Essay on The Age Of Plato And Aeschylus

1413 Words Oct 2nd, 2014 6 Pages
Piety and Censorship A major debate in the age of Plato and Aeschylus is whether or not piety should be considered a component of the definition of justice. Aeschylus 's Eumenides centers around the conflict between the old view of justice and piety being intertwined, represented by the Furies, and the new view of justice, where the relationship between the gods and the Athenian people plays a less significant role, represented by Apollo and Athena. Both of Plato 's works, Euthyphro and The Republic, deal with the question of what role this relationship should play; Plato 's apparent belief is that piety should be insignificant in an ideally just city, and therefore, strict censorship of old literature regarding the gods is necessary to maintain justice. Ultimately, the debate comes down to whether or not justice can be modeled after precedents set by the actions of the gods, or if piety in itself is nonessential to a community, and therefore should be censored. The world of Orestes in Eumenides has a quite different reality than the world we know today. Fate, the idea that one has a predetermined future, plays a major role in this reality. Gods have a tremendous influence over humans and play with their lives like a game of chess. In fact, without the gods, men are believed to lack knowledge and the power of decision. The testimony of a god makes something true, and consequently, piety is momentously important; what the gods say and do are thought to be correct and able…

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