Homer’s epic poem The lliad and in Vergil’s epic The Aeneid Essay
The lliad, a masterpiece written by Homers, tells the story of a ten-year war in the plains surrounding Troy (llium). The war, which was fought by an alliance of Greek kings and the people of troy, began with an attack on troy to avenge the insults done to the king of Sparta when his wife ran off with the then prince of troy.
On the other hand, The Aeneid, written by Virgil, is a Latin epic poem, which tells of the story of Aeneas, the ancestor of the Romans. This article compares and contrasts two characters, Hera and Juno, of The IIiad and The Aeneid respectively in an attempt to demonstrate the change of Mediterranean culture.
Hera was the Goddess of fertility and women and sister to Zeus, the Greek king of the Gods. She is described as being jealous of Zeus’ lovers. In most places, she is described as being vengeful (Fagles, 2006, p.45).
She is also described as a hater of Trojans who always sides with the Greeks expressing uttermost hate and resentment for Paris. Her hate for Paris originates from his decision to name Aphrodite as the most beautiful goddesses in Greece leaving her out. He later married Helen who is described as the most beautiful woman in the world at his time (Fagles, 2006, p.47).
In Virgil’s epic, The Aeneid, Juno, the goddess, resented the Trojan people. She is described as being “wrathful because she was not chosen to judge Paris and because the descendants of Aeolus would presumably destroy her favorite city of Carthage” (Fagles, & Knox, 1990, p.31).
Her hatred for the Trojans was also increased by the fact that a Trojan known as Ganymede had replaced her daughter Hebe as the cupbearer of her husband Jupiter (Fagles, & Knox, 1990, p.31). She tries to bribe one of the Gods to prevent the Trojan fleet headed to Italy from reaching. She achieves this in a storm.
The two women represent two ages of the Mediterranean culture with distinct differences and similarities. For the case of Hera, her husband Zeus supports the Trojans because his mortal son is a hero in Trojan while Hera hates the Trojans (Fagles, 2006, p.24). These gods find themselves therefore in two opposing sides in the Trojan War. They follow it faithfully at times interfering in the battlefield to support their sides.
The war threatens to cause domestic wars in the family with Zeus cautious not to support the Trojans against the Greeks. Hera, on the other side, is secretly supporting the Greeks, and puts an idea in Achillleus’s mind to assemble the army in the war (Fagles, 2006, p.36). Athene however stops him from killing Agamemnon by holding his hair and advising him to abuse him verbally.
The two goddesses demonstrate a common Mediterranean culture in the two eras in which they existed. The role of families, unions, honor, and duty are distinctly portrayed with family bonds being put to the test. The women take a stand in weighty matters that opposes that of their husbands due to different reasons.
This demonstrates that the Mediterranean culture remained the same in these eras with only a change in the characters and situations involved. For Hera, she displays a jealous character that is consistent with most goddesses at the time, and she goes a step farther to protect her interests and family from even her husband (Fagles, 2006, p.24).
Both of them are cautious in dealing with matters sensitive to the family. They prefer using secretive means to achieve their desires while at the same time maintaining their family bonds. None of them is described to challenge their husband directly with the most effective method of challenge being the use of other Gods and mortal men.
Juno was against the Romans. She did all she could to prevent Aeneas’s victory, which she did not achieve (Fagles, & Knox, 1990, p.38). She is however successful in one front by delaying the Aeneas in their journey, but accidentally kills people she supported in the war. She also interferes with Aena’s life to achieve her personal political interests. This is characteristic of her, as she is described as making Dido a victim of her schemes and uses Allecto, an underworld power, to vanquish her enemies (Fagles, & Knox, 1990, p.67).
She does this with the help of her colleague Juturna. Juno is described as being stubborn and always plotting evil plans against the Trojans. She however tells her husband to take her three favorite cities to crush them without her defense. She does this to convince her husband that there is no enmity between them to serve as an example for other gods. In this claim, she invokes her father Saturn and claims that it is an honor to be among the gods.
This demonstrates the Greeks love and value for family at the time and the importance of family roots. It also demonstrates the position of women in the society at the time with her description being that of a strong willed dedicated ruler though at the same time a merciless god with the desire to see her intentions through.
Hera, on the other hand, is a loving mother with deep respect for her husband besides her overprotection for her family. She is jealous at the children that her husband Zeus has with other women. She advises her children not to interact with them. She also claims that these children have no right over her own to inherit their father’s estates and powers. This demonstrates a change in the Mediterranean culture over the family relationships and value for children, the value of monogamy, and close family ties.
In the Greek era, Hera is described as being the queen of all the other gods and one who is responsible for the unity of the Olympians. She is also the god of marriage, family, and childbirth with most people praying to her for unity and fertility.
On the other hand, Juno, the Roman equivalent of Hera, is the queen of all the other gods at the time. She is the leader and patron of the army who commands all the soldiers in the land (Fagles, & Knox, 1990, p.31). She is more vigilant and violent compared to Hera with a more active role in virtually all the wars taking place in the land.
Women in the Roman times are portrayed as being patriotic to their country. They played a central role in decision making indicating a change from Greeks’ culture where women influenced only those in their families and close relatives. The Mediterranean region is therefore under transition in the two periods with the gods playing a vital role in this case.
In the two challenging eras in the history of the Mediterranean era, honor is challenged with both instances showing differing levels of loyalty. For the Greek era, Hera is described as showing honor for her children though she denies the same to her husband by supporting his rivals. In the Roman times, Juno does the same. She openly criticizes her husband besides working against his interests.
In their reign as gods, Hera and Juno have similar actions even though their lives are 800 years apart. It is therefore difficult to demonstrate any significant difference between the Greeks and the Romans. In Hera’s time, the Greeks had built up cities and segregated themselves with many of them having kings ruling over them. These brought about conflicts amongst themselves and frequently required the intervention of their gods.
However, they are described to unite against a common enemy as they did against the kingdom of troy. The gods here took sides and even risked breaking family ties with most of them doing it against their husbands and relatives’ wills. In the Roman time, there is unity with only one ruler over them. Similar to the Greeks, the Roman gods also had split opinions and ideas on the wars being fought. This demonstrates the similarities between the two times.
In conclusion, the Mediterranean culture at two different times is explored through two characters, Hera and Juno, who lived at different times with a space of about 800 years between them. In both eras, there is a similarity in the characters of the two goddesses existing in the city-state based Greeks’ period and the Roman Empire, which had united centuries later.
Both periods in the Mediterranean are turbulent with family ties being challenged by the differing loyalties. There is little change in attitudes towards honor, duty, and family based on the different characters of Hera and Juno used to demonstrate this inference.
Fagles, R., & Knox, B. (1990). The Iliad. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Viking.
Fagles, R. (2006). The Aeneid. New York: Viking.
The Odyssey by Homer Essay
The most striking feature of Odysseus is deception. It is evident that in the land of the gods, the tricksters have a better chance of survival. The reader might view it as acts of lack of honor, which could be true. However, deception was the best resource that Odysseus possessed.
The character’s ability to improvise false stories and devise trickery plans is outstanding and draws the reader’s attentions closer. Throughout the play Odyssey does not struggle to reveal himself to anyone as a trustworthy person. Deception is a vital tool for survival in this story, considering that not all events favor the protagonist. This paper seeks to show how lying has been employed as a survival tool in Homer’s work “the Odyssey”.
