The Ecclesiazusae

Disguised Revenge 12th Grade

Writer Oscar Wilde once said: “A mask tells us more than a face.” Throughout history, lies and masks have been a means to an end in achieving the goals of women who are limited in their current situations – social, political, or economical. Women traditionally cannot simply lash out in moments of angry frustration. The strict manners of behavior of the ancient times prohibit them from doing so. Instead they choose the same method of defense through deception that has been used by animals and humans alike for thousands of year – the disguise.

Whether verbal, physical, or emotional, these disguises enable women to proceed with their plans while diverting any suspicion away from themselves. Medea hides her malicious, murderous intentions behind a shield of tears and emotion as a scorned wife. In the Bible, Judith transforms herself from a widow into a beautiful seductress in order to behead the Assyrian general Holofernes. Yet is not her physical changes which brings her success like the assemblywomen, but rather the lies she generates to gain entrance into the enemy camp and the sweet praises she uses to lure in the unsuspecting Holofernes before she violently kills him. Praxagora and the women of The Ecclesiazusae dress...

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