Madea and Philosophy

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In today’s society, we often hear stories about love stories gone wrong; stories where passion and desire rule over reason. They all have a common theme; a husband cheats on a wife, she goes insane and kills his lover. We hear these stories and we wonder what is wrong with these people that makes them do these insane things. Is it because they are mentally unhealthy or are they just so in love with the person that they cannot fathom the thought of them being with someone else? Or do they kill their lover to make them ever so miserable? Some people think these crimes of passion are a problem in today’s society, but little do we know that they have been around for centuries. The story of Euripides’ Medea has been discussed among philosophers for ages, trying to understand how Medea’s inner conflict should be understood. Medea’s story goes as follows; her husband Jason must marry the daughter of a king, and Medea is devastated. She’s in love with him and the thought of him being with someone else kills her, so what does she do? She kills their children. But before she goes through with it, she has moments of confusion, moments of herself finding reason in the decisions she was going to make. But in the end, she decides to kill them because she feels that this is the only thing that could punish Jason for what he did to her. Philosophers Plato and Epictetus have tried to understand Medea’s inner conflict in two very different ways. In Plato’s point of view, he feels that reason should govern passion. In other words, he thinks that Medea should have thought more about what she had done in a time where she wasn’t so angry and passionate about what had just happened. Because she was so mad at Jason, she made the quick decision to make him miserable by killing his children. She didn’t think about the long-term effect on the situation and at the time was only thinking of herself. Plato believes that passion, desire, and reason should all exist in harmony with one...
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