The Trojan horse trick against Polyphemos is an instance that gets Odysseus out of trouble. The soldiers disguise themselves in a body of Trojan horse to conceal their identity. Odysseus and his accomplices disguise themselves as rams to hide from Polyphemos. Another instance of deception is when Odysseus pretends to be a beggar to keep himself safe. He also pretended to be a beggar to test the loyalty of others and to devise his plan of overthrowing the other suitors (Homer 93-96).
Amid all deceptions, the protagonist is viewed as an honest soldier going against all odds. The protagonist uses the deceits to acquire a strong team of followers. The followers view the protagonist as the voice of reason, an inspiring figure to continue fighting. Their hero is their reason of continuing no matter the change of challenges.
The hero uses deception to create a symbol of ideals and exemplifies what the group believes. The hero makes his followers to respect him in order to obey him. As a consequence of deception, the hero endures more problems than his followers.
In the story, deception is not always meant to cause harm to other people. Some instances of deception are meant to help other people to get out of trouble. In the story lies have been used as tool for encouragement especially in family relationships. In the absence of the father, a woman takes the role of the husband inform of disguise. This is not meant to do any harm but just as way of encouraging a child who may be totally dependent on the father’s advice (Homer 99-105).
Deception has been used as a manipulation tool. The protagonist lies to be someone he is not in order to manipulate people to do something that will be to his advantage. By way of embodiment Odysseus is able to pretend to be somebody else. A good example was when Odysseus pretended to be a beggar, and also when he pretended to be somebody else to test his wife’s trust. In the story, a character is able to achieve this by lying that she is a god and at the same time makes sacrifices as a human (Homer 435).
Lies have been used to test the hospitability of other people. Odysseus transforms himself to beggar so as to test character of others whether they can be hospitable or not. Odysseus was able to pretend to be a beggar and creep all along the borders of enemy line that he was fighting without being noticed. His creativity as a liar gives him an advantage over his enemies. This made him win battles and came out as a war hero but it was all through deception (Homer 255).
Deception has been used as tool to get honor. Many instances of deception have made Odysseus to stand out as a hero to his acquaintances. The soldiers trust his wit and follow his ideas which end up rescuing them in times of trouble.
When Odysseus went to a new place where the natives did not recognize him and, it became easy to win their honor through lies. Odysseus lies to have come from a lineage of a wealthy family. He lied that his wealthy father died and left him with a lot of properties. The story represents a community that emphasizes on an individual’s lineage in matters relating to marriage.
In order to win the trust of a wealthy family, it becomes important to use deception. Due to honor of his father as a wealthy person, he is able to marry a girl from family with a lineage of wealth. This is arguably the negative consequence of deception, but on the contrary, Homer has used it to show the readers the extent of desperateness that his protagonist was going through (Homer 220).
Deceptions have been used in testing other people’s emotions. Sometimes it is hard to know what people are capable of when they are emotional. As means to protect yourself from their emotions you can lie to them so as you can know them better. In the play Odysseus tests the emotions of his father by lying to him about his identity by pretending that he was another person. He only reveals his identity when his father gets emotional. This deception gave him an opportunity to read his father’s mind, a chance to understand how he would react when the emotions take the best of him.
Deception has been used as a way of testing someone’s love. This is based on the fact that a person in love is primarily supposed to defend her love especially to strangers. Odysseus talks ill about himself when disguised to give him an opportunity of reading the mind of Penelope. In this way Odysseus uses his disguise to test if Penelope loves him by speaking to her as a stranger (Homer 200).
Deception has been used to show cleverness. Cleverness has been used to depict the characters of people in the play. Many of the actions displayed by Athena throughout the play shows how clever she was. She wants to help Odysseus after realizing he was lying .She does this using deceptive means.
It is through cleverness that gives Penelope value which makes Odysseus to like her but achieves this through lies. Athena wants Odysseus to be inspired by the beauty of Penelope so that he can know what he would be fighting for. She must be clever enough to accomplish this and does it using lies (Homer 503).
Deception has been used as a test of loyalty for the protagonist to know the people he could trust. In the play Odysseus was able on spy his servants to know whether they were loyal to him. He was able know those who were disloyal to him by his act of sleeping outside.
Even though he gets them he is unable to take any actions because he feared being blackmailed by another nurse who had identified him. He used deceit to identify he men who had invaded his home. The reasons for doing this was to enable him identify the loyal people who he could trust and work with (Homer 502).
Deception has been used as a tool of vengeance. Odysseus revenge could not have gone through if he had not used deceit. He is able to accomplish his revenge mission on the suitor who once a conflict with by killing him through deceit. He takes the advantage during the contest to win Penelope in marriage to kill the suitor first.
Using deceits he kills those suitors who were disloyal to him and saves those who seemed of good character to him. In the end he is able to kill the maids who were disloyal to him by using by blackmailing the old nurse who brings them to him. It was the plan of deceit that enabled him to accomplish his vengeance.
Homer. The Odyssey. New York: Plain Label Books, 2009. Print.
Human Potential in Rig Veda, Genesis and Homer’s Odyssey Essay
The Rig Veda focuses on various human ideals to show how they are related to spiritualism. In Veda texts, the concept of Dhyana influences human thinking processes and guides people to be more rational in their actions. Human beings need to meditate from time to time to find out specific modes of behaviour they need to observe.
They also need to understand various social systems that influence how they attain specific goals they have set for themselves. A person who is willing to build and sustain strong communal relations with other people easily attains inner peace (Doniger 67). As a result, he is able to get rewarding experiences from different people who reciprocate benevolent actions he shows them.
The Rig Veda asserts that human potential is limitless because every person is born free. Human beings are gifted creatures because they have a conscience which makes them distinguish right actions from wrong ones. As a result, they need to make rational choices to enable them attain good results in different activities they take part in. The concept of Dhyana encourages human beings to overcome various environmental constraints that limit them from achieving their goals (Doniger 72).
Therefore, they need to engage in activities that strengthen their conviction and commitment. Humanity has an important role to play because it encourages all people to treat other people with respect and love to strengthen emotional connections that define their relationships. As a result, human beings need to prepare themselves for various challenges by being more interested in various activities that happen around them.
More on the Topic What are the major conflicts in the Odyssey? What are the allusions in the Odyssey? How many suitors in the Odyssey have taken over the house? What’s the Role of Phemius in the Odyssey?
The concept of consciousness allows human beings to express their solidarity with other people to help them live more fulfilling lives. Human beings are a mirror of the universe because of social, emotional and physical ties that bind them together. As a result, they are able to understand their own failings and those of other people, to find out how they affect their happiness.
They use their own judgment to find out if they are capable of attaining their personal goals and if need be, they build alliances to help them achieve their objectives. The Rig Veda argues that both inward and outward expressions of human emotions help people to understand themselves better. As a result, they are able to understand their purpose and responsibilities they are expected to perform to attain inner fulfilment (Doniger 76).
Human behaviour and personality determine whether a person realizes his potential or not. Since humans need to have strong beliefs, they need to use their knowledge to engage with others to improve their overall understanding. Humans have discerning instincts which make them more curious about different issues around them. As a result, this curiosity makes humans to become more interested in exploring ideas to discover new solutions to various problems that exist.
There are different thinking processes which human beings need to follow to become more enlightened (Doniger 79). Every individual needs to have some form of self-discovery to find out more about his true purpose in life. The Rig Veda argues that every person needs to have a vision and he or she should be motivated by a strong drive to achieve it. Human beings need to engage in positive actions that help them achieve their full potential in different locations they live in.
Homer’s Odyssey uses the concept of heroism to explain how human determination enables human beings to succeed in different activities they do. The concept of heroism is accurately presented by Odyssey, who overcomes various challenges he encounters to succeed.
