preview

Essay about What Is Effective Social Behavior for an Ancient Greek?

Decent Essays
Desirable social behaviors, while essential for individuals to be able to acclimate and be accepted in the public environment, can be very subjective. What is acceptable and prevalent in one culture may very well be deemed offensive in another. A modern example is our “thumbs up” gesture. In some parts of the world, this is considered the international sign language equivalent of what we would call the “flipping the bird” gesture done with the middle finger. Aristotle, Plato, and Sophocles refined the basic tenets and standards of education and the people of their time conceived it. Education, both the subject and method, were of great interest to Plato. He regards education explicitly in The Republic and indirectly in The Symposium. The…show more content…
The Symposium compiled all of the processes and tactics of education as perceived by ancient Greek society. Socrates found applicable connections to all of the other speeches and surmised that, in the end, people inevitably decide they want to act virtuously, nobly, and kind. “Man is a political animal.” This popular quote from Aristotle succinctly explains his notion that people are not alone but in association with others. By Aristotle’s definition, the polis’ primary reason for being was to enable each person within the polis to recognize and reach their full potential. Greek polis’ (city-states) were run and inhabited by a citizenry within certain castes, or a tiered hierarchy of societal standing. Though it was designed to favor the elite, it was not impossible for a man to improve his standing in life through his deeds. If he showed prowess at abilities traditionally outside of his given caste, he might very well be allowed to join that caste for the good of the polis. This possibility for improving one’s quality of life was not extended to women and slaves however, who were perceived as not having the intellect necessary to contribute to society in any relevant way. Similarly to the populace of most modern cultures, the ancient Greeks as a whole were not always receptive to the ideas presented
Get Access