Critical Essay: Pericles' Funeral Oration Speech
It can be argued that the Greeks are the most influential civilization to exist
throughout history. The Greeks introduced advances in science, politics, art, etc that are
treasured and still used to the present day. Modern societies have adopted words from
their language, military strategy, and most notably their political system. Although the
best compliment that can be given to this remarkable civilization is that it gave birth to
democracy, which is the true essence of freedom within any society. Without freedom no
individual is truly an expression his or her self. Freedom is so vital to life and even more
so to obtain the ever awe inspiring concept that is full human potential.
Pericles' Funeral Oration Speech is an extremely beautiful and moving piece of
literature. The Funeral Oration was a custom that occurred where the Athenians praised
the dead after a great battle.
Pericles, who was the leader of the Athenian state at the
height of its democratic time, delivers a speech that is full of emotion and pride for the
city of Athens. He praises the city for the greatness that flows from its walls and the life
style 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 conquered
another they would take slaves to prosper from their labor. Along with the slaves the
victors 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, while
imposing their own culture upon the conquered nation. In the case of the Athenians this
why so much of the world has learned...