Medea And Aristotle: The Tragedy Of Free Will

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Medea, a Greek tragedy written by Euripides, is a tragedy about love and betrayal. Her husband Jason betrayed her. The only way to get back at her husband is to kill her own children. There are two philosophers in particular that can relate to Medea and the actions that she has chosen. One of these philosophers being Aristotle and the other philosopher being Augustine. Both of these philosophers share similar views on free will that would blame Medea for her actions. Aristotle’s view on free will is based on voluntary and involuntary actions. He believes that only voluntary actions deserved to be praised or to be blamed (Aristotle, PP). In Medea’s case, she is to be blamed for her actions. Aristotle would argue that since Medea knew voluntarily …show more content…
Augustine’s view on free will is that he does not blame the devil for there being evil in the world. He blames people because he believes that your own free will is what makes your actions your own and he believes that you are responsible for the actions that you have chosen. “When the will turns away from the unchangeable and common good toward its own private good, or toward external or inferior things, it sins”(Free will, 25). When Medea killed her children, Augustine, would not blame the devil for Medea for her indescribable actions. He would blame her because she consciously made those decisions on her own and he would hold her responsible for her actions. Augustine believes that God has the foreknowledge to know what we are going to do. God knew that Medea was going to kill her children but could not stop her otherwise from committing her sin. God’s power of foreknowledge does not take away Medea’s free will because even though he knows what she is going to do, she still the free will to do what she wants. Despite the fact that God has the power of foreknowledge and people still commit sins, How come Medea still committed a sin? (Augustine, PP) One can argue that sin is a necessity in the world. Without sin, there would be no good in the world and God gave us this free will to do whatever we wanted to do with it. Sin is necessary in the world to keep the fulcrum between good and evil balanced (Coe). …show more content…
Even though they have slightly different versions of what they believe free will is, they both believed that everyone has free will and had the ability to do whatever they chose to do with it. Medea had the free will to commit the actions that she acted upon. Both of these men would have held Medea responsible for the killing of her own children and would both agree that Medea used her free will in the wrong

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