The Death Of Loved Ones And The Mistreatment Of Their Bodies Essay

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In Homer’s Iliad and Thucydides ' History the death of loved ones and the mistreatment of their bodies provoke a variety of profound emotions and reactions. The mistreatment of Patroclus’ and Hector’s bodies results in the inability of the soul to pass into the afterlife, the grief of families and friends, and, once the funeral takes place, the celebration of their kleos and timē by their communities. The catastrophic plague in Athens, by contrast, creates a state of hedonistic lawlessness among the citizenry due to the unpredictability of death and the breakdown of democratic ideals as previously articulated by Pericles, while the civil war in Corcyra shows the personal animosity people have to one another and the violent inclinations within social groupings. The burial delay of Patroclus’ body leads to the spirit’s helplessness to pass into the afterlife, and when the Athenian plague hits people disregard laws to bury their loved ones, resulting in the breakdown of politeia. As Patroclus falls from battle, the agony of the news, leads to Achilles’ frenzy to retrieve the body. . Patroclus’ shade visits Achilles informing, “Bury me quickly / So I may pass through Hades’ gates”(Il.23.76-77), implying that without his proper burial he is not capable of “moving on”. The restlessness and torment the spirit must face shows the urgency of being buried even in a crisis, “They would arrive first at a funeral pyre that had been made by others, put their own dead upon it and set it
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