The Greek play Medea is a piece that certainly will pull on one’s heartstrings. Medea is a woman who feels abandoned by the man that she loves and feels the need to retaliate by killing everyone he loves. She does this by poisoning his new wife and the king, but most devastatingly, she murders their two children. An important question to ponder is who is morally responsible for the death of these two children. If one employs Sophist logic then Medea is to blame for the death of the children. There are several reasons that Medea is to blame for the children’s death but the most prominent reason is that she deceived herself into thinking that it was acceptable to commit all of these crimes because of the heartache she was experiencing.
At the beginning of the play, Medea is lamenting to the chorus about her troubles. She explains all about her problems and asks for silence about her plans from the chorus. The chorus says to Medea, “I will do as you ask, Medea; it is just that you should take revenge upon your husband” (Medea 267-268). The chorus is helping Medea deceive herself into thinking that it is right and just that she take such revenge upon her husband.
Another example of Medea deceiving herself into thinking that she is right to take revenge against Jason is when he comes to the house for the first time to talk to her. Jason offers to help Medea by giving her some money and by asking friends of his in other lands to welcome her with open arms. Jason says, “I call the gods to witness that I am willing to do anything I can for both you and the children. But you are indifferent to these advantages and out of stubbornness you reject those who wish you well” (Medea 619-621). While it is acceptable for Medea to be upset with Jason’s actions she has no right to commit murder and for this reason she is to blame for the death of the children.
Another reason that Medea is to blame for the children’s death is because of her selfishness. Medea...