Odyssey’s travels make him experience a myriad of problems which strengthen his ability to endure various problems to achieve his goal. The value of hard work is used to explain how human beings need to be prepared to make sacrifices to succeed in different engagements they take part in.
Human beings as exemplified in the text have the capability to be whatever they want to be as long as they are willing to invest time and energy in different activities. Heroism manifests itself during difficult times when everyone has lost hope for a better tomorrow (Doherty 82). As a result, human beings need to have strong personal discipline to enable them achieve their personal objectives.
More about This Topic What does Mentor do for Odysseus in the Odyssey? Which excerpt from The Odyssey best shows that the ancient Greeks greatly valued the idea of home? Which excerpt from the Odyssey best demonstrates the importance of perseverance in Greek society? What are some of the apparent values in the Iliad and the Odyssey?
In the Odyssey, heroism is used as a benchmark that measures whether a person is willing to do all he can to realize his full potential. Homer’s epic narrative demonstrates that collective values and responsibilities define human character and they determine the level of success a person gets out of various activities.
The concepts of time and virtue are treasured by Homer in all his writings (Doherty 88). An individual needs to carry out specific actions when the time is right to achieve good outcomes. Virtue guides a person morally making him more committed to various ethical principles that are important for his success. The Odyssey emphasizes that virtue makes human beings set high moral standards that encourage them to attain their personal as well as collective societal goals.
Odyssey turned down pleasure and riches to focus on his mission. He used deceptive means to triumph over his enemies on several occasions. His individual acts of humanity made him take part in dangerous activities, without taking time to think about his personal happiness and comfort. Odyssey’s story exemplifies all experiences people go through as they seek to accomplish various goals in their lives (Doherty 95).
The story confirms that the inner feeling of personal success is immeasurable. The concepts of devotion and commitment bind all human beings together because morally upright people are interested in the welfare of others. Therefore, every person needs to gain recognition from other people for his accomplishments to understand himself better. The story also reveals that every human being needs to understand how he can contribute positively to the society he lives in, to follow a path that guarantees him inner fulfilment.
The social ties a person has with people in the community determine whether he has what it takes to achieve his full potential. Odyssey managed to overcome his troubles by reuniting with his family. Even though he faced many obstacles, he was able to build beneficial relationships with people wherever he went and this made him gain favour and respect. The story confirms that the mind, body and soul have to be in good condition to enable a person gain inner happiness.
All human beings need to have the right balance in their lives to make them more contented. The Odyssey story manages to show that human potential is a trait that is inborn and every person needs to tap into it to realize his true destiny (Doherty 98). During times of hardships, human beings are able to unite to forge ahead because they are able to come together to tackle different problems they are facing.
The book of Genesis in the Holy Bible explains the importance of human origins and development. The values that are advanced through the book explain why human beings hold a special place in the world. The story of Adam and Eve, the first human beings on earth and their encounter with Satan who appeared to them in form of a serpent, offer crucial lessons on human nature.
The curious nature of Eve and Adam after getting tempted to eat the forbidden fruit exposed them to a world they never knew existed (Turner 18). Humans as shown through Genesis are very intelligent yet they do not always live up to common expectations. The story reveals that patience helps human beings to be more focused after experiencing different incidents that increase their wisdom.
Further Research What Excerpt from Part 2 of the Odyssey Best Establishes Odysseus’s Weakness? Which Greek values are found in The Odyssey? Why The Odyssey is an epic poem? In the Odyssey – Amphimedon, what motivates Odysseus to dress as a beggar?
Therefore, it is easy for human beings to make mistakes in their lives by making bad choices. The story of Lot and his wife shows that in some instances, focusing too much on the past can lead to self destruction. In some instances, a person has to undergo a transformational phase to make a fresh start in life. The story also reveals that human beings should be wary of destructive influences that are likely to lead them astray from their true purpose in life.
Every individual needs to find out what he lives for to understand what he needs to do to attain personal fulfilment (Turner 26). It is important for every person to open up his mind to more positive influences that are likely to change the way he lives to help him build positive relationships with other people. Genesis encourages every human being to be guided by good intentions in all activities he takes part in to ensure he does not deviate from his true purpose in life.
The concept of punishment as used in Genesis demonstrates that whenever people go astray, they need to get reprimanded to make them more responsible. For instance, the punishment meted out by God against people who failed to heed Noah’s advice, shows the true value of obedience and humility.
This punishment makes people understand that all actions have consequences and there is always a price to pay for every choice a person makes (Turner 37). The book shows that for a person to achieve full potential, he needs to adopt positive habits that make him live a righteous life. This understanding helps a person to exercise good judgment in every activity he does to avoid compromising his personal values.
Human beings have been blessed with knowledge that makes them distinguish good actions from bad ones. This influences the concept of humanity and encourages people to set codes and high standards of behaviour which everyone must conform to. The concepts of obedience, respect and trust are all based on interactions human beings have with each other (Turner 42).
As a result, people who build strong relationships with other people are able to realize their full potential in different societies they live in. Since they are the most intelligent creatures, they need to make sure that they do not harm other people as they pursue their individual aspirations. This will enable them have positive interactions with other people in different societies they live in.
Doherty, Lillian Eileen. Homer’s Odyssey. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.
Doniger, Wendy. The Rig Veda. London: Penguin Books, 2005. Print.
Turner, Laurence A. Genesis. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2009. Print.
“On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer” vs. “Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus” : Compare & Contrast Essay
In his poem On first looking into Chapman’s Homer, Keats reacts with delight to a translation of the ancient Greek epics. Because Chapman was roughly a contemporary of Shakespeare, his version is tough to understand for modern readers. It is, indeed, however, lively and poetic. This feeling of being transported by the book is deeply familiar to anyone trying to read a great work of literature. He offers a fine argument for reading writing from all times and cultures.
If, as it seems from his poem, Keats had previously only tried to translate Homer himself, it is understandable that Chapman was a joyous revelation. Keats shows how he is transported by Homer in a way he never anticipated by using vivid examples of other new and unexpected items.
He compares the sensation of finding a strange celestial body or discovering a new ocean. These are both images that suggest that there is still more to learn and find in Homer, as in a new planet or a new body of water. That is the way that science fiction affects some people, and indeed the way that the fully imagined fantasy worlds of Tolkien and Rowling affect younger readers.
Keats demonstrates a feeling that anyone who has tried to struggle through a great work in its original language can recognize. For someone who is studying in a second language, this happens often. A good translation is a great gift, if not a necessity, although reading in the original, as Keats must-have, is also helpful.
A good translation is a great gift, if not a necessity, although reading in the original, as Keats must-have, is also helpful.
Giving readers the sense of being immersed in the world of the Greeks and the Trojans, or in the world of any fine literature, is a goal for many writers. The experience of another time and place through the author’s words is one of the most compelling reasons for sharing great works across nations and times. If readers are experiencing each other’s current lives and history through their reading, then there is perhaps a higher chance of keeping the peace with one another.
Keats shows the reader, in this poem of appreciation, just how important reading is to him. His imagery makes a powerful case for reading across national, linguistic, and temporal boundaries.
Frankenstein: A Modern Prometheus presents the 21st-century reader with many challenges. Although many people may think that they know the story in its significant outlines, actually reading it opens up some surprising and disturbing insights on the plot, the nature of society in the early 1800s, and holds up a mirror to contemporary society as well.
