Cleon

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    Thucydides Speech Analysis

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    being an invention of the recent age, and an idea about which we can learn very little by appealing to the ancient world which is so rife with stories of empires and conquests. It is Thucydides, however, who really begins to explore and relate back to us the relationship of democracy and empire. At the epicenter of this controversy is an Athenian statesman and demagogue by the name of Cleon, who seems to argue that democracy is bad for empire. Opinions on Cleon vary wildly, especially centered around his speech concerning the punishment of the Mytileneans, wherein he argues against a fellow statesman named Dioditus. It has been argued by many in class (myself included among these) that it is Thucydides’ intention to paint Cleon in a negative light, and that the right course of action was to spare the Mytileneans. I would, however, like to take another look at that argument, and assert that, in actuality, Thucydides sees Cleon, at least in some respect,…

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    Lysistrata Themes

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    Culture and arts depict many underlying themes and issues. Plays in particular are created to present a theme that the playwright wants to portray through the use of comedy and tragedy. Aristophanes one of the most effective playwright of Ancient Greece uses the plays he writes to portray his political views about the war and challenges the views of war among his audience. One in which, “Lysistrata” he delineates his views on the Peloponnesian War. Aristophanes uses his style of feminism and the…

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    Introduction: What is a principle? As defined by the dictionary it is “a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.” In the book The 5000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen, he defines twenty-eight important principles that our Founding Fathers believed we must follow in order for our nation to succeed. He explains that because we have stayed diligent on keeping these truths, we have been able to progress more in two…

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    Mytilenian Debate Analysis

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    The choice to sacrifice all of the population for their injustices. One person in history that would agree with Cleon would have been the Chinese philosopher Han Feizi. Han Feizi was an influential philosopher during the pre-Qin person during China’s history who wrote about the art of government and the persuasion of a ruler. Han Feizi philosophy had an important influence on Chinese political theory and Chinese practices, if not during the Qin dynasty then during the Han dynasty and the…

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    When Cleon advocates the execution of all of the adult male Mytilenians, he speaks as the antithesis of these democratic ideals. He argues against democracy and any sort of abstract sense of morality. Cleon says “to feel pity, to be carried away by the pleasure of hearing a clever argument, to listen to the claims of decency are three things that are entirely against the interests of an imperial power.” It would be logical to think that Diodotus, who next argues against the killing of the…

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    Thucydides believes that Cleon has an illogical thought process, he is acting too much out of passion and not thinking clearly about the circumstances. He sees his decision as “savage” (2009). Cleon’s words seem to be very persuasive and Thucydides is trying to alert the reader of Cleon’s persuasive nature (2009). He is seen as a brutal and harsh leader with little remorse (3.36). This is because Cleon did not see a way of maintaining order if laws had been broken (1962 p161-163). He shows a…

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    The first example of this spiral is during the Mytilenian Debate, when Cleon, a demagogue, and Diodotus, an opposer of Cleon’s ideals, square off against each other. The debate is over whether or not the Athenians should kill the Mytileneans, who are revolting against Athens. Cleon wants to kill every man in Mytilene and enslave the women and children, whereas Diodotus wants to only kill the revolt’s leaders and allow the people to return to a normal life. Cleon insists that the Athenians should…

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    Athenian government officials, such as Cleon, in Wasps and Dionysus from Bacchae had total control over others. The people the Athenian government and Dionysus controlled were manipulated to believe that they had power. Within Wasps, readers are introduced to Procleon, a man who has an obsession with being a juror for the Athenian government. Procleon’s obsession is demonstrated by: “What’s even worse, every single night he gobbles down his dinner, puts on his shoes, and runs of down to the…

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    that in order for one to achieve happiness you must increase one’s power to the point where resistance is overcome and the weak will be non-existent. When discussing the weak, Nietzsche believes that those who show pity towards those who are inferior are most harmful to society. These views can correlate to Creon’s views from Sophocles’ Antigone, Athens as a tyrannical empire in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War and Aeneas from Virgil’s Aeneid. In each of these novels we can see how…

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    willing to lay down their lives like the fallen soldiers did. In this speech, Athens is portrayed as prideful and courageous, and they set the example for surrounding Grecian cities. It is evident that at this time, democracy in Athens is at its peak. In the second document, “The Mitylenian Debate”, Thucydides writes of the debate over the citizens of Mitylene. During the midst of the Peloponnesian War, Mitylene switched sides from Athens to Sparta. Athens saw this as a huge offense of treason…

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