The paper focuses on Euripides’ Medea and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to analyze how tragedy and comedy address female freedom. In a history of drama, women tend to be underrepresented and submissive to their fellow male players. This paper examines how gender dynamics work in theatre, with a focus on how men use their speech to inhibit the autonomy of women. Utilizing gender scholarship from Judith Butler, the argument justifies Medea’s seemingly horrific actions and spotlights Helena as the driver of her play. These women’s quests allow audiences to explore the roles of women in the theatre, where art can portray fantasy while reflecting reality. Ultimately, Medea violently and Helena rhetorically creates her autonomy and thrives outside of patriarchal confines.

Class Associated With Work

EN363; Studies in Genre, Drama


English; Spanish

Document Type

Scholarly Article