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Medea is Not Responsible for her Actions

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/8/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 588 times Debate No: 74979
Debate Rounds (4)
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1.) Medea does not want to do this, having to kill her children, but to her, there is no other choice. It's clear that Medea is stuck between deciding on whether to commit the act or not, after seeing her children smile. "Why do you gaze at me with your eyes, children?" Medea is a mother, and her children's smiles are making her decision that much harder, because seeing her innocent children and "the shining eyes of the children," makes her want to spare them, makes her conflicted.

2.) Medea, after seeing her children's smiles and wanting to spare them, realized another thing. Even if she sacrificed herself, and herself alone, she would still be causing her children pain. Leaving her children with the memory of their mother killing herself would be terrible. They would not know what to think, or feel, just that their mother is no longer with them. Medea even tells herself, her heart, to "leave them alone, wretched heart, spare the children!"

3.) After seeing her children's smiles, Medea realizes that if she killed her children, she would suffer twice as much than who she was actually trying to cause pain: the father. By killing her children herself, she is causing both herself and the children great suffering. Her children having to die at her hands, and her having to kill her own children. It would be very hard for a mother, especially one who raised her children and such high hopes for them, believing it was all for nothing. She even felt "bearing the sharp pains of childbirth" was for nothing.

4.) Not only that, but in Medea's eyes, if she left her children alive, they would be subjected to the "enemy's (the father)," torture and insult: "I swear I'll never leave these children for my enemies to insult and torture!" By saying this, Medea understands what it means to kill herself and leave her children with their father, and she doesn't want to have them deal with that pain and suffering.

5.) Medea cares for her children a lot, and she thinks long and hard about what would happen should she do anything, be it kill herself only, kill herself and her children, or even run away with them. Medea should not be blamed for her actions because she is going through every possible decision and tries to make the best one, deciding, in the end, killing her children and herself.

6.) Medea is only trying to give her children the best life they can, and to Medea, killing her children and then herself seemed like the best way she could keep them safe from further harm. To Medea, by killing her children herself seemed the best way to prevent further harm, and because she was their mother, and since she brought them into the world, an act she felt was for nothing, she believed it was her duty to kill them, rather than anyone else.

7). Therefore, Medea is not responsible for her actions.
Controversial Premises:
3 (It is unclear at this point what Medea is trying to do, cause her husband harm or protect and save her children, however, it seems her children stop her from killing them to cause her husband pain)
4 (It is not known exactly how their lives would turn out with their father, if the father even takes them in, but in this time period and the given situation, it is most likely that they will live without their father)
6 (to us, it seems as though there is always another option, but to Medea, and when one thinks about that time period, there is not as many options as there are now).

Non-Controversial Premises:
1(it is statement of what she was feeling and what she thought about at that point in time)
2 (again, just Medea trying to reason with herself and her conflicting thoughts)
5 (Another statement to what Medea is feeling and what is going through her head, and what she did)


Debate Round No. 1


1.) You say "for no logical reason" but to Medea, making it so the children"s father can never insult or torture them ever again, especially without someone to protect them, is logical reason enough is it not? Medea went through a lot of thinking and to her, even by not killing herself and being exiled to a far away land, it still leaves the children vulnerable. To Medea, it is not premeditated murder. To her, it is the only way to protect her children from her enemies, and suffering.

2.) What Medea"s husband did is not something that can be written off as being something she did not agree on. Those words make the matter seem trivial, and the lives of two children, her own two children, is not trivial in the least. What happened was Jason, Medea"s husband, left her and their two children to marry King Creon"s daughter because of the hospitality of the king for allowing Jason, Medea and their children live in their kingdom. After that, Medea felt betrayed. The children"s father had abandoned them, had left them there to fend for their own, as well as Medea. How could Medea leave the children by themselves, letting them believe their father may come back for them? Medea wanted to hurt Jason, but even then, she still wanted what was best for her children, and leaving them was not the best option in her mind.

3.) Just because one has children, and wanted to see them grow up and get married and live a happy life, does not stop them from having suicidal thoughts. One does not just have suicidal thoughts just because one thing happened, or not have them because they have children. Many things happen in a persons life, and contrary to what many may believe, having children does not make them their parents whole life. The parent still has their own life, and problems.

4.) To Medea, it is not about whether someone should live or die, it is about what the children"s life would be like without either parents, or with a father who left them to marry the daughter of a king. To Medea, these children may not be old enough to understand what is/had happened. To her, their mother, these children should not have to live a life where they are hurt again, with or without them knowing, and to leave them alone is much worse than bringing them with her into the afterlife where they can no longer be harmed by those who are supposed to love them.

5.) Whether Medea is fit to make these decisions is not going to change anything. Just because she is not "fit" or "qualified" to make these decisions does not stop her from trying to figure out the best possible decision she can make for the good of everyone. To even think about the other decisions instead of just killing them and then herself means she may be more qualified than one thinks. In a time where one feels betrayed by the very person she gave her all for, they would be filled with rage, depression, sadness, betrayal, all these emotions, and to still think about every possible decision means she really wants to make the best one, and it just so happens that leaving the children alive is worse than killing them with her own hands.

