Pericles Funeral Oration

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PERICLES’ FUNERAL ORATION

Pericles, the leader of the Athenians had presented this Oration as did his predecessors after their people have fallen in battle. The Oration was to talk about why their very own were fighting in battle and as a result died for their lands and ways of life. This particular Oration was from the early days of the Peloponnesian War. The speech was intended for every Athenian and any others that wished to attend. Prior to the speech, the dead are honored in a similar fashion as we do today with our high ranking public officials or famous people. The honored dead were in a procession, coffins brought through the streets along with one empty coffin for the missing. Eventually, the dead were laid in public sepulcher (tomb) in suburbs of the city. Pericles starts his speech off by honoring their ancestors because it is the right thing to do and one of the requirements by law during these Orations. After all if it weren’t for their ancestors, Athens would not be. He then goes into describing their democracy and why it is the best for all to follow. In their democracy, as in any democracy, the laws cover all not just certain groups of people. There is equality for all, even a person with a deformity or poor can serve in a public position. This normally does not happen in a non-democracy government. Pericles goes into depth regarding how the Athens culture has always been like an open door policy. They did not have the military running around the streets enforcing everything, letting one and all who wanted to claim home there do so. Although being a great idea, in their past there has been individuals, “enemies” found to take advantage of the decent and law abiding people and used it against the people of Athens. Athenians live as they want to, they want and like to be happy and enjoyed life and the freedoms everyone should endure. But they are also willing to drop everything to march off into dangerous times...
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