Euripides, A Man Before His Time Essay
Euripides was a very modern writer for an Ancient Greece playwright.He has been described as a rebellious youth, a skeptic and a loner.He rejected the traditional Greek gods, and instead of making men larger than life, Euripides shows men as they are with uncompromising realism.Unlike other dramatists of his time he opposed the double standard applied to women and it shows in his works.Ion is an example of one his works that portrays all three of these beliefs.As performed in its contemporary version all of these aspects are very apparent.
Right from the beginning of the play Hermes relates the incident of Creusa's ravishing.It serves to portray Apollo as far from considerate.As a god he wields his power and uses Creusa for his own means, leaving her feeling violated and childless.Ion, himself having been raised within the walls of the temple as a faithful servant to Apollo, has doubts in to the character of Apollo upon learning of the circumstances of his conception and birth.After all, how could a god act in such and ungodly manner?Finally, Athena emerges to confirm Creusa's story. And while she does manage to placate Ion, in the process her actions oppose her image as goddess of wisdom, as she blunders her way through her speech appearing rather flippant and no so wise after all.
Not only do the gods miss the mark of godliness, but the human characters in play are far from perfect as well.Euripides portrays them as they really are.And as human they must face the consequences of their actions.Thefirst is seen before the play actually begins, with the birth of Ion, the direct result of Creusa's and Apollo's actions.While Apollo seems unscathed by the encounter, Creusa is heartbroken, fearing her child is dead.Her pain and injustice is very visible, even more so when she has later married and is unable to bear another child.Throughout the play Creusa and her husband Xuthus por…