Perseus was the son of Zeus who wielded unimaginable strength, cunning and tactical genius. Generally, Perseus was known for his heroic deeds such as the rescue of Andromeda and killing the Kraken using the head of Medusa; not to mention he’s responsible for the death of Medusa herself. However, based on Perseus’ heroic deeds, one question remains-Was he justified or unjustified in killing Medusa; the verdict-a big, whooping unjustified! The reasons why Perseus’ unnecessary killing of Medusa might seem like they are few and really good, but the truth is that the reasons why he killed Medusa were many and those reasons are what made the killing of Medusa unjust. One of the reasons why Perseus’ killing of Medusa was unjustified is because Medusa was no threat to him, and the land that he loved. King Polydectes just sent Perseus on this quote unquote suicide mission just to get at Perseus’ mother Danae which if Perseus would have thought about this ethically and strategically, he would have come to the conclusion that this was all a scheme by the King to get him killed so he could not protect his mother from him; thereby forcing her to marry him. I can see that killing Medusa was justified if her and her sisters Stheno and Euryale were running amuck in the lands killing people which they were not, the King provoked him to pick a fight he did not have to. Another reason why Perseus was unjustified in killing Medusa was because it was senseless slaughter, the 3 Gorgon sisters were minding their own business within their own little dwelling just getting on with their lives and they were not trying to target King Polydectes and his kingdom or anyone in his entourage for that matter. As it was mentioned in the story, the three gorgon sisters were asleep and were not bothering anyone; clearly the gorgon sisters are the victims here because their lives were taken from them for nothing. I know some royal officials felt it was their duty to challenge and kill anyone who was a threat to them or their existence, even if that person had more power than the royal official himself like Perseus for example. The next reason why Perseus’ killing of Medusa was unjustified was because he did it to impress or to change the opinion of a man that did not even matter. Obviously, Perseus really cared about what King Polydectes really thought about him and even though he had no real intention to care about what the King thought of him, he really felt like he had to prove that he was not worthless or a waste of space in the eyes of the King. So, he takes the life of Medusa just to prove a point about his sense of existence, to feel that he had to prove the King wrong by any means which was just wrong no matter how much he felt he had to make the king’s point invalid. Finally, the biggest and perhaps the most noted reason why Perseus’ killing of Medusa was unjustified is because of the lack of ethical question about his quest. It can be said that Perseus could have asked, why am I doing this, do I really care about what another man thinks of me, what is the ulterior motive of the king sending me to do this, is the gorgon queen Medusa a threat to me, the King or even my mother for that matter, why am I really doing this? None of these questions came into Perseus’ mind nor did he take the time to ask the King any of the aforementioned questions because he only had one goal, and that goal is to kill Medusa. Solely to prove to the King once and for all that he is not some worthless failure who lives his life without purpose. Generally, killing someone is a motivated and ethical action, clearly Perseus did not question either one because he did not want to seem like he was backing down from this challenge that was issued to him.
"Perseus and Medusa." Shmoop.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb 2014.
"Perseus ." greekmythology.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb 2014.
"Why did Perseus Kill Medusa?." Ask.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb 2014.