Importance Of Duty In Society

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Chase Fox, M/W 12:15 PM Within a community, it is important that everyone makes contributions. A community may suffer without a focus on making advancements. In many cultures, duty to community is emphasized. This duty requires that one devotes their actions to benefit a group as a whole and not focus on selfish reasons. The importance for this value is commonly reflected in ancient pieces of literature. Three texts that strongly reflect the value for duty are the Roman epic poem The Aeneid, the Hindu epic poem The Ramayana, and The Analects by Confucius. This essay will argue that all three texts emphasize the importance of duty to community and its role in society. It will conclude by explaining the effects of instilling a value for duty …show more content…
Even when a priest insists that the city cannot be saved, Aeneas ignores him and rounds up his men to launch a counterattack out of his duty as a protector of Troy (Copley 828-829). This shows that the importance of duty is placed before the advice of a respected spiritual leader. It is significant because Romans view spiritual leaders as wise and respected figures of authority. It also shows that Aeneas cares more about saving his people than he does his own life. The Aeneid also shows that neglecting duty has serious consequences. When Dido is introduced, she is depicted as a well-liked and respected queen who founds a thriving city known as Carthage (Copley 812). However, she starts spending more time with Aeneas and stops attending to her kingdom, “Her towers grew no taller; her army ceased maneuvers and worked no more” (Copley 843). Here, Virgil shows that distractions from duty interfere with progress. He shows that a community will suffer if its citizens do not tend to their duty. Dido is not the only one who neglects her duty. Aeneas also fails to fulfill his duties as …show more content…
In Book II, Confucius explains that every child’s duty is to his or her parents. He compares having no respect for parents is no different than owning animals (Waley 572). This blunt metaphor serves to shock the reader and make them contemplate their relationship with their parents. Confucius encourages this relationship for a better society. A society in which children respect and take care of their parents would be much better off than one that does not, as parents typically have wisdom to offer to their children. This theme of duty of respect to parents is continued in Book XVII. Here, the text argues that a child remains in the arms of its parents’ for its first three years of life. It then states that a three year mourning period is expected after the death of one’s parents (Waley 573). Respect for parents is expected to continue even after death. Confucius believes a child owes their parents for the care they have received while being raised. Taking care of one’s parents while they are alive or have passed on is part of an obligation to duty. Along with duty to parents, The Analects also describe the duty of leaders in how they should rule, “the ruler attends strictly to business… shows affection toward his subjects in general, and uses the labour of the peasantry only at the proper times of the year” (Waley 575). A significant portion of this Confucius saying is about the subjects of a

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