Visions and revisions : isolation, marginalization and infanticide in Euripides' Medea and Toni Morrison's Beloved.

Date of Award


Document Type



Caspersen School of Graduate Studies

Degree Name

Doctor of Letters


This dissertation explores infanticide in Euripides' Medea and its more modern interpretation in Toni Morrison's Beloved. Both Medea and Sethe, the protagonists, were influenced by circumstances in their formative years that contributed to their murdering of their children, and both were motivated by their isolation and the socio-economic and political systems in which they lived. The discussion explores the resulting imbalances in both protagonists, their suffering under similar abusive patterns, the role of community versus isolation, the responsibility and consequences of agency, the effect of hubris and fear of ridicule, and the questions of what constitutes failure and success.