Paragraph on Muse Terpsichore
The other woman in ‘Rhesos’ is the title character’s mother, the Muse Terpsichore. She appears above the stage (deus ex machina) cradling her son’s slain body and is beside herself with grief for her loss and blames Athene of betrayal as she and the other Muses and Phoebus trained Mousaios who was associated with Athene is some way.
In ‘Rhesos’ the female characters are not developed as fully as the male characters and the above written word probably add up to more words then both spoke in the play. However, the point is proved once again from this play that Euripides did not just create hateful women in some misogynistic way.
In the ‘Children of Heracles’, Euripides creates a minor form of Polyxena in the character of the Maiden – one of Heracles’ daughters. In other texts she is referred to as Macaria, hereafter know as the latter. Macaria dies for the good of others. She dies as a voluntary virginal sacrifice. If she hadn’t the Athenian’s will lose a battle. Heracles’ family have come to Athens to seek sanctuary from the tyrannical Eurytheus that despite the fact that Heracles is dead at this point in time is still persecuting Heracles’ family. Demophon was the King of Athens at the time. She is another noble female character that Euripides has created.
The other female character in ‘The Children of Heracles’ is Heracles’ mother Alcmene. She is vengeful and wants the Athenians to kill Eurytheus. As a play, ‘The Children of Heracles’ is not at all memorable and the two female characters aforementioned are equally forgettable with the parts they play in the action of the play. Macaria’s self sacrifice is not developed enough to have even a touch of the effect that Polyxena’s had and Alcmene’s character has too many weak lines for such a strong personality in all other texts she is mentioned. Still, Euripides handles their characters in the play very respectfully.
In conclusion, along with the positively vicious characters such as Medea and Phaedra, Euripides has created noble and wonderful female characters such as Polyxena and Megara. He has also created complicated female characters such as Hecabe and Electra and memorable female characters such as Alcestis and Phaedra’s nurse. Euripides skills as a playwright are near perfect for getting an audience reaction whether it’s tears, shock, hatred or love for a character. He can never be described as a misogynist but should be complimented on the fact that he has been accused as one. For a playwright to create such characters that cause their audience to either love or hate the playwright’s characters is positive accomplishment enough.