In the play Medea, the historical context effects and deepens the understanding of culture, identity, and community. During this period women had no place in society except in the home taking care of family and being looked down at all the time. The Athenian society expected women to submit to their husbands having no privileges and absolutely no power. Madea on top of being a woman was an outsider giving her a lower status within the Athenian Society being viewed as a foreigner before a human. As Madea is mistreated because of her status she challenges the ideals, eventually leading her to kill her kids.
Throughout this play, Medea depicts the way women in ancient Greek society treat and view women. Medea challenges these patriarchal views while questioning the way women get treated, using her voice, “ We women are the most unfortunate creatures[…]For there is no easy escape for a women, nor can she say no to her marriage” ( Medea, pg.8) women in this society were in a way trapped; if they ended up with a man who mistreated them, there was no good way out. If they were able to leave their man they got rejected by the rest of society not being accepted by anyone. Power is something unheard of for women, Medea is portrayed as someone with strong power, a desire which results in her being portrayed as crazy. Even a woman like Medea, who is powerful and different from the norm wondered “ [if] any man would afford me home in a country safe for living?” ( Medea, 13) The point that a woman like Medea still feels like she needs a man by her to protect her shows the very strong patriarchal view of Athenian Society that Euripides was challenging in his play.
Medea is also viewed as an outsider first before a human being. As Jason stated that, “ This is not the first time I have noticed how hopeless it is to deal with damage done by barbarous rage” (Jason, pg. 15) Jason explains and shows how a normal man in this society would view a woman like Medea. Medea is not able to comfortably say that this is her home and it is hugely because of the divide and tension between Jason and Medea. Medea betrayed her father to support Jason in capturing the Golden Fleece. Being an outsider, she bravely decided to become isolated from the society and mistreated. Once she had given up everything for Jason, He saw her as someone who has nothing left to offer him. Jason Could not move up in this world with an outsider like Medea by his side. He was able to use her witchcraft to his advantage to get what he wanted, but moving forward, she would become a burden to him as the people of Greece will not approve of Medea. Resulting in Jason not being able to get the throne as he wished for all his life.
Throughout the entirety of the play, Medea shows and depicts the biases of women and outsiders challenging the way they are viewed in the Athenian Society. Medea in this play is able to exercise her power over a man which was unheard of in this society.