil in your words that I enjoy – may that ever be the instance! And what I say displeases you as much. But where could I derive greater glorification than puting my ain brother in his grave? ”[ 9 ]From this we come to cognize the declaration of Antigone to bury her brother is house and she is traveling to lodge with it confronting certain decease bravely.

Heroism in female characters goes against the traditional building of gallantry which involves the feats of a male warrior – something which Jason was before the drama. Within the action of the drama itself, Jason comes across as a coward who plans to utilize his 2nd matrimony to the girl of a male monarch and the kids ensuing from their brotherhood to consolidate his societal place. He wants prestigiousness non through his ain battle and endeavor but would instead utilize his kids as ‘defense shields ‘ . These actions and address belong to a coward non a hero. King Creon in Medea besides behaves like a coward – fearing Medea ‘s inventiveness and ostracizing a adult female and her kids from his land. Even King Ageus, who is taking a state, another possible heroic figure as per traditional definition of gallantry comes across as impotent and weak, non capable of either bearing kids – pg 21 ” I went to ask how kids might be born to me ”[ 10 ], nor able to decrypt a prophesier ‘s advice and pg 22 “ words excessively wise for a mere adult male to think their significance ”[ 11 ]. In fact seeking assistance from Medea, a woman.pg 23 “ for the birth of kids which you promised. ”[ 12 ]

In Antigone, Creon comes across as unheroic in his efforts to implement his authorization over Antigone and province utilizing the power of his throne. His gallantry crumbles in the face of tragic deceases in his household ( “ Aaaiiaˆ¦ My fright now makes me trembleaˆ¦ How suffering I am aˆ¦ aaiiiaˆ¦ ”[ 13 ]( line1453-1459 ) .This in contrast to Antigone who has seen her household wiped out by a godly expletive, seen her brothers kill each other, buried her dead brother ‘s disintegrating organic structure against the order of the male monarch and yet face decease bravely.

Therefore both dramas challenges the traditional construct of gallantry as the qualities and fate that belong to merely males and overturns it to demo work forces as unheroic and weak and females as heroic and brave.


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