More about Frankenstein Who Killed William in Frankenstein? What Does Frankenstein Do after His Creation Comes to Life? Which of the Conflicts in Frankenstein Drives the Story Forward? What Do Victor and Walton Have in Common in Frankenstein? How Are Frankenstein and Prometheus Alike? What Is the Theme of Frankenstein?
One of the most striking features, to a modern reader, of Frankenstein: A Modern Prometheus is that the action that is focused on so heavily by film adaptations occupies only a few lines of the novel.
The story of Frankenstein’s creation is embedded in and surrounded by several other stories; the story of Elizabeth’s joining of the family, the story of Justine, and the story of Arctic exploration that frames the tale. These are all almost as important as the scientific achievement of the Frankenstein, or the odyssey of the created being himself. This makes reading the novel a matter of locating the familiar amongst all the rest of the story.
In addition, the modern reader may find themselves horrified by the superficial attitude towards others that is revealed in so many of the characters. The poor creation of Frankenstein is rejected and allowed to leave the apartment with no further investigation, entirely because he is ugly. Furthermore, Justine is fostered by Frankenstein’s family largely because she is pretty. Modern readers may deplore the laser focus in appearance that is shown in the current media, but it seems that this is nothing new.
Furthermore, the method of determining Justine’s guilt or innocence portrayed in the novel is terrifyingly imprecise and seems deeply unjust. This situation makes Frankenstein’s silence all the more horrifying and deplorable. A modern view would suggest that he could have found a way to point the finger of guilt in the correct direction without going into all the details of his creation’s origins Frankenstein looks truly like a coward or worse, and certainly not a hero. It suggests that the ‘monster’ is more appropriately the hero of the tale.
Reading this in its original pre-movie form offers a useful window into the life and thought in the 19th century. It reveals a complex and more nuanced story that forces the reader to examine current attitudes as well.
Roles of Women in “The Odyssey” by Homer Essay
The Odyssey was written at a time when men played a key role in society. During this period of civilization, men controlled society. Women, on the other hand, were identified to hold inferior positions in the community compared to men. Women had no opportunity to comment on the daily activities of the society. It was left for men to dictate what was to be done, and women would follow.
However, according to Greek society, women were valued but were not given responsibility roles and could not make decisions. It is on this point that Homer puts women into roles that had not been expected in society. This paper discusses several roles women could take in the Ancient Greek society, as shown in The Odyssey.
The significant role of women in the story is seduction. This can be seen in the episode when Odysseus and his men come to Circe’s Island and get attracted by the goddess’s enchanting voice.
Although the goddess was rather dangerous and treacherous, Odysseus and his men lost their prudence and could not resist her when she invited them into the house for a feast. The story shows that the voice of the goddess was sweet and lovely. It attracted men to visit her in her house.
Men desired to be with Circe, which allowed the goddess to take advantage of their weakness to keep them under her subjection (Homer 211). She was able to trick the men, and through magical power, she was able to turn them into swine. From this information, Circe has been used to portray the power of women in manipulating men. Men fell for the sweet and lovely voice of the monster.
Further Research What are the major conflicts in the Odyssey? Who is Hermes in the Odyssey? Which part of the Odyssey is about learning patience and humility? Which Greek values are found in The Odyssey?
Women, in this epic, play seductive roles, where men are attracted by the singing of a monster which seduces them to admire the goddess (Homer line 221). The singing seduced men to admire the goddess and made them forget about the danger that lay ahead of them.
It shows the power of women in influencing men. Although men are shown to be strong in society, a little persuasion from a woman can make him change his mind. The goddess was able to trick men because of her lovely and sweet singing.
Odysseus makes the goddess swear that he did not have an evil intention against him. This reflects how an appeal by a woman can make a man lose his dominance in society. Although Odysseus had been warned of the seductive intentions of the goddess on the island, he still fell for her. He remained on the island for a year, forgetting about his home coming.
Therefore, the goddess seduced him to stay on the island and forget that his wife was waiting for him back home. Lack of desire for his wife, which would have made him go back home, was created by the goddess through her seductive ways. She influenced Odyssey’s disregard for his family back home. This is a clear indication that women are portrayed as seductive creatures in The Odyssey.
In the history of human civilization, women were shown as weak vessels in society. Decision making was left to men. Women were not given any responsibility in society. However, the author gives them roles that manipulate men, hence portraying them as seductive. It makes society open its eyes to see the power of women in society. Their sexuality is a power of influence that denies even the mightiest of men his dominance.
More about This Topic Who is Melantho? What does Tiresias tell Odysseus Who is Irus? Why Telemachus murdered the maids and Melanthius?
The story indicates that Odyssey lived with Kalypso on her island for seven years. According to Homer (line153), the persona indicates that the nymph was no longer pleasing to him. It suggests that Odyssey had spent enough time with the goddess and did not want her anymore. The story indicates that when Odyssey wanted to return home, the goddess convinced him to stay with her.
The process of being convinced by Kalypso shows seductress roles of women in the story. Women having control over men with the power of their sexuality describes a change of the guard in society. Those who were seen as weak and inferior have turned into powerful and superior characters in the story. Another item of seduction is shown through Penelope, who has been identified as a faithful woman to her husband (Homer 109).
Her husband is seen having affairs with other women. However, Penelope waits for her husband, even when other suitors are asking for her hand in marriage. She shows her manipulative skills when she tricks men who want to marry her in several incidents knowing well that she was not ready to marry any of them.
As has been mentioned above, Ancient Greece was a patriarchal society where men ruled, and women obeyed. However, Homer shows that when there is no man, a woman can become a master who is taking care of a household or even a country and a master of people’s lives. Thus, Homer shows how powerful it can be under certain circumstances.
Penelope loses her master, and she has to become a master of the land until her son, a man, is mature enough to become the master. Circe, “the bewitching queen of Aeaea,” is ruling an entire island, and she is even able to rule some supernatural forces (Homer 212).
Of course, she is not a mortal woman as she is a nymph and is beyond the laws of human society. Finally, it is possible to mention the most powerful female character, Athena, “daughter of Zeus whose shield is thunder – tireless one” (Homer 148). She helps mortals and, of course, she is a daughter of the mightiest god.
Clearly, Homer shows that women could exercise authority and be powerful in the absence of a man. Importantly, the woman has to be privileged to exercise authority. Thus, Penelope is a righteous wife. Athena and Circe are goddesses.
Insidiousness and Trouble-Making
An example of a woman who is not privileged and, hence, cannot be in power is Clytemnestra. The woman betrayed her husband and killed him. Of course, this woman could not possibly exercise any authority. Homer presents Clytemnestra as a “denied voice” (McDermott 2).
This woman has no right to rule or even speak as she has a stigma. She dared to break the rules of the patriarchal world, and she is regarded as a trouble-maker in The Odyssey. She reveals another behavioral pattern which is very different from that of a righteous wife, Penelope. Clytemnestra serves to show another kind of a female in Greek society.
More on the Topic What are Odysseus’s Strengths and Weaknesses? Why Does Odysseus Go to The Underworld? What does the sun symbolize for Odysseus and his men? Why does Poseidon hate Odysseus?
Of course, it is impossible to omit Helen in this list of trouble-makers. Though Helen is a central character in the epic, Homer uses this female character to show what grief and suffering can be caused by a woman, “What armies of us died for the sake of Helen” (Homer 263).
Of course, Helen is also a kind of antipode to Penelope as the latter is always faithful and trying to bring peace while the former is the reason for the horrible war. Again, this can be regarded as an example of the way the woman was treated in the society of that time. For Ancient Greeks, women were often a cause of some trouble and, hence, they were seen as inferior. Women were to be controlled to keep them away from dangerous situations.
