Revenge in Social Context
Examine Medea’s OR/AND Hecuba’s acts of revenge from the eponymous tragedies Medea (431 BCE) or Hecuba (420 BCE) by Euripides. Carefully examine the reasons, beliefs, and emotions guiding Medea (or/and Hecuba) to punish the perpetrators of wrongdoings against her (them). Why does the protagonist consider her act of revenge as an act of justice (both women use the term “just revenge”)? What specific cultural, legal or gender-based constraints or inequalities (if any) does she claim to contest through their acts of revenge? Do other characters in these tragedies share her views? Is the protagonist’s claim that her act of revenge is a form of justice valid? Why or why not? You may draw on any theoretical texts that we have read this semester (e.g. Brooks, Bloom, Miller or Jaffe), as well as on additional sources, to develop your argument. See also the Additional Resources folder for a scholarly article “Punishment and Revenge” by Leo Zaibert.