Pericles’ “The Funeral Oration” was a speech he gave as the first year of the Peloponnesian War was ending. It gