Both in the ancient world... and today?
I hate to sound cliched but isn't the response to your 'pro-Medea' comment an example of innate mysogyny?
A fascinating question!
The hero ventures into the unknown, faces down death and danger, and triumphantly returns with a lesson or symbol or treasure concerning what society desperately needs. The hero’s journey is often physical and material, but such tales invariably also model psychological inner journey and discovery.
Joseph Campbell calls the final stage of the hero’s journey “the freedom to live” in his seminal work, Hero With a Thousand Faces. The hero having mastered the unknown need not fear death, and has proven abilities to survive and thrive, sharing this with whatever group the hero ventured from. As such the hero is the one with the courage and strength to show us who we really are, or should be, modeling key virtues and glorifying successful practices.
Of course, whom societies and individuals choose to make their heroes is very telling about their value systems - which impulses and forces are more appreciated and given supremacy. Heroes to some may be villains to others.
So caught up in the battle of the sexes, i can see why Medea can be seen as both, depending where you sit. Medea is either a gloriously powerful woman imbued with mysterious abilities or she is a scary witch women acting out of place, messing with the natural order of things, jealously exceeding her role and station. 🤔
Heroes aren't born.
uI just read Occult Feminism by Rachel Wilson. Although it has a Christian bias the facts and research are very good. The big picture goes back thousands of years with strong women challenging weak men. Witch's have always been around and are making a comeback . Sorcery and Magic had the Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones as infomercials. Video game s are horrible. You now have young women on YouTube trashing feminism and want a traditional family structure with a manly man. Regards Dan
Irony is wasted. Or perhaps I mean deliberate self-parody. No doubt you can explain it to me.