It is also important to mention that the characters of Helen and Penelope are also different in terms of their loyalty. Penelope is loyal to her husband in all respects while Helen ran away with another man. Penelope is a faithful partner who can be trusted and who can support her husband and their child. Odyssey is afraid of possible infidelity of Penelope, but it is clear that he believes in her chastity.
She hates her suitors and is “worn with pain and sobbing, / further spells of grief and storms of tears” (Homer 150). Therefore, loyalty is an assigned quality any righteous woman has to possess, according to Homer and the rest of the Ancient Greek society.
Everybody is bound to shed “tears of grief” while listening about “the loyal wife’s way when her husband’s died abroad” (Homer 305). Van Oenen claims that this quality is developing throughout the entire story, and each event makes Penelope stronger and more loyal (222). Ancient Greeks valued this quality above all the rest.
Notably, Penelope loves and respects her husband. She calls him her “lionhearted husband” and “a great man whose fame resounds through Hellas / right to the depths of Argos” (Homer 88). There is only one human being she loves apart from Odyssey. This person is their son. Of course, the woman is meant to be devoted to her husband and her son.
Apparently, in Ancient Greece, it was a norm for a woman to live for a man, to be absorbed by the world of her beloved. Thus, even when Penelope has to remarry to save her son from a horrible death, she can make this sacrifice as she does not belong to herself.
She is ready to get married as she says, “Whatever glow I had died long ago” (Homer 381). She does not care about herself as she is concerned with her son’s future. Hence, in The Odyssey, it is postulated that the woman has to live her husband’s life and be ready to make sacrifices.
Women have been shown as objects of beauty that use manipulation and trickery to get what they want from men and society. The author portrays them as making use of their intelligence and female strength to achieve their desired goals. It is indeed true that the author of The Odyssey depicts all female characters in the epic as seductive creatures in society.
More about The Odyssey How does Odysseus escape from Polyphemus? How does Odysseus escape Charybdis the second time? Why Odysseus is an Example of a Dynamic Character? Which part of Odysseus’s epic journey is fighting the suitors?
At the same time, the author reveals other roles assigned to women in Ancient Greek society. Thus, the woman can be a powerful leader if she is a righteous and privileged female, of course. It is also shown that the woman has to be loyal and devoted to her man. Otherwise, a woman is regarded as a trouble-maker who is to be controlled and even oppressed.
Homer. The Odyssey. New York, NY: Penguin, 1997. Print.
McDermott, J.R. “Transgendering Clytemnestra.” The McGill Journal of Classical Studies 2.1 (2002): 1-8. Print.
Van Oenen, Gijs. “Fabrications of Self: Identity Formation in the Odyssey.” Cultural Values 5.2 (2001): 221-244. Print.
Gender Role Expectations in “The Odyssey” by Homer Essay
The Odyssey by Homer represents many characters of female monsters and immortals, which significantly influence Odysseus’s journey. These characters include Calypso, Circe, Sirens, Scylla, and Charybdis among others, and their role in Odysseus’s life is critical to have an effect on his further course in the hero’s journey. The reason is that, in most cases depicted in the work, these female characters are even more powerful than male mortals, or they have power equal to male gods. Although female characters in The Odyssey can be viewed as evil creatures that are not determined by their gender, Homer would consider gender equality as a cultural monster because of associated threats and anxiety.
Women depicted by Homer in his work seem to be the source of danger and obstacles for men in the case when they have too much power. There are many situations in the work when Odysseus as a man cannot control his choice, course, crew, and even his will because of the females’ impact. Thus, when Homer depicts female characters, including monsters, as having power equal to that of males, it is possible to state that he considers gender equality as a cultural monster leading to destruction. The reason is that many behaviors of these female characters are masculine in their nature, and they need to be further discussed with reference to examples.
There are many illustrations of a kind of gender equality in The Odyssey, especially when discussing the behavior and actions of female immortals. For instance, Calypso and Circe try to seduce Odysseus, and in this case, they act like men when avoiding a submissive role in relationships (Homer 64-80). Sirens also play a similar role while attracting men for the purpose of seducing them (Homer 157-160). In this case, female Sirens even have more power than males because mortals cannot cope with the desire to succumb to the temptation. These examples demonstrate that immortal women in The Odyssey tend to act as men, and this behavior is almost always dangerous for males.
Scylla and Charybdis represent the other type of female monsters in the work who also have powers to control men. Thus, Scylla and Charybdis embody disgusting female immortal creatures that are also irresistible. They are not attractive, sensitive or helpful like other depicted female immortals in The Odyssey, but they seem to personify all the evil associated with women and give a reason not to trust females. The actions of these monsters are masculine as their goal is to do all possible to kill Odysseus and the members of his crew (Homer 158-167). As a result, the body of a female monster in The Odyssey can be viewed as a cultural concept associated with gender equality fearing the males of the period when Homer lived and wrote his story.
It is possible to state that the gender-related expectations regarding female immortals in The Odyssey are not supported in most cases depicted in the work. Instead, it seems that Homer refers to female monsters as the examples to demonstrate the destructive consequences of regarding women as strong human beings or individuals equal to men. From this perspective, it is possible to conclude that Homer would perceive the idea of gender equality depicted in a specific manner in his work as a kind of a cultural monster that needs to be avoided.
Homer. The Odyssey. Translated by Anthony Verity, Oxford University Press, 2016.
‘Homer’s The Odyssey’ by Bernhard Frank Literature Analysis Essay
The book ‘Homer’s The Odyssey’ written by Frank Bernhard is a speculation of why The Odyssey is represented in a non-chronological manner. Bernhard makes use of clear words and concrete examples as well as numerous quotes to articulate his belief that the cause and sequence of the events in this book were created on purpose by Homer so as to generate and elicit optimism to the readers.
The book revolves around Odysseus as the main character. Odysseus took the initiative and bred Argos in the best way possible not just to have it as his faithful hunting dog but to protect him from any hunting beast that would want to flee him from the deep places in the woods (Bernhard 246). This brings out a loyal servant-master relationship between the two.
As brought out in the book, Odysseus fits well as being a great hero and Agro a loyal servant. Agro waited despondently for Odysseus to return after a period of twenty years. To keep his readers glued to the book, Bernhard makes use of different writing styles and methods like keeping the readers in suspense.
He does not introduce the main character till later in the book. He also makes use of what can be referred to as the ‘Homeric” method. Bernhard achieves this by creating a contrast between two female characters who were of great significance to Odysseus. The two female characters were Penelope; his mortal wife and Calypso; who was the immortal goddess.
By omitting the presence of Odysseus, Bernhard wants the readers to believe that Penelope’s devotion and faithfulness are intensified. This is seen when she embraces familial love that Odysseus yearned for. The author introduces the Island as a significant place not just as the place Odysseus called home for more than seven years but the place where Penelope played a crucial role in his life before Odysseus reached Phaeacians Island. Bernhard states that ‘She is the last of Odysseus’ adventures on his way to the island.
More about Homer’s The Odyssey Which excerpt from The Odyssey best shows that the ancient Greeks greatly valued the idea of home? What are some of the apparent values in the Iliad and the Odyssey? Which excerpt from the Odyssey demonstrates the importance of hospitality in Greek society? Why The Odyssey is an epic poem?
