Carolyn A. Durham in “Medea: Hero or Heroine?” states that Euripides’ Medea explores “the Greek ideal of moderation”

From the feminist literary critics S. Georgia Nugent and Carolyn A. Durham respective articles, we learned about the status of women in Ancient Greek society. The historical, social, and cultural context their articles provide help us better understand Medea’s universe in Euripides’ play Medea.

By using the evidence from the play and also tapping into Nugent and Durham’s articles, write an essay where you will argue that the character of Medea in Euripides’ Medea is an oppressed person seeking the recognition and respect she believes she deserves, and for this reason is ready to defy all norms, whatever they may be, in the world of this play.

In other words, based on what you have learned about the norms that govern life in Ancient Greece, make the argument that Medea’s actions are the natural reactions of any marginalized person like her who believes that they are treated unjustly and are disrespected.

Carolyn A. Durham in “Medea: Hero or Heroine?” states that Euripides’ Medea explores “the Greek ideal of moderation” (55). According to this ideal, one should exercise moderation and humility so as to not get too ambitious and upset the balance in the universe.

Based on your interpretation of the play and what you’ve learned from both Durham and Nugent’s articles about the Ancient Greek society, write an essay where you will argue that the reason why the play unfolds the way it does and reaches a tragic closure (conclusion) has to do with Medea’s (and maybe also Jason’s?) inability to curb their pride, passion, and ambition.

In other words, find evidence in the play that supports the idea that Medea (and/or Jason?) lacks humility and modesty.

If you want to also include Jason in your thesis or only write about Jason, you might want to think about the powers Jason is endowed with as a man and Medea’s powerlessness as a woman in Ancient Greece. Recall Nugent and Durham articles and what they teach us about the power structure and dynamic in the society Jason and Medea belong. And finally, think about how and why Jason and Medea, in their own ways, seek more than what they are entitled to and are therefore punished in the end with the death of their children in the hands of their mother.


● Using the prompt you chose to write on, compose a thesis driven essay of about 1500-2000 words. Remember, the prompt has the core of your potential thesis. Use it to your advantage!

● In this essay you are expected to make close references to the play Medea. Don’t forget to make use of the close reading homework you completed on the play during spring break! In such instanstances, don’t forget to use MLA style in-text citations.

● In your analysis of the play, you must also make references to S. Georgia Nugent’s article, “Euripides’ Medea: The Stranger in the House” and Carolyn A. Durham’s “Medea: Hero or Heroine?” Don’t forget to refer back to the article with my annotations and your paper on this article. Go ahead and cycle this homework in your essay where appropriate!

● You can, but are not required to use additional secondary sources beyond the Nugent article. Such sources must also be cited and also listed in your Works Cited page.

● Throughout your essay, you must use MLA style in-text citations for all instances of paraphrasing and direct quoting. Make sure to review my comments and feedback about this in your previous writing assignments and also the following document from our library. This guide will show you how to use in-text citations accurately: <link is hidden>
DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. All ideas, sentences, and passages taken from secondary sources must be cited! Any instance of plagiarism will result in “F” for this paper and could lead to failing the entire course.

● Develop and use an outline (even if it’s a rough one) before you start writing your essay. Your outline will help you think about ORGANIZATION. Think in terms of BODY PARAGRAPHS which should start with a TOPIC SENTENCE (mini thesis) that will tell the reader what that body paragraph will be about. The outline should also remind you to compose a strong CONCLUSION that doesn’t just repeat the introduction, but also makes your readers think deeply about what they just read in your essay. As a writer you have the power to leave your reader with lingering thoughts about the play.

● Come up with a unique title that speaks to the topic and argument of your essay.

● Think about an introduction that would draw your reader into the world you’re about to bring them into. Be VERY clear about what exactly this essay will argue for and illustrate by way of close reading the play and with the support of the two articles. In other words, make sure that your introduction clearly states your CLAIM/THESIS STATEMENT. USE THE PROMPT TO WRITE YOUR ESSAY ON AS THE BASIS OF YOUR CLAIM/THESIS STATEMENT. With a slight modification, you can turn the prompt into your thesis.

● The title of the play should be in italics like this: Medea

● The title of the articles should be in quotation marks like this: “Medea: Hero or Heroine”

● Your essay must have a Works Cited page. This is what a Works Cited page looks like: <link is hidden> />
From the library guide, find how to cite in your Works Cited page, peer-reviewed journal articles (Nugent & Durham) and books/plays (Medea). Here’s the link to the guide: <link is hidden> />
● Don’t forget to alphabetize the Works Cited list based on the authors’ last names.

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