The Final Stasimon Of Sophocles ' Tragic Play Essay example

1433 Words Nov 9th, 2015 null Page
Dishonor on You, Dishonor on Your Family, Dishonor on Your Cow
After Ajax takes his own life for having failed to kill his former friends, his brother Teucer defends Ajax’s honor by demanding he receive an honorable burial. The final stasimon of Sophocles’ tragic play Ajax revolves around the question of Ajax’s integrity and what it means to be honorable. While Agamemnon relies on societal definitions of nobility and alliance to denounce Ajax’s honor, Odysseus stands up for his new enemy claiming that his actions have earned him honor despite his treachery. Because of the mercurial nature of culturally ascribed understanding of honor, Sophocles contends that instead of relying on those superfluous and abstract notions that people should instead attribute honor based on the accumulation of concrete actions one commits. Defying the arbitrary concepts of integrity as defined by society in favor of honoring people based on their personal merits promotes reciprocal respect from others regardless of shallow perceptions of social class and alliances.
Agamemnon argues that because Ajax’s family does not meet Greek standards of a noble family that he is under no obligation to provide him an honorable burial after his treason and by upholding this fickle criteria he opens himself to the potential that others could refuse to honor him in death as well. Instead of directly stating reasons why Ajax’s lack of nobility denies him a right to a burial, Agamemnon attacks Teucer’s right to…

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