Homer’s Iliad presents a conflict between fighting to gain honor for oneself while also being committed to others in the larger community. Honor and glory primarily drove the characters in the Iliad, while each character’s individual circumstances determined the influence of the larger community in their actions. Both the Greeks and the Trojans, despite fighting with each other, share in this struggle and find their own balance. Agamemnon is driven almost entirely by glory and selfishness, Achilles by honor but also a commitment to his friendship with Patroclus, and Hector by both glory and a commitment to his family.
In the Euthyphro, Euthyphro himself gives three proposals of piety. First, the pious is to prosecute the wrongdoer and the impious is not to prosecute the wrongdoer. Socrates disputes this example as lacking generality. He believed that in order to define piety, one had to find the form that made all pious acts pious. An example of a pious act does not in turn define piety. Euthyphro’s second attempt stated that the pious is loved by the gods, while the impious was hated by them. Again, Socrates objects, saying that although it passed the generality requirement, there was no conformity among the objects dear to the gods. After all, the gods had different opinions as did humans. Euthyphro then
The main question of this dialogue is the definition of the word holy or piety. Euthyphro brags that he is more knowledgeable than his father on matters relating to religion. In this case, Socrates suggests to Euthyphro to define that term. The first definition fails to satisfy Socrates because of its limitation in application. Apparently, Socrates perceives this definition as an example rather than a definition. Subsequent arguments and line of questioning lead to five sets of definitions that are refined to find the general definition. Socrates expects that the acceptable general definition of the question will act as a reference point in his defense.
Euthyphro’s first definition of piety was; “Piety means prosecuting the unjust individuals who has committed murder or sacrilege, or any other such crime, as I am now, whether he is your father or mother or whoever he is. (5d). In this dialogue, Euthyphro is attempting to assure Socrates that piety means to prosecute the wrong perpetrator, in this case and in the case of Zeus, his father. This is just an example; Socrates wanted a definition, not a pious action. Definition one is inconsistent with the question because nothing has been acceptable in all similar cases, so we can’t use this definition as what piety is. But what we
Throughout the dialogue between Euthyphro and Socrates, they both try to come up with an understanding of the relationship between piety and justice. Within the discussion, Socrates questions Euthyphro to see if he can define the difference and similarities between justice and piety, and if they interact with each other. Eventually, Euthyphro and Socrates came up with the conclusion that justice is a part of piety. This is the relationship that I agree most with because in my own opinion, I believe that all of the gods and people agree that human beings who commit unjust actions need to be punished for their actions.
In this interaction, Socrates considers Euthyphro to help in explaining all there is to be known about piety and the related impiety. Euthyphro confirms that he is indeed an expert in the matter relating to religious issues and can thus assist Socrates in the charges that face him. In their argument in the efforts to define the true meaning of piety, Socrates and Euthyphro engage in the analysis of issues that threaten to confuse human understanding about the whole issue of holiness and impiety in the society, (Plato & Gallop, 2008). To understand the true meaning of piety, it is of great importance to take a holistic analysis of the beliefs of the people about
Homer’s epic The Iliad, is a great tale of war and glory. It takes place during the last year of the ten year Greek-Trojan war. The Greeks have been fighting with the Trojans for quite some time, and just when peace seemed like a possibility, the youngest prince of Troy, Paris, acts out selfishly and steals the beautiful wife of Menelaus, Helen. This instigates the fighting again. Throughout The Iliad, Homer tells of two heroes, both similar, but also very different in their character; the great and powerful Greek, Achilles, and the strong, loving father, Prince Hector of Troy. In Homer’s The Iliad, Hector and Achilles differ as heroes in regards to pride, duty, and family love, the latter being self-centered and prideful, while the
According to Euthyphro, piety is whatever the gods love, and the impious whatever the gods hate. At first this seems like a good definition of piety, however, further inquiry from Socrates showed that the gods have different perspectives vis a vis certain actions. As the gods often quarrel with another, piety cannot simply be what is loved by gods, since they differ in opinions. For, if the gods agreed on what is just, surely they would not constantly fight with one another. Therefore, the first proposition of Euthyphro is wanting. Socrates, thus, is teaching a particular style of inquiry whereby, facile statements are challenged by their own propositions. Socrates does not make any claims initially, but rather questions the logical consequence of Euthyphro’s answer.