The book uses its characters to examine the inner meaning of The Odyssey structure. There are several speculations that come up in the book which try to embrace the common optimism brought out by the author. A good example is the fact that as long as Odysseus remained hidden and secluded, his state would remain to be neither that of the dead nor of the living. By this, Bernhard provides valid examples of the deadly sins committed by Odysseus. The sins acted as tests to how much he could endure.
This was symbolic of the years he spent on Calypso Island. Odysseus is also held accountable for his actions in the book. The Polyphemus episode for example provides solid evidence for the faults committed by Odysseus. The episode also presents to the reader the accurate and true picture of Odysseus. The Polyphemus episode is different from most of the examples in the book. Most of the examples are about men’s faults but this is more specific as it directly portrays Odysseus faults.
Despite his faults, Odysseus is still brought out by Bernhard as being a hero and appreciated by the people around him. He prefers to show the admiration for Odysseus stoicism rather than fulfilling the wish of the readers. A good example is how the author relates the dog’s height and misery and Odysseus self control (Bernhard 202).
Though not emotionally attached to the dog, he was angered at the disrespectful display of the reactions of people around him. The trip to the Underworld serves as the turning point in the story as it was during this trip that Odysseus got enlightened.
Bernhard takes his time to describe this trip which ultimately led to self control and wisdom that guided Odysseus in his future trails. Athena states that “make his name by sailing there” (Fagles 482). This meant that it is after Odysseus witnessed all those hardships in the Islands that he decided to change his ways. He consequently overcame temptations and learned moderation by allowing himself to be tied up as he passed through the island of the Sirens.
More on the Topic How Performers Memorize an Epic Poem? What Can Be Inferred about the Cyclops? How does Eurycleia recognize Odysseus? How is Odysseus an Epic Hero?
Prior this trip to the Underworld, Odysseus and other characters had faced many challenges which they succumbed to and committed sins of greed, sloth, lust, pride, and envy. The episode of the Lotus eaters is a good illustration of the challenges and sins committed by Odysseus and his men. Fagles implicitly described Odysseus sins; “Of all that breaths and crawls across the earth, our mother earth breeds nothing feebler than a man” (Fagles 150). Fagles mean that he was leading a careless life yet he was a feeble man. This implied if continued to live that way, he was destined to fall.
After realizing his mistakes and conquering few trails that were still on his way, Odysseus is so determined to return to his homeland and family. “Odysseus, man of exploits, still eager to leave at once and hurry back your own home, your beloved native land”(Fagles 223). Despite the life he was leading, Odysseus wanted to go back to his wife and home. The last chapter in the book leaves the reader with a vivid image of Odysseus admiration for his family and homeland and how his return was important.
Fear of the Unknown, Cunning, and Hospitality in Homer’s Odyssey
Although one may not believe it, in our everyday world contrasting to that of ancient Greece, heroic-like trials can be found in the most mundane of events. Though I may not be a beefy Greek warrior living in the twelfth century like Odysseus, I have had my fair share of taxing experiences similar to that of Odysseus’ in Homer’s Odyssey. To achieve his goal of going home to Ithaca and to achieve my own goals, Odysseus and I had to overcome fear of the unknown, utilize cunning, and determine how to treat others hospitably
Fear is an emotion that can be found in any being, so it is not surprising that both I and Odysseus had to overcome it to reach our individual goals. In order to participate in a floor routine at gymnastics competitions I had to, learn how to do a back handspring which terrified me. Similarly, Odysseus was terrified at the thought of traveling to Hades, Land of the Dead, which he shows when he cries, “This broke my spirit.” (10.519) After Circe tells him of his fate, Odysseus is forlorn, for he is traveling into the unknown, which obviously scares him. Likewise, doing a back handspring scared me, because being unable to see where I was going before flipping over backward is what I considered to be the scary unknown. Nevertheless, both of us accomplished our goal, I managed to start practicing on a trampoline, and Odysseus and his crew mustered up their courage and sailed to Hades in the end. Fear is simply and emotion that all humans have in common, but what Odysseus and I shared was the ability to overcome it, but it is the use of a trait, cunning that that makes us all the more alike.
Cunning is a trait that Odysseus is most often remarked upon, but it is also a trait that we have both utilized in similar situations. Just over winter break I participated in an escape room with my friends, and it was a situation where we all had to use our wits to get out. Odysseus’ circumstances were decidedly more life-threatening but still similar to mine, for he had to use his mind when attempting to outsmart the cyclopes, Polyphemus and escape his cave. A prime instance of Odysseus using his brain is, when addressing Polyphemus he says, “You ask me my name, my glorious name-Noman is my name.” (9. 361-4) It is very clever for Odysseus to get Polyphemus drunk and state “Noman” as his attackers name, for it allows Odysseus to escape because the other cyclopes were under the pretense that no man was attacking Polyphemus. I was also clever when I solved small riddles and clues, integral to fleeing the escape room. Odysseus and I both accomplished our goal, for my friends and I managed to exit the room within the allotted amount of time, and Odysseus finally escaped the cyclopes’ cavern after stabbing out Polyphemus’ eye with his crewmates. Cunning was used in parallel instances for me and Odysseus, because we both had to escape from a situation by using our brains, yet it is not only cleverness, but also hospitality that we have in common.
Everyone must interact with people at some point in their lives, and it can be hard to know how to interact or approach people that one is not familiar with, but Odysseus and I made it work when we were both in an unfamiliar situation with people we did not know. On my first day at Free State High School I was very nervous because I did not yet know anyone but once others acted hospitable towards me, I found it very easy to be friends with them. When he arrived at Phaeacia, Odysseus was in a foreign situation with unfamiliar people, and his struggles were described when he thinks to himself, “How to approach this beautiful girl. Should [I] / Fall at her knees, or keep [my] distance / And ask her with honeyed word to show [me] / The way to the city and give [me] some clothes?” Odysseus’ hospitality is determined by how he chooses to approach Nausicaa, and it this situation it is shown just how well he is able to manipulate people. By first treating others kindly, I found that others would react in kind and I was able to make new friends. By heaping praise upon the royals of Phaeacia, Odysseus was able to make an ally out of the Phaeacians to further attain his goal of going home to Ithaca. By being hospitable Odysseus and I were able to experience the hospitality of others and move a step closer to our goals of making allies within an unfamiliar atmosphere.
By overcoming fear of the unknown, wielding cunning, and determining how to treat others hospitably, Odysseus and I have shared a lot of experiences that shaped me into the person I am today and turned Odysseus into a person who could finally make it home to his family in Ithaca.
The Lessons of Loyalty in The Odyssey, a Poem by Homer
The Lessons of a Journey
The epic poem The Odyssey written by Homer and translated by Robert Fitzgerald is the story of a man as he embarks on an unexpectedly long and brutal journey home from the Trojan war with his crew of men. Along the way, the protagonist, Odysseus is confronted by many conflicts and obstacles that he must use his strength, skills, or quick thinking in order to overcome, learning important life lessons along the way. Throughout Odysseus’ travels in the epic poem The Odyssey, the reader can perceive the importance of loyalty and perseverance not only for the success of Odysseus in finding and reclaiming his home, but also to have success in society today.
