The Greek Culture And Oedipus The King
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I have chosen to talk about the Greek culture because I believe that our present culture has many similarities to the Greek's culture. Our culture today is actually surprisingly similar to that of the Greeks. Some of these similarities are education, government, and religion.
One similarity that we have to the Greek's culture is the Greek's devotion to intellectual integrity and their development of a system of schools. The Greeks understood how important it is to have a good education. I agree with them because I think it is very important to have at least a high school education and I also think it is important to have a college education. I believe that with knowledge comes power and having knowledge can lead to good things. Today, most people basically think like the Greeks did about intellectual integrity and a development of a system of schools. We still see the importance of a good education today. Having a college degree in today's society holds more job opportunities than someone who just has a high school education. One of the main goals of education in Greece was to prepare a child for adult activities as a citizen which is something that our society still does today. Parents prepare their kids for adulthood.
Another similarity that we have compared to the Greek culture is there use of a democracy system. The Greeks were actually the ones that created the first democracy. The definition of democracy is the rule of the people. They understood how important it is to include the people in the decisions that are made for a society.
When authority figures make decisions on a society without the people of that society's thoughts on those decisions, I'm sure that people tend to get pretty upset. The United States still uses a democracy system of government today because, like the Greeks, we see how important it is for the people to have some input as well. The Greeks also had a liberal view toward education that was largely responsible for the downfall of Classical Greek civilization. There are many people that still have a liberal point of view today. We have republicans as well but we still have those liberals. Not only was their democracy important, but the role that the people of their society played were very important as well. In Greek culture, the woman's job was to run the house and bear children. In many families today, it is important the woman stays at home and takes care of the house. Of course, it is still very important for women to bear children also. The men spent a great deal of time away from home and when they weren't involved in politics, they spent time in the fields with their crops. We still see this today. A lot of men spend time away from home because of their job. A lot of people still farm for a living today and those people, during the summer, spend a lot of time away from home taking care of their crops.
The last similarity between the Greek culture and our present society that I am going to talk about is religion. The Greeks were deeply religious people that usually worshiped many gods. Not only did the Greeks write stories about gods and goddesses, they also created a lot of art work such as paintings and sculptures that portrayed Greek gods or goddesses. Most people today are still very religious. Almost every religion of today involves the worship of a god.
The only religion that I can think of that doesn't worship a god is Atheism and I think that they don't believe in gods. I mean, most of us religious people still go to church, read the bible, and pray in order to worship our god.
Although the Greeks were very religious and thought it was very important to worship their gods, they also had an anthropocentric way of thinking. The definition of anthropocentric is basically that man is the center of everything and is most important. In other words, the Greeks believed that they were the most important and maybe even more important than their gods. Sadly, I believe that some or maybe a lot of people still think like this today. I think there are still those people that think that God is very important but when it comes down to it, they think deep down that they may actually be more important and that they are actually the center of everything. I am not anthropocentric at all. I believe that God is most important and that he is the center of everything.
Now I am going to talk about the Greek work of literature Oedipus the King. In this story, Oedipus is the ruler of Thebes. Thebes is actually a dying city and Oedipus is deeply concerned of why Thebes is dying. Oedipus is a person that is desperately seeking the truth of things so he goes to a blind man named Tiresias and he tells Oedipus about all of these prophecies involving Oedipus himself. Oedipus does not believe what Tiresias tells him but Oedipus finds out throughout the story that Tiresias prophecies are actually true. The main conflict in Oedipus the King is between belief and reality. The belief is that intelligence makes humanity master of its own fate versus the reality of humanity being helpless against some cruel fate. This kind of goes back to that anthropocentric way of thinking.
For a person to think that he or she can control his or her own fate because of his or her intelligence seems like and anthropocentric way of thinking to me. I believe that whatever God has planned is what is going to happen no matter how smart someone is. On page 617, lines 216-219, the chorus of the play says:
" O golden daughter of god, send rescue radiant as the kindness in your eyes! Drive him back! - the fever, the god of death that raging god of war."
The chorus is praying that the daughter of god send rescue and drive back the god of death from the city of Thebes. This goes back to the Greek's being very religious people and worshiping gods. All throughout Oedipus the King, the characters talk about some sort of god very often. Today, religious people still pray to their god for help which is what is going on in these lines from Oedipus the King. I can relate to this because if I know someone who is badly in need of help, I pray for him or her in hopes that he or she will receive help which is what the chorus of this story was doing in these lines of the play.
The Greek culture had many similarities to our present society today. Some of these similarities are education, government, and religion. The play of Oedipus the King shows characteristics of the Greek culture throughout the play. The Greeks made very important developments and some of them are very evident the present society of today.
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