argument top image

Is Medusa a victim or villain? Show more Show less
Back to question

Medusa is a famous figure in Greek mythology, often portrayed as a villain in most media. Her story, however, is much more complex than many are led to believe. Is Medusa really a villain, or is she a victim of her circumstances?

Medusa is a victim Show more Show less

Medusa is a victim because she did nothing wrong, she was punished for the sake of being punished.
< (2 of 3) Next position >

Medusa was taken advantage of by Poseidon

Medusa was raped by Poseidon, but instead of being defended by her patron goddess, Athena, she was punished for being raped. This makes Medusa a victim.
Mythology

The Argument

The main reason why Athena punished Medusa is the accusation that she performed a sexual act within the goddess' temple. As a virgin goddess, Athena would have perceived this as an act of desecration, which would explain why she was so angry with Medusa. However, Medusa did not engage in said sexual act willingly. Poseidon raped Medusa, arguably making Medusa the victim. [1] Despite what Poseidon did to Medusa, Athena held Medusa accountable for what happened in her temple. One can make the case that Medusa is the victim here because instead of being protected by her patron goddess, she was punished by Athena for being raped in her temple. To further build on Medusa's victimization, after Poseidon raped her, she sought Athena for guidance. [2] If Medusa's encounter with Poseidon were consensual, she would not be asking Athena for her guidance. Arguably, this course of action attests to the trauma she encountered and her status as a victim in this situation.

Counter arguments

Despite Medusa's portrayal as a victim of rape, this portrayal is not universal. Another version of the Medusa myth told by the Greek poet Hesiod tells a different story. In Hesiod's rendition, Medusa and Poseidon share a more consensual relationship where both parties are found together in a more comfortable setting. [3] Hesiod's choice of setting paints a different picture, specifically, one that does not allude to rape. The poet's choice of words betrays that narrative when he describes the beauty of the scene. In light of this portrayal, one can argue that Medusa's relationship with Poseidon was consensual.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://austinhackney.co.uk/2016/10/26/the-medusa-myth-and-its-meaning-the-real-story-of-medusa/
  2. https://mythology.net/monsters/medusa/
  3. https://medium.com/myths/the-rape-of-medusa-the-least-important-part-of-the-story-3a7594497bb8
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 11 Nov 2020 at 15:18 UTC

Explore related arguments