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Western Civilization - Essay Example

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Pericles wrote the oration with an aim to bury the dead but most importantly as a way of praising democracy. This essay will address the Pericles funeral orations, and how…
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Western Civilization Western civilization Pericles funeral oration refers to a speech written by Thucydides about history of the Peloponnesian War. Pericles wrote the oration with an aim to bury the dead but most importantly as a way of praising democracy. This essay will address the Pericles funeral orations, and how it depicts the democratic society. More specifically, the essay seeks to describe the democratic society of Athens as depicted by Pericles. Secondly, the essay will focus on what Lysistrata says concerning the place of women in the Greek society. Additionally, the essay will address what the play says to the people of the present generation.
The democratic Society of Athens depicted by Pericles
According to Thucydides, Hobbes & Greene (1989), in the speech, Pericles depict the society of Athens as democratic. He purports that democracy allows men to advance based on merit and not because of wealth or what they inherit. The speech describes the society of Athens as one where citizens portray lawful behavior without any fear. Pericles observe that the system of governance in Athens does not assert that imitate laws of their neighboring countries. Thucydides, Hobbes, & Greene (1989) Democracy in Athens comes out clearly when Pericles says that the administration system respects the multitude. Therefore, the society of Athens can be described as democratic since it gives all the citizens equal rights and freedom. Thucydides write that the Athens constitution favors the majority and not a few.
The laws offer equal justice to all people, in cases of private conflicts and differences. Pericles note that the Athens society does not favor people based on class differences. Merit takes precedence in all aspects of the democratic Athens society. Additionally, democracy in Athens gives equal chances to those who want to serve the state. Pericles maintain that freedom and democracy enjoyed in Athens spreads to the ordinary life (Thucydides, Hobbes & Greene, 1989). I feel that Pericles did not idealize or exaggerate the Athenian democracy. He portrayed positivity and strength to his people, which many followed. Pericles can be described as a powerful and confident leader; people followed actions of Pericles governance.
What does Lysistrata tell us about the place of women in Greek society?
Lysistrata conveys her opinion concerning the place of women in the Greek society. She is against the fact that the Athens democracy only consists of men. Lysistrata has the feeling that the Greek society does not recognize women’s strength and abilities. In her opinion, women have similar abilities to men and can do everything, which men can do. In Periclean Athens, women did not participate in the society’s democracy. Therefore, women did not share in the democracy of Periclean Athens. She feels that women can be able to handle themselves only that Pericles governance did not give them opportunities. To Lysistrata, the Greek society does not respect the women. Instead, it tends to discriminate against them, while favoring men (Aristophanes and Edwards, 2006).
Does the play say anything to the people of our generation?
The play says something concerning the people of our generation in today’s society. Currently, more women achieve roles in crucial positions, in the world of today; they secure employment in significant positions. Additionally, Lysistrata portrays a woman who would play an essential role for women in all parts of the world (Aristophanes and Edwards, 2006). Today’s women strive to become famous world leaders. This trend indicates that women will soon succeed, and significant change will happen in the world. I feel that if women read about Lysistrata, they work towards achieving and aiming for success. Therefore, the play represents efforts by the modern woman to overcome oppressive traditions.
Thus, in conclusion, the story of Pericles teaches more about leadership and the power he exercises over the people of Athens. Pericles describe Athens as a democratic society, where all people get equal and fair treatment from the state. Lysistrata portrays the position of Women in the Greek society; she describes how society alienates women. Women generation of today would strive for success if they read the play Lysistrata.


References
Aristophanes, Edward, E. (2006). Lysistrata. Theater 61 Press.
Thucydides, Hobbes, T. & Greene, D. (1989). The Peloponnesian War. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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