Acts Of Self-Interest And Greed In Greek Literature

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A crisis often causes people to act on the extremes of their personality. In our modern world we are surrounded by images of people indulging in their selfish desires. It is made to seem like our sole purpose in this world is to do what we want. We must, however, remember our roots and think back to the basic traditions of our society. During the 5th century BCE, Athens began to experience a breakdown in their society. Many authors and playwrights attribute this abandonment of tradition to acts of self-interest and greed. People were unruly and concerned only with themselves. People at this point lost their sense and began robbing and killing as a way of indulgence. Many authors and playwrights use acts of self-interest and greed such as these for their stories. …show more content…

In Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, it is recounted how the Athenians condemned the people of Melos and put all of the men to death because they refused to become part of the Athenian empire. This in itself shows the self-interest of the Athenians. They were able to justify this horror by believing that it was to their own gain. Throughout history, the breakdown of traditional societal values has had many causes, symptoms, and ultimate results. We see that it does not take much for a society to lose touch with itself and that the results of their symptoms can be catastrophic, as in the case with the Melian Dialogue. Human nature and societal demands cause a breakdown of traditional values both in Aristophanes’ Clouds and Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. These factors affect both Strepsiades and the Athenians as they attempt to solve their real world

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