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Analysis on Thucydides: Pericles' Funeral Oration (Greece) - Essay Example

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This was after the first Peloponnesian war battle was over (Terney, 2012). Funerals during this time were public rituals hence their leader was supposed to give a speech on…
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Analysis on Thucydides: Pericles Funeral Oration (Greece)
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Analysis of Thucydides: Funeral Oration (Greece) al Affiliation Thucydides is a famous speech written by an Athenian leader, Pericles, in the year 399 BC (Terney, 2012). This was after the first Peloponnesian war battle was over (Terney, 2012). Funerals during this time were public rituals hence their leader was supposed to give a speech on the day of the funeral. Pericles gave this speech to the Athenians who had had lost their close ones during the battle (Terney, 2012). The custom started among their ancestors and had a procedure of which it followed. This article analyses Pericles speech and the events that happened on that ‘mass burial’, as people would call it in the present time (Terney, 2012).
Pericles uses his opportunity to talk about the successes of their nation brought about by the good will and democracy among the citizens and the government (Terney, 2012). He congratulates their ancestors for establishing that culture in their days which has remained to the present (Terney, 2012). He does not leave out their fathers’ generation as he says they have worked without tire to add to the inheritance their ancestors gave them (Terney, 2012). He finally commends the present generation for working with the country’s own possession making her stable and independent. This has come about as utilizing the resources of the country to provide for everything especially tings needed during war and restoring peace afterwards (Terney, 2012).
He continues to praise their government and constitution for the great laws it has. He describes themselves as a pattern to others rather than imitators of others nation’s laws. He defines democracy as a law governing the many and not the few according to Tierney (2012). He says that democracy is what has made them reach the position they are in now. Athenians have Great Spirit and respect to the authority (Terney, 2012). He says that no condition can obscure a man to become a leader in Athens; all he has to have I the gift of leadership and the will to serve the state. Athenians are not jealous of their neighbors’ actions and this is what makes them respect each other. In fact it eases their private relations that also have a hand in obeying laws and magistrates (Terney, 2012).
Pericles also talks about the different types of pleasure that they indulge. They celebrate games and sacrifices annually to refresh their minds from all the activities going on (Terney, 2012). These activities include working to ensure that the produce coming from the rest of the world becomes a harbor to them and their fruits become a luxury to the world (Terney, 2012). Their military and education systems are unbeatable as he describes. Trusting less is what has brought them to that level; that is in the military sector as this eliminates the spies of the enemies who may return to their counterparts with information that may cause them a defeat (Terney, 2012). He describes a skill that the army uses: advancing into their enemies’ territory and maintaining the war in their soil. Their enemy will be busy protecting their homes whist Athenians will be busy attacking them since their minds have drifted a little (Terney, 2012).
Pericles lists several things that the Athenians are also proud of; their wealth and public affairs. Athenians work to eliminate the struggle caused by poverty and their wealth is not for show; rather they use it to make more (Terney, 2012). The citizens have a role in fair judging public affairs fairly to ensure there is no unwise action or obstacle that may come up in future. The Athenians have created a reputation that is so great and admired all over the world (Terney, 2012). They have achieved this by making sure everyone is treated equally in their society no matter the differences that may be present (Terney, 2012). Pericles, on his own grounds, owes the character of the country to the struggle they exhibit to keep the blessings they have achieved unlike other countries that have no such blessings. He finalizes his speech by comforting the parents of the soldiers that died during the war. He describes them as heroes and that their deaths should be glorified (Terney, 2012).
In short Athens was a superpower at that time and Pericles was describing why it is and what has made it that great (Terney, 2012). In his speech, we deduce a lot of great character from the citizens to the government that has led to the success of Athens. The values of the people depicted in that speech cannot be compared to anything in this world. For a country to establish such success a lot has to be done; the government should promote a culture that does not involve greed especially among the leaders (Terney, 2012). People should not be jealous of other persons or selfish with their personal gains. The leaders should promote fair democracy as this is the only way that the citizens will fell contented with the government’s rule.
Reference
Tierney, S. (2012). Constitutional Referendums: The Theory and Practice of Republican Deliberation. Oxford University Press. Read More
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