hello and welcome to my library! here you'll find book reviews, my reading lists, and just general literary criticism. enjoy your stay!
CURRENTLY READING (7/10/21)
literature that i haven't completed just yet. i try to keep my reading list small as to not overwhelm myself.
a list of my favorite books and series, in no particular order. i'm not saying these are the best books out there, just the ones i like the most. however, the long walk by stephen king IS one of the best books out there.
also, this isn't an exhaustive list. just the highlights.
TO READ AND POINTS OF INTEREST (3/31/21)
literature that i want to read, and also subjects i want to investigate and learn more about.
THE FEMINISM OF MEDEA (9/15/20)
this is an essay i wrote in 2020 for my english class. the argument is basically that medea was actually a girlboss! it's not that great of an essay, but i thought the analysis was mildly interesting enough to put in the library. and looking back at this essay and the classic play in retrospect, i actually kind of disagree with the claim. but that's a discussion for another day.
In the time of the ancient Greeks, women were considered to be inferior to men. But in theatre, playwrights could express their messages about women and their role in society, either positive or negative. The true meaning of Euripides' character Medea has been debated and discussed for centuries. In Medea, Euripides empowers women because Medea stands up for herself by enacting justice and symbolically fighting back against those who disenfranchise her.
Euripides gives strength to women by liberating Medea by allowing her to go against the injustices she has suffered from Jason in the form of revenge. She symbolically retaliates and is rewarded for fighting back. Euripides rewards her when she gets away with the heinous acts committed during the end of the play and gets away to safety in Athens. "Zeus in Olympus is the overseer/Of many doings. Many things the gods/Achieve beyond our judgement. What we thought/Is not confirmed and what we thought not god/Contrieves. And so it happens in this story." (Euripides 47) These are the lines that mark the end of the play. The final message states that things the Gods have in store for us are out of our control, and usually not what we expect. The schemes of the Gods subvert our own expectations, especially ones that we have about our society. The expectations of women in Ancient Greece were that they were to serve men, raise children, and be wives. Medea does none of these things, and rejects these social norms that have been placed upon her. She is not shamed or disparaged because of this, and instead is exonerated. Euripides presents his mostly male audience that women can and should go against the patriarchal standards that have been placed upon them. The idea of Medea being allowed and encouraged to go against societal traditions is empowering.
One might argue that Euripides is actually a misogynist because he portrays Medea as a heartless villain who's out to get successful men. However, portraying a sole woman, who isn't an accurate representation of all women, as a villain doesn't automatically make the entire play misogynistic. In fact, portraying a woman as villainous, in some ways, can be empowering. By getting retribution for Jason's misdeeds, Euripides demonstrates that women should fight back against people who are actively suppressing them. This is represented when Medea is plotting the demise of her children as well as Jason's bride to be. "I weep to think of what a deed I have to do/...Let no one think me a weak one, feeble-spirited,/A stay-at-home, but rather just the opposite,/One who can hurt my enemies and help my friends;/For the lives of such persons are most remembered." (Euripides 26) Medea clearly knows that this is a wretched thing she has to do and definitely feels remorse for her children. Nevertheless, it's a sacrifice she's willing to make a point. That point being that women can retaliate, be strong, and that they don't have to withstand the oppression they've endured. The actions and motives of Medea are reflections of Euripides' own opinions of women in Ancient Society.
Euripides gives power to women by demonstrating Medea exacting retribution against Jason and bringing justice. Medea is a timeless play, not just because it's a classic, but because it still has relevance today in the way society sees women. Euripides was probably not inviting mothers to murder their children and their ex-husband's wife, but society can learn a lot from what this playwright was trying to say. Though women's rights have come a long way, there are gender norms that exist within society that the play challenges. Society as a whole still expects women to be docile and gentle. Medea rejects these ideas in favor of being assertive and brutal to the oppression she faces. Ultimately, Euripides wanted women to stand up for themselves and expressed those views through Medea.