Analysis Of The Jonestown Massacre: A Greek Tragedy

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The Jonestown massacre was a Greek tragedy in the sense that it was a preventable disaster that was caused by hubris. The Jonestown massacre is in short the collective suicide and murder of over 900 followers of Jim Jones. It started with the rise of The People’s Temple, and eventually lead to the creation of a settlement in Guyana where a mass suicide took place with many of the participants being children or unwilling. Several instances throughout this time present Jim Jones’ arrogance that lead to both his downfall and the downfall of Jonestown. There are also several moments that showed that the situation was preventable, such as in Guyana when the followers first arrived there. After the tragedy, many questions were raised about human morality. The preventability of this tragedy, as well as the hubris that lead to it, makes the Jonestown Massacre into a Greek Tragedy that raised many questions for people regarding religious authenticity. Prior to the time in Guyana, the accusations against Jones could have prevented the deaths of 913 people if someone had intervened earlier on. There were already several reports of unethical practices that could have warned people about following him to Guyana or joining his services. This began with alleged beatings and fraudulent…show more content…
The preventability of the tragedy because of the original accusations against the People’s Temple fit the first aspect of a Greek Tragedy. It can also be considered a Greek Tragedy because of Jim Jones hubris that lead to both his downfall and the downfall of Jonestown. This specific Greek Tragedy, although not teaching many lessons, raised many questions about religious authenticity and people’s willingness to sacrifice themselves. Both the preventable aspects of the disaster and the hubris that lead to it makes the Jonestown Massacre into a Greek
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