6.) Medea may be "a woman scorned" but that does not mean she is trying to play God. All Medea wants is the best possible outcome for her children and to her, no matter what path she could have chose, whether to bring them to live with her in exile, living on the run, leaving them with their father who could potentially hurt them again, leaving them on their own, all these things would have put the lives of her children in danger by the enemy, which is not only the father, but the kingdom as well. Medea poisoned the king and his daughter, and by doing so, put her life, as well as her children"s life in danger. She could not "leave these children for [her] enemies to insult and torture!" To Medea, after all that has happened, her best option was to kill herself and her children.

7.) You ask who would be responsible if not her, than what about Jason? Had he just stayed with Medea and their two children in the new kingdom, none of this would have happened. Had Jason not went away to marry the King"s daughter, Medea would not have to think about killing herself or her children. They could have lived a life where Medea gave all she could for Jason and he did the same.


1) I think Medea is the real enemy in this story because even though to her its not premeditated murder doesn’t mean that it’s not in the end-premeditated murder. She is thinking and plotting about killing her kids because her feelings are hurt which is sick. Who is going to protect the children from her? It sounds like what she is planning is worse than what she is trying to “protect” them from.

2) It was trivial; Medea and her children got abandon by their father and her husband. She didn’t agree with what he did so she came up with killing herself and their kids as payback. In today’s day and age this happens all the time, fathers abandon their families and leave the mother to fend for them self all the time. I’m happy that my mother didn’t take the route that Medea did because I wouldn’t be here. This just showed how weak minded she was death should never be an option. Be honest with the kids and let them know what really happen. In the end it would make them that much tougher because life isn’t easy so why not get them prepared early instead of killing them.

3) I totally agree with this point the parents do have their own life. But you failed to mention the fact that the kids also have their own life and should be able to choose if they want to live it or not. Just because she helped bring them into the world doesn’t mean she can take them out as well.

4) I can argue that maybe the kids would have had a better life with the father if Medea did just take her own life. Now they would have had more money and better opportunities seeing that he did marry the daughter of a king.

5) I think you may be giving her to much credit in her decision-making. Just because she can go through all the deferent scenarios doesn’t make all of those options Ludacris. She seems to be a little self absorbed feeling like she is the most important person in the world.

6) Medea should of thought about her kids who she “loved so much” before she decided to do what she did knowing that there would be ramification for her actions instead of letting her hurt feelings cloud her judgment.

7) By trying to pin the blame on him would be irresponsible on your behalf you can influence someone to do something but they still have to carry out the action in the end. You can’t blame someone for another person’s bad decision making.

Debate Round No. 2


1.) Medea's main goal was to protect her children. Without her, who is going to protect the children from the wrath of the kingdom? Because Medea killed the King and his daughter, she would obviously not be let off scot-free, even if she ran away. Not only that, but if she did commit suicide, and left her kids, most likely than not, they would have to shoulder the blame as well. Leaving her children there, unprotected, because their father most likely would not have taken them in, nor would he be able to due to what they, the children, had to bear.

2.) Medea did not kill her children to make their father suffer. She had abandoned that reasoning after she saw them smiling and their eyes. Sure, at first it was her intention that it would hurt their father, her husband, but afterwards, that was not the reason. This is shown by, "Why should I, in harming them to give their father pain, make myself suffer twice as much? I cannot. Goodbye plans! But what is happening to me? Do I want to ale myself ridiculous, letting my enemies go unpunished? I must go through with this"Go into the house, children." Medea, at this point, had given up trying to make their father suffer, and now it is about trying to protect the children from her enemies, and she had a lot of enemies with all the people she"s killed. She is trying to protect her children because, without her, no one is around to protect them, not their father, and certainly not the kingdom whose King and Princess she just poisoned.

3.) The children are not shown to be old enough to be able to say they want to live or die. They are not old enough to be able to comprehend what they would have to carry should their mother only take her own life. They don"t know what their mother did, who she poisoned and what that would mean for them.

4.) There is no maybe about the kids having a better life with their father, because their father abandoned them, left them. He could not go back and claim he had kids and a wife to the king, because then the King would either object, or not care. Jason had abandoned his children, left them with their mother, to marry into royalty. Those children would not, see their father again, because even just having kids who are not royalty would cause a problem in the kingdom as well.

5.) I don"t believe I"m giving Medea too much credit in her decision making. The reason why is because Medea had went against her father (who denied help to Jason), gave up her royalty (her father was the king of Colchis), she gave up her kingdom to help him, and Jason abandons and betrays her and their children so he can marry the King of Creon"s daughter. For Medea, she would be feeling a lot of things, heartbroken, saddened, crushed, anguish, betrayal, rage, suffering, and to be able to go through the decision making process while all these feelings are roaring around inside her, is quite the accomplishment.

