Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Classics Dept.


Kerill O'Neill

Second Advisor

Kassandra Miller


Male authors have long waged a multifront campaign against female independence. In this thesis, I focus on two specific fronts: literary and medical texts of the Classical Greek period. This thesis intends to explore the varying strategies in a selection of works, employed to reinforce prescribed gender norms. I approach this with a feminist lens to critique attempts made by elite educated Greek men to define what a woman ought to be like. I do not, however, explore every single tactic a medical and literary writer has applied to uphold patriarchal norms. My two body chapters revolve respectively around two texts: the Hippocratic Corpus and Euripides’ Medea. I, of course, draw upon scholarly sources to strengthen my argument, and I also include other Medea texts from the Classical period to illustrate the consistent anxiety toward an autonomous, active woman.


Classical Greek Medicine and Magic, Gender Studies, Medea, The Hippocratics