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Critical Essay: Pericles' Funeral Oration Speec Explains The Views Of The Athenians From An Ideological Stand Point.

1545 words - 6 pages

Critical Essay: Pericles' Funeral Oration SpeechIt can be argued that the Greeks are the most influential civilization to existthroughout history. The Greeks introduced advances in science, politics, art, etc that aretreasured and still used to the present day. Modern societies have adopted words fromtheir language, military strategy, and most notably their political system. Although thebest compliment that can be given to this remarkable civilization is that it gave birth todemocracy, which is the true essence of freedom within any society. Without freedom noindividual is truly an expression his or her self. Freedom is so vital to life and even moreso to obtain the ever awe inspiring concept that is full human potential.Pericles' Funeral Oration Speech is an extremely beautiful and moving piece ofliterature. The Funeral Oration was a custom that occurred where the Athenians praisedthe dead after a great battle. Pericles, who was the leader of the Athenian state at theheight of its democratic time, delivers a speech that is full of emotion and pride for thecity of Athens. He praises the city for the greatness that flows from its walls and the lifestyle that is at the heart of the society.The status quo of the Athenians can be categorized in the days of slave economy.Nations would gain power through the means of violent force. When a nation conqueredanother they would take slaves to prosper from their labor. Along with the slaves thevictors would loot the nation's riches and benefit from all the conquered society's staples.The victor would learn all of the conquered nation's customs and technology, whileimposing their own culture upon the conquered nation. In the case of the Athenians thiswhy so much of the world has learned from them. With the rise of the Athenian empiremuch of the culture that was a part of Athenian society came to be implemented intoother nations around the world.Throughout his speech Pericles is advocating for two types of change. On onehand he doest not want anything to change about the Athenian Democracy. Periclesadores and glorifies the rights and freedoms that are brought about by the democraticstate. Pericles indicates that he and all Athenians would go to any lengths in order topreserve their way of life. On the other hand Pericles' is advocating for change in the restof the world. He has seen the benefits that have befallen upon Athens due to democracyand sees it as a model for the rest of the world to follow. Pericles says, "Our form ofgovernment does not enter into rivalry with the institutions of other. Our governmentdoes not copy our neighbors', but is an example to them. Pericles desires for the Atheniandemocracy to forever flourish and impose its culture throughout the world.It is obvious that Pericles is advocating the desired change to benefit theAthenians. Pericles tells of the great riches that have come to Athens because of theirlifestyle and wants these benefits to continue flowing upon the Athenian state...

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