6.) Medea did think of her children because her "feelings clouding her judgement" is what in fact saved the children from being killed to "punish" their father because Medea did hesitate.

7.) I was not claiming it was his fault, I was only giving an example as to how it could be someone else"s fault for Medea"s actions. Speaking of who could be considered responsible for Medea"s actions, what can be said would be that Medea is not responsible in the case of her having pleaded insanity. The King and his daughter were killed by Medea, as was Jason"s uncle, and now she had killed her children and herself.


1) I can’t agree with killing your kids as protection it just sounds like they need protecting from you. If she really wanted to protect them she wouldn’t have went on a killing spree.

2) Medea is a serial killer who clearly wasn’t a rational thinker. I don’t believe she was capable of looking at the situation objectively therefore her end decision is one that we couldn’t define. If the though originally crossed her mind how could you say that wasn’t her intension.

3) Even if they weren’t old enough to make the decision, you would have to assume that they wouldn’t want to die they were innocent the only guilty party was their mother.

4) I agree with this point

5) It wasn’t quite the accomplishment because all these emotions still lead her to the grim decision in the end. Killing you kids out of “love” could never be a accomplishment.

6) Even if her thought process lead her to believe that she wasn’t doing it to punish her husband in the back of her mind she had to know that doing this would in fact be a form of punishment to the man that betrayed her and her family.

7) I cant argue that she would win a insanity plea because clearly she wasn’t right in the head but you are still responsible for your own actions and it seems like you are trying to put her decisions off on something else.

Debate Round No. 3


1.) While she may have gone on a killing spree, she did try to right her wrongs and try to make the life for the children much easier. To Medea, she did the right thing because at least in the end, her children would not have to suffer any more than they already would have. This seems more like a mercy killing for them, rather than someone ruthlessly killing people and children for vengeance or to cause someone else pain or suffering.

2.) Sure, by our standards she may not have been a rational thinking, but who"s to say she herself believed she was going the right thing? Sometimes if someone believes that strongly in something, to them, it is the truth, it is what they honestly believe, and if someone honestly believes they are going the right thing, it is possible for a lie detector test to come out negative, so to speak. To Medea, what she did felt like the right thing to do for her children, not to her children, but for them.

3.) I would agree with you here, but the fact still stands that in ancient Greece, or any city at that point in time, would put those types of guilt on to whatever living, or whatever accessible family member they could get. Sure we believe they are innocent children, but in that time period, they would have been blamed, regardless of what their mother did. The kingdom would not have allowed the case to settle until someone was punished and I"m sad to say that the children would be blamed and would have to suffer the consequences of her actions. Medea knew that, and she wanted to save them from what would happen.

4.) Alright.

5.) No, it may not be an accomplishment in our standards. If one was faced with two bad decisions, would one not pick the lesser of the two evils? They are still both horrible, but one had to be chosen, and to Medea, she felt that her decision was the lesser of the evils she could have chosen. I am not saying it may be an accomplishment, but Medea had to pick something, and to her, even though it was an evil, she felt she picked the lesser of all the evils she could have chosen from.

6.) Every action has an effect on other people, but in this case, sure it may have been a form of punishment to the husband, and while that may have been the intention in the first place, her children turned that thought around. In the end, while it may have hurt the husband, who really shouldn"t even bother with the family who he abandoned by this own choice, Medea"s only intention was to save her children from what they would have to suffer from, and she could not allow what the kingdom, or anyone else for that matter, would do to her children. In the end, it was not Medea"s intention to punish her husband, but if it did, that is not a problem for her because he left them.

7.) The definition of insanity is the state of being seriously mentally ill; madness. It is a mental illness, and should Medea have had suffered from it, she can not be blamed for something she could not control. The signs are there, especially from her acts of killing other people, and had she even suffered from dementia, which can be marked with personality changes and impaired reasoning, could very well be the cause of her actions. These are actual mental illnesses that she could have possibly had, and they most likely had not been cared for. Had she suffered from these, she can not be blamed for her actions because it would mean she was not able to reason properly. I am not saying she did suffer from these illness(es), but I"m also not saying she didn"t. I am just stating that it could be one reason for her actions.

8.) Therefore, Medea is not responsible for her actions.


1) I don’t believe in mercy killings if the other person didn’t ask for it in this case the kids. To me it sounds like vengeance kills. She is on a rampage killing a lot of humans out of anger.

2) I get the point your trying to prove but just because she believes in something strongly to the point where she sees it as right doesn’t make it right. It had people who thought the world was flat and you couldn’t tell them different doesn’t mean they were right though.

3) She could of saved them by not killing the royal family and giving her kids a real role model to look up to and not have them pay for her sins.

4) Agree

5) This isn’t an accomplishment in anyone’s standards not just ours I cant agree with you saying she picked the lesser of two evils because we know for sure one option was her killing her kids but on the other hand we don’t know for sure what the kingdom would of done to the kids.

6) In the end they had to suffer at her own hands, which is just as bad as another because death would still be the end result.

7) I agree.

Debate Round No. 4
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