Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Character I'd Like to Write: The Classic Villainess Medea

Artist: Evelyn De Morgan, Medea
Once upon a time back in college, I took a class in which we had to re-write famous stories into short stories told from the perspective of a lesser known character. So.Much.Fun. The assignment that sticks with me is rewriting Euripides's Medea. I think I picked one of the boys to be my POV character for the class, but, man, I really wanted to tell Medea's story from her POV starting at the beginning--like the pre-Jason beginning. I contend that it's totally possible to make her a sympathetic character if given her own agency independent of the patriarchy filter.

Yes, I realize I just said that about a woman who murdered her children seemingly to spite her husband. That's after she sent a poisoned wedding dress and crown to the would-be bigamist's would-be second wife. Which is years after she hacked up her brother's body so her then-crush, Jason, could escape with the golden fleece.

Hey, there are people who cheer for Cersei Lannister too. Just sayin'...

That's probably why I tend to write strong female characters who can easily be viewed as villainous if the story is told from anyone else's perspective.


4 comments:

  1. I've always thought Medea got a bad rap. (Though I *do* find myself cheering for Cersei now, admittedly.)

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    1. Yes! I've long felt her story as written by men is meant to be a cautionary tale against educating women. Danger! Danger! Allowing women to acquire knowledge will drive them mad and turn them into baby-killers. Pffft. Old Boys.

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  2. When Zeus himself sends someone to swoop in and carry her to freedom, it's possible the Old Boy patriarchy kinda takes it in the nuts. Hard to claim moral high ground when the gods, themselves, nope out on your plan to off the lady.

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    1. Right? And you know Zeus was all, 'Psht, if you think Medea is bad you haven't met my wife."

      And that exit is such an epic plot bunny for Book 2: Medea & The Contract with The Gods.


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