Similarities Between Aristophanes' Lysistrata and Euripides' Medea
The poetic tone of Aristophanes' Lysistrata differs greatly from the poetic tone of the Greek tragedies we have read in class. However, after analyzing this Greek comedy, it seems to share some of the main characteristics of Euripides' Medea. Within these plays, we meet shrewd, powerful masculine women who use the art of manipulation to get what they want from others and to accomplish their goals. This theme of manipulation is employed through various means and techniques. The women of these plays also seem to contradict the stereotypical woman and have characteristics similar to the Homeric Greek warrior.
In the opening scene of the Medea, the nurse tells the audience of Medea's sorrow. Although Medea has done everything possible to please Jason including committing crimes in his behalf, Jason leaves her and decides to wed the daughter of Creon, the king of Corinth. Though Jason is able to manipulate Medea in the beginning, his powers of manipulation are no match for Medea. Jason also tries to rationalize his actions by claiming that his sole purpose in marrying Creon's daughter is to better the lives of Medea and their children. However, after Medea is full of rage, it is impossible for Jason to manipulate her any further. Throughout the rest of the play, we see several examples of her excellent manipulative skills.
When Medea admits to her murderous intentions to the women of Corinth, she is able to convince them to keep silent about it. She pleads to them using their feministic views to her advantage. When Aegus, the king of Greece arrives in Corinth, she manipulates him to offers her refuge from her enemies in return for a cure for his infertility, a rare drug that most do not have the power to create. She does this because she realizes that she will need a place to stay after she completes her murderous acts in Corinth. Soon after this, Medea is able to manipulate Creon as well. When Creon banishes her, she tells him of her great concern for her children and eventually convinces him to allow her to stay in Corinth for one more day. This allows Medea to continue with her plan to take out revenge on Jason. Medea acts and speaks like a Homeric Greek warrior, but tricks Jason by acting submissively like the ideal Greek woman Jason wished her to be. Medea approaches Jason with gifts for his new wife, apologizes, and tells him that she realized he was right. This move allowed Medea to remove all skepticism from Jason's mind, and he willingly took the poisoned dress to his bride. In the course of a few hours, Medea's ultimate manipulation skills enable her to exploit four...