Subversive Characters and Unfortunate Victims: A Feminist Study of Medea and Bertha Mason in Love & Revenge Tragedies
International Journal of Literature and Arts
Volume 8, Issue 5, September 2020, Pages: 299-304
Received: Aug. 15, 2020;
Accepted: Aug. 27, 2020;
Published: Sep. 7, 2020
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Minghua Yao, Faculty of English Language and Culture, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou, China
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Love and revenge are eternal motifs in literature, on which numerous renowned works are written in almost all times. In this paper, two characters, namely Medea in Euripides’ Medea and Bertha Mason in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, are chosen to explore the female images in love and revenge stories. Seen from the perspective of feminism, their images are undeniably special and even subversive in comparison with common female characters. A prominent revelation of it lies in their independence from their male spouses named Jason and Rochester respectively. With the superiority in power, Medea and Mason are able to extricate themselves largely from the reliance of their husbands, thus gaining the courage to pursue their happiness in love as well as the determination to defend their dignity by taking revenge. However, limitations do exist due to the male dominance in the patriarchal society. For one thing, the depersonalization of women under male’s visual angle has made Medea and Mason turned into men’s tools, which has predestined the tragic ending of their love; for another, the dominant status of male discourse has victimized them. In the society where men firmly grasp the power of discourse, their voices are “muted” and their acts of revenge “magnified” to the extreme. Consequently, in reflection of their love and revenge tragedies, Medea and Bertha Mason are both subversive characters and unfortunate victims in a male dominating world.
Medea, Bertha Mason, Female Images, Male Dominance
To cite this article
Subversive Characters and Unfortunate Victims: A Feminist Study of Medea and Bertha Mason in Love & Revenge Tragedies, International Journal of Literature and Arts.
Vol. 8, No. 5,
2020, pp. 299-304.
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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