Why Euripides Hated Women





Why Euripides Hated Women

Euripides has been considered a misogynist, as he portrays a certain level of hatred for women in his plays such as Medea and Hippolytus. For instance, in Medea, a female character murders her children as a revenge strategy for her unfaithful husband. The same female character considers her fellow womenfolk as useless and evil. In another play Hippolytus, a female character, Phaedra is portrayed as immoral and incestuous when she falls in love with her stepson. These two episodes, among many others, are a reflection of Euripides tainted opinion on women, and is a proof that he was a misogynist (Lemprière 53).

Euripides must have hated women because he was born and raised in an era when misogyny was common and normal. Misogyny, which is hatred for women, was existent in the Greek culture though in an indirect measure. This ruthless belief was concealed in the Greek cultural norms, which highly based on gender roles. In this whole law situation, these laws highly restricted the women. They were denied their freedom through the dominance of men in society. Since women were considered inferiors of men, any slight mistake on their part would result in them being considered outcasts. This theme is repeated in Euripides’ plays (Lemprière 54).

Euripides in his plays is notorious for bringing out the female characters as inferior, while the male characters are superior. According to Lemprière, this aspect is by a great deal drawn from Euripides’ experiences in his domestic relationships (55). The relationships he had with the women in his life were marked with betrayal, which is why he also portrays the whole womenfolk as evil in his plays. Since the views Euripides had about women are shown in his damning of women, then he for sure, was a hater of women. Nonetheless, this aspect contributed to the successful development of his tragedies.


Works Cited

Lemprière, John. “Bibliotheca Classica: or, A classical dictionary.” eds. London: G. and C.

Carvill, 1831-2009.


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