In this thesis, I will investigate the qualities of Euripides’ early portrayals of tragic mothers. Euripides’ early extant plays present their modern readers with two remarkable, yet apparently starkly contrasting, wives and mothers. Alcestis portrays an ideal wife and mother, revered by her slaves, children, in-laws, and husband, who dies for that husband in order to ensure his life and the security of her children. In contrast, Medea contains the now infamous infanticidal mother, who kills her children to wreak revenge upon her husband. And yet, these two plays share a number of themes and allusions. In these early plays, Euripides writes about the demands of motherhood on women who also fulfill many elements and traits of the Greek hero — Alcestis and Medea. Alcestis and Medea, dominated by the actions of women, embrace the prominence of their eponymous central characters by allowing those women the status of hero.
|Contributor||W. Martin Bloomer, Committee Member|
|Contributor||Christopher Baron, Committee Chair|
|Contributor||Catherine Schlegel, Committee Member|
|Degree Level||Master's Thesis|
|Departments and Units|