The theme and life lesson of loyalty is demonstrated throughout the epic poem The Odyssey by Homer, as Odysseus must face many difficult challenges and temptations to abandon his family, his wife, his home, and his beliefs. By staying loyal, Odysseus is able to have a driving force behind his will to return to his home and family and ultimately succeed. For example, when Odysseus is trapped on the island of Ogygia, held hostage by the goddess Calypso, he is incredibly depressed, longing for his home and his family no matter what Calypso did for him: “By nights he would lie beside her, of necessity, in the hollow caverns, against his will, by one who was willing, but all the days he would sit upon the rocks, at the seaside, breaking his heart in tears and lamentation and sorrow as weeping tears he looked out over the barren water” (Homer 5.152-158). Odysseus is in despair of his situation, he longs for his home and his family and he is being held against his will. He is being kept on a beautiful island with endless food from Calypso and a beautiful woman in in heavy pursuit of him; many people would call this a paradise, yet Odysseus is being held against his will as he is determined to remain loyal to his family as well as himself and his morals. Loyalty is a life skill that is still applicable to society today. It is the basis of any relationship whether it be a friendship, romantic, or a business relationship. In order to succeed in today’s society, loyalty is absolutely paramount because of the immense number of relationships that you must make in order to succeed, no matter what your profession or lifestyle may be. The life lesson of loyalty is continually demonstrated to the reader throughout the epic poem and it is still very important and applicable to life today.
In The Odyssey by Homer, the theme of perseverance is indisputable as Odysseus embarks on a brutal ten year journey to find his home and his family, having to encounter countless challenges along the way. Though giving up may have been the logical choice on many occasions during his journey, Odysseus is able to use his perseverance and drive to continue onward throughout the long years. His perseverance and determination also causes others to look up to him and to be inspired by his determination and will to succeed: “You are a hard man, Odysseus. Your force is greater, your limbs never wear out. You must be made all of iron, when you will not let your companions, worn with hard work and wanting sleep, set foot on this land, where if we did, on the seagirt island we could once more make ready a greedy dinner; but you force us to blunder along just as we are through the running night, driven from the island over the misty face of the water” (Homer 12.279-285). Odysseus is seen as a leader not because of his rank or his power, but because of the way that he carries himself and the hardworking, never quit personality that he has adopted. This attitude that he carries himself with gives his fellow crew the notion that he is invincible and an obvious natural leader. The skill and trait of perseverance is equally if not more important as it was in the age of Odysseus. In our society today one must work hard in order to achieve anything of worth, especially when it comes to academics and one’s career. Perseverance is a lesson that clearly stands out all the way through this epic poem, teaching the reader the fabled lesson that in order to succeed one must work hard and be dedicated.
The themes of loyalty and perseverance are prominent throughout the epic poem The Odyssey written by Homer and translated by Robert Fitzgerald as Odysseus embarks on a long and difficult journey home from fighting in the Trojan war. Odysseus continuously expresses these traits as he overcomes the countless obstacles leading up to his return home. Without these skills, Odysseus would’ve been forever lost at sea or trapped on the island of Calypso having abandoned his family and his beliefs. Instead, his actions and characteristics teach the reader valuable lessons that are still relevant today, over 1200 years after this poem was written.
The Principles of Offering the Evidence in the Play 12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose
Asking Questions and Seeking Answers
Evidence is the process of asking questions in order to confirm an event, statement, or issue; it is the process of seeking the truth through analyzation. In the play 12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose, a group of jurors debates back and forth and reviews the story and evidence repeatedly to reach a verdict, the reader is introduced to seven different and equally powerful evidentiary forms and how these forms affect the outcome of a decision. The seven forms of evidence are one’s intuition, qualitative conjecture, personal experience, personal observation, witness or public testimony, qualitative conjecture, and conformation by authority or expertise, there is a large variety of evidentiary forms because they all provide different credibility and serve varying purposes. Therefore, understanding that there are many forms of evidence allows the reader to understand that, “Asking questions and seeking evidence requires an ability and willingness to face others; to discern not only who and what but how and why; to be attentive to the motions and intentions of language; to embrace things in an active and objective manner” (Garcia-Martinez). The presentation of diverse forms of evidence in Rose’s play demonstrates an effective visual representation of these forms while they are being used and the consequences they have on others. To realize and appreciate the seven evidentiary forms, it is important to first understand that evidence is not the truth but the beginning of the process to asking and analyzing questions and answers that lead to the truth.
The first evidentiary form to be reviewed is “one’s intuition” which, “involves some thing that one either knows or considers likely from an instinctive insight they possess, from a strong sense they develop, or from some compelling sensation of trust or confidence…” (Garcia-Martinez). In other words, this form of evidence builds from a “hunch” that, in this case, the jurors in the play cannot always logically or reasonably explain their thoughts but they possess an intense emotion that tells them to continue debating when attempting to decide the verdict. An example of “one’ intuition” in Rose’s stage play takes place when Juror Three begins talking about the stabbing that the eighteen-year-old boy is accused of against his father. He begins to speak of the angle of the cut regarding the boy’s height compared to his father’s, “Down and in. That’s how I’d stab a taller man in the chest, and that’s how it was done” (Page 55). Shortly after the jurors begin discussing the wound more intricately Juror Five steps in and says, “I suppose, it’s conceivable that he could have made the wound, but it’s not likely, not if he’d ever had any experience with switch knives, and we know that the kid had a lot of experience with switch knives” (Page 56). Juror Five had seen knife fights in the vacant lot near his home when he was younger, therefore, he had “hunch” or “feeling” that the boy should be more experienced with knives than the wound showed. This moment in the play is an example of “one’s intuition” because Juror Three contributed an idea to the group, thus, motivating the other men to consider his idea, then Juror Five analyzed and created an even stronger conclusion based off what was said plus his additional previous knowledge. Therefore, Juror Three’s “…intuitive suspicion or intuitive guess” (Garcia-Martinez) forced him to voice his thoughts which led to an answer of why the stab wound looked like it did and why it was placed where it was on the body, thus, he started the process of seeking answers for evidence.
A frequent form of evidence is “confirmation by expertise or authority” because people respect others who are seen as intelligent or powerful. This evidentiary form “commonly occurs when an individual who is looked at as qualified, as distinguished or respected, or as possessing knowledge that others do not or cannot, provides insight or information about a thing or another person” (Garcia-Martinez). This credibility is obtained by someone over many years of experience in schooling, work, or training in another particular field. This evidentiary form is experienced when Jurors Eight and Five are discussing the el tracks which is where it is said that the murder took place. Juror Eight asked if any of the other men had lived near the el tracks when Juror Five answers “I’ve lived close to them” (Page 32). None of the other jurors answered that they lived near the el tracks, which then makes Juror Five’s following statements highly credible because he has a level of expertise, in this specific subject, that no one else does because he is the only person in that group that has lived near the train tracks. This sense of “authority” is something that he obtained only through years of living by the trains and thus being the only person to be able to speak of that experience with any personal insight. In this instance Juror Five was an expert because he had “amassed a level or experience, knowledge, insight, or skill in a particular field, and thus employed (or contributed to) certain systems of thought” (Garcia-Martinez). In conclusion, because of the confirmation provided by the experienced juror that lived near the train tracks, his following conclusions regarding the matter at hand were taken seriously by the other jurors because that gave him a sense of “authority” or “power” in that moment due to his experience.