When Socrates asked Euthyphro what the meaning of piety is, Euthyphro tells him that, “piety is what the gods love.”(Shafer-Landau 57). This answer leads Socrates into asking, “are acts pious because the gods love them, or do the gods love actions because they are pious?”(Shafer-Landau 57). The issue at hand is Socrates is merely trying to determine exactly what determines if acts are pious or not pious and if there is any relation to the gods. Socrates question is important because if the gods aren’t what determines if acts are pious or not, then there would be no proof as to what is pious and what isn’t. This would mean that each person would have their own justification as to what is right or wrong.
Due to social utility gained from following religion and fear of eternal backlash, pious mortal characters experience an indirect relationship in heeding commands of the Gods and the level of free will–the condition of acting without fate or necessity. Throughout The Odyssey, Homer brings light to the value of piety in Ancient Greece. In good faith, Gods often reward those who are religious, especially heroes. Pious individuals are revered both by their peer mortals and the Gods, causing the emergence of a feedback loop that rewards those who are pious. Furthermore, there are different forms of piety present in The Odyssey, but it is evident that pious individuals gain glory from their actions, usually as a result of receiving favorable treatment from the Gods.
Honor: honesty, fairness, or integrity in one 's beliefs and actions; this is the definition by which these two characters, Hector and Achilles, ought to be judged. By taking this definition to heart, Achilles is far from honorable. Throughout the Iliad, Achilles acts on rage and revenge. “Rage-Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles, murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaens countless losses, hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls, great fighters’ souls, but made their bodies carrion, feasts for the dogs and birds…” (1, 1-5) From the beginning of the epic the reader learns of Achilles rage and wants for
However in Plato’s Euthyphro, it can be argued that Socrates plays a similar role. In the Euthyphro, Socrates discusses piety in general and what makes things and people pious. Socrates claims he wants to learn more on the subject so that he may better defend himself against the treasonous charges against him. In a way, Euthyphro represents the traditional Athenian way of thinking. He believes in and supports all of the gods and does not submit to Socrates’ prodding of the subject, although he does walk away from him in frustration at the end of the dialogue. However it can safely be said that most Athenians would agree with Euthyphro’s opinion of the gods and to disagree could most certainly be punishable by law, as Socrates was. Socrates’ search for the definition of piety is a difficult one that tests Euthyphro’s patience and ultimately leaves the characters and the reader without an answer. Every time Euthyphro proposes an answer, Socrates is quick to counter it with some thought. Interpreting Socrates’ tone and meaning here is important. Some may see Socrates to be quite demeaning in these instances, almost teasing Euthyphro because he claims to be so pious yet he cannot even define the word. In this way, similar to Aristophanes’ Clouds, Socrates plays a subversive role in the Euthyphro.
Plato's "Euthyphro" introduces the Socratic student both to the Socratic Method of inquiry and to, or at least towards, a definition of piety. Because the character of Euthyphro exits the dialogue before Socrates can arrive at a reasonable definition, an adequate understanding of piety is never given. However, what piety is not is certainly demonstrated. Euthyphro gives three definitions of piety that fail to mean much to Socrates, who refutes each one. In this paper, I will present Euthyphro's definitions along with Socrates' rebuttals. I will also show that Socrates goal in the dialogue is two-fold: 1) to arrive at a true definition, and 2) to exercise his method of teaching/inquiry. At the conclusion of this paper, I will give my own definition of piety and imagine what Socrates might say in response.
This decision of prideful betrayal brings many casualties to the Achaean army. Once Agamemnon apologetically offers Achilles many valuable gifts along with the return of his war prize, Achilles refuses. In this rejection, Achilles is putting his own animosity toward Agamemnon above the needs of his fellow Achaeans. His friend Phoenix tells him to think of his diminishing honor, but Achilles answers, “…what do I need with honor such as that ?/ … It degrades you to curry favor with [Agamemnon],/ and I will hate you for it, I who love you./ It does you proud to stand by me, my friend,/ to attack the man who attacks me…”(p 147). Not only does Achilles reject honor, but he egotistically asks his father figure, Phoenix, to give up his in order to take his side.
The reason why Achilles honor is determined by Zeus is because Achilles feels that since he has a short lifespan, “Zeus should give him honor” to make his contributions during the war in a short period of time worthwhile. However, Achilles’ is currently neglected by Zeus as the God of Gods gives the Swift Runner “nothing”, after all his achievements made during the war, feeling mistreated and denied of honor as “the best of Achaeans”, the hero of the Argives. This implies how Achilles, as a hero, values his achievements and contributions as something worthy of honor, building blocks that constructs his honor not only among men but also the gods. In short, having the deities blessing honor onto a hero is a extravagant recognition to them, meaning that the hard work the hero puts in is greatly appreciated and honored, even by the gods, therefore considered a heroic outlook on life.