Funeral Oration




From the narrative, it is evident that Pericles’ speech is aimed atmaintaining the virtues that are synonymous with Athens. Heencourages the residents of Athens to be proud of their city andpromote their cultural beliefs at all times. He also showcases acommunity that shows tremendous respect for its brave warriors. Inline with the Athenian cultural practices, the funeral oration was bythe traditional beliefs and had been followed by individuals over theyears. The ceremony was prepared to eulogize and celebrate thesoldiers who had lost their lives in fearsome battles. The orationprovides a broad sense of belonging for the Athenians and remindsthem of the importance of current and previous dedications to theirbeliefs. Moreover, it reminds them of the progress that they havemade due to their strict adherence to the cultural beliefs.

The author had a massive confidence in the Athenian citizens and evenat death, still believed that the city was great. He declared that ifthe remote ancestors deserved ululations for their services to thecommunity, then even their fathers should have been accorded the sameaccolades. This would be attributed to the latter`s’ efforts inadding their inheritance. He encouraged the people of Athens toappreciate their personal efforts in making the community a betterplace. In this regards, they should acknowledge that their synthesisof the goals led to the achievement of success. Pericles, therefore,encouraged the Athenians to be proud of themselves. In his speech,the author also highlighted the need to promote democracy by ensuringthat all citizens have equal rights in spite of their conditions.

Pericles in his speech, wanted the people of Athens to appreciate thelove amongst themselves. This would, in turn, provide additionalmotivation for the soldiers to engage in war with the belief thatthey are champions and as such, are in a position to succeed and winthe war. The soldiers will, therefore, be proud and ensure thevictory for the people of Athens. The oration provided an opportunityfor the Athenians to reflect on the progress they had made over theyears and how they needed to maintain the momentum going forward inensuring that they retain the status of the city in the future. Thefuneral speech stated that the people of Athens should have a pieceof mind as they would be protected from any harm that they may face.

The oration provided a tragic contrast between death and life. TheAthenians were assured that people would be in existence after theend of the war. This would be reflected in the sacrifices that hadbeen made by the Athenians during the periods of political turmoil.The fearsome battles that resembled death would elevate the status ofAthens since the soldiers would be triumphant. The speech, therefore,presented a complex chord for the inhabitants of Athens as well aspromoting a sense of patriotism among individuals.

From the speech, it is clear that Pericles was right about hisarguments. This is evident in the history and thriving democracy thathad been witnessed over time. The Athenian system of governance setthe stage for other western countries such as Britain and the UnitedStates. Athens also exhibited great cultures in the form of art andbeliefs. They were also welcoming as illustrated by the export ofculture. In conclusion, I can declare that the funeral oration byPericles was legitimate.


Thucydides(c.460/455-c.399 BCE): Pericles` &nbspfrom thePeloponnesian War (Book 2.34-46)