Personal experience is a form of evidence that we often overlook because one does not realize that over time they become an “expert” in their day-to-day activities. “Personal experience” is defined as, “…an evidentiary form that is not scientific or infallible, rather, it involves the large-scale events and day-to-day occurrences a person individually experiences, and the resulting awareness or wisdom that is obtained from experiencing them” (Garcia-Martinez). To clarify, one’s ability to recall and apply what they have gone through allows others to know that certain outcomes are possible. In a sense, because they have personal experience relating to the subject at hand they are almost a testimony for what could happen under certain circumstances. For instance, Jurors Four, Three, Twelve, and Eleven relate to the boy accused of murder because they also had a rough childhood and were victims of poverty and the struggles that the young man faced they did as well, but they did not become criminals, let alone murderers, because of it. As Juror Three stated, “I know what it’s like. I never killed nobody” (Page 16). Thus, he is recalling his childhood and it is applying it to the boy’s childhood and concluding that there is another outcome possible other than falling though the cracks of society, instead one can persevere instead of letting their difficulties define them. Although, certain jurors can relate to the hardships that the boy has gone through they make clear that the path he has chosen to take is not one they agree with and the remaining men agree with them because their daily hardships provided them with wisdom. All in all, it is essential when seeking the truth to realize that daily experiences are a form of evidence because these daily hardships and lessons comes wisdom that one can then use in the future.
Another evidentiary form present in the stage play is “personal observation” which allows someone to use what they really have observed, noticed, and registered what they have seen as evidence. The evidence of “personal observation” is defined as, “…involves ‘an observer’, or ‘a witness’ or ‘an investigator’—a person taking the time to actively note something or someone and closely perceiving characteristics or conditions of that someone or something” (Garcia-Martinez). In retrospect, this type of evidence is provided by someone who visibly saw something happen and can analyze what those actions mean. Juror Nine provides a very convincing example of “personal observation” when he is speaking about the old man who provided a testimony regarding the murder. He observed that the old man was lonely, insignificant, and unaccomplished, stating, “A man like this needs to be recognized-to be questioned, and listened to, and quoted just once. This is very important” (Page 34). After Juror Nine observed the man during court he questioned his testimony because he theorized that the man could have just wanted attention and his old age meant that he had nothing to lose if anyone found out he was lying. The old man was the witness to the crime, or he declares that he was the witness but a witness’ credibility is due in part to their reputation in the community, history of lying, and character. The juror’s prediction “served as the basis for speculation, theory, research, reason, and knowledge” (Garcia-Martinez) and thus his speculation was evidence because it helped the jurors discover that the old man may have provided a faulty testimony. Overall, using personal observation as a tool that leads to the truth takes a substantial amount of concentration, time, contemplation, and scrutinizing.
The most formal of the evidentiary forms is “official or public testimony” and in this instance that witness is often accompanied with a significant amount of credibility. This form of evidence is defined as “…one’s (spoken-written) particular account of what occurred or what someone said, or what someone did. It hinges upon whether a person was actually present to observe some occurrence, words or actions of another, or whether a person was themselves involved in the whole action taking place” (Garcia-Martinez). In short, it is a statement, usually declared in a legal setting, by someone that saw the action occur or took part in it, which is what provides them with the credibility, that they were present at the time. To exemplify, the jurors reference the testimony made by the old man that he saw the boy running after he heard him screech “I’m going to kill you!” When the man first provided his testimony it seemed reliable, because he did leave near the boy’s home and he was convinced that he saw the boy running away after the sound of a body falling. The problem is that a testimony can be spoiled if fueled by a selfish or personal motive, which the juror’s suspected because the man was old and supposed he wanted attention. Thus, this evidence is not always reliable, “though this form of evidence is compelling and convincing in our society, the one testifying can have selective observation or memory, have selfish or personal interests, or omit certain information” (Garcia-Martinez). So, although “public or official” testimonies are usually concrete forms of evidence it is important to remember that who the testimony comes from is essential in case they have any hidden motives and that a testimony alone is not concrete evidence but the key to the truth.
One’s senses can detect the quality of something and, even based of incomplete information, can lead to a conclusion. The evidence called “qualitative conjecture” is “…forming an opinion or a conclusion on the basis of incomplete information relating to, or gauged by, the particular quality of something—some overall or some specific attributes or characteristics of a thing such as its existence, appearance, sound, smell, tone, or its mood” (Garcia-Martinez). In other words, someone makes a conclusion based on a person’s characteristics or qualities, this can have a negative connotation because people usually use this form of evidence to generalize or stereotype others. Juror Ten fabricates a qualitative conjecture about the boy accused of murdering his father stating that, “You know how those people lie, I don’t need to tell you”, “…they get drunk, and bang, someone’s lying in the gutter”, “Nobody’s blaming them, that’s just how they are” and “Most of them, it’s like they have no feelings” (Page 59). In this case, Juror Ten determines the boy’s innocence because of what he thinks his qualities are and “drew some kind of observational judgement or reasoned conclusion from them” (Garcia-Martinez). In the instance of Juror Ten he made a generalization about a certain group of people which then weakens his argument because it comes across as ignorant, racist, and biased therefore, it is fundamental to evaluate the person that constructed the qualitative conjecture because they can be judgmental and close-minded.
Although, all these previous forms of evidence are very compelling the most influential, believed, and valued one is “quantitative conjecture” because in today’s society numbers mean everything. A “quantitative conjecture” is defined in the class notes as, “…occurring when one forms an opinion or a conclusion on the basis of incomplete information relating to, or measured by, the particular quantity of something—some overall or specific attributes or characteristics of a thing such as its size, frequency, weight, proportion, cost, duration, etc.” (Garcia-Martinez). As stated, this is a powerful evidentiary form, if not the most powerful, because statistics are engaged to help further confirm a “hunch” or idea. Specifically, Jurors Eight and Five strategically employ time values to discover and present to the rest of the jurors that the time frame provided by the witnesses does not seem exactly accurate. Juror Eight is asking his fellow peers the length they believed it would take for an elevated train to pass a given point. Juror Eleven responds, “I would think about ten seconds, perhaps….” (Page 32) while Juror Eight reports, “An el train passes a given point in ten seconds. That given point is the window of the room in which the killing took place” (Page 32). He then also has the other jurors reenact the situation of the old man getting out of bed and slowly approaching his window down the hall, where they found that the time given compared to the time it would actually take did not match. As Juror Eight brought the other men along on this path of discovery he knew the affect his was having on their opinions because they cold not argue with factual and statistical data, “Anything numerical is fundamentally measurable; it can be “proven” to some extent, so it tends to be more regarded than anything experiential or personally observed” (Garcia-Martinez). Ultimately, all this juror’s minor attempts to shed light on the severity of this young man’s freedom accumulate and eventually change everyone’s opinions, even the most stubborn of the men.
All in all, to seek truth and understand that evidence is only a stepping stone to discovering reality one must be able to thoroughly detect and comprehend the seven diverse types of evidentiary forms and their affects. This is proven in the stage play 12 Angry Men by Reginal Rose where the reader witnesses how one juror asked questions that demanded answers that did not come easily, thus, forcing others to explain their point of view and realize that fault in it, leading to justice for one young man. Seeing questions as a process to the truth, “…done to obtain clarification, gain insight, and develop answer” (Garcia-Martinez) is crucial because it allows somebody to more carefully analyze the criteria they have in front of them and come to a rational and logical solution. This stage play frequently demonstrates the variety of evidentiary forms and how they seek the truth, such as: “one’s intuition”, “confirmation by expertise or authority”, and “official or public testimony” just to name a few. The characters in the play provide excellent examples of each evidentiary form, but not only the form but its significant and everlasting affects on the people debating. Because of Juror Eight’s fight to seeking evidence through questions, answers, and evidence he was able to convince all the other men not only of innocence but of the importance of questioning the information that was presented to them instead of solely accepting it. Although, it would have been a much more rapid and uncomplicated method to just accept what the witnesses said and what the juror’s believed he dove into the evidence, which brought them, eventually, to the truth.