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Compare and contrast one speech from Euripides` Medea and one from Thucydides` Peloponnesian Wars on the relationship between power and justice.

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in management, mathematics and economics

Compare and Contrast Euripides` and Thucydides`

Clearly , the corruption of justice , as occasioned through the conservation of personal

political and economic power , was of extreme consequence to the ancients . In Thucydides ’92 ’93History of the Peloponnesian Wars ’94 as well as in Euripides ’92 ’93Medea ’94 themes of personal power and universal justice comprise a central motive of expression , as well as informing the ’92 respective philosophical and historical visions

As Hall remarks , ’93Euripides was clearly engaged with the intellectual and ethical questions which the war had [banner_entry_middle]

asked and which underlay the policy debates in the Athenian assembly . These appear in disguise in his tragedies : the conflict between Medea and Jason revolves around the identical confrontation of justice with expediency which informs Thucydides ‘ first debate between the Corinthians and the Corcyraeans ’94 (Hall , 1997 ,

. xiii

Thucydides ’92 history is replete with ironic observation on the nature of justice (as applied to the body politic ) and the ubiquitous nature of personal corruption . In the first ’93debate ’94 between the Corinthians and Corcyraeans , the culpability of political leaders is referenced “These Corcyraeans in the speech we have just heard do not confine themselves to the question of their reception into your alliance . They also talk of our being guilty of injustice , and their being the victims of an unjustifiable war . It becomes necessary for us to touch upon both these points before we proceed to the rest of what we have to say , that you may have a more correct idea of the grounds of our claim , and have good cause to reject their petition . According to them their old policy of refusing all offer of alliance was a policy of moderation . It was in fact adopted for bad ends , not for good indeed their conduct is such as to make them by no means desirous of having allies present to witness it , or of having the shame of asking their concurrence ’94 (Thucydides , 1950 ,

. 26 In effect , accepting political responsibility on behalf of the Corinthians whilst accusing Compare and Contrast Euripides and Thucydides Page -2- the Corcyraeans of injustice and corruption

Following this thread , the speech goes on

Besides , their geographical situation makes them independent of others , and consequently the decision in cases where they injure any lies not with judges appointed by mutual agreement , but with themselves because while they seldom make voyages to their neighbors , they are constantly being visited by foreign vessels which are compelled to put in to Corcyra . In short , the object that they propose to themselves in their specious policy of complete isolation , is not to avoid sharing in the crimes of others , but to secure monopoly of crime to themselves–the licence of outrage , wherever they can compel , or fraud wherever they can elude , and the enjoyment of their gains without shame (Thucydides , 1950 ,

. 26 Because the ancients regarded justice as a power in itself , and one that was divinely inspired and maintained , peculiar ironies are made… [banner_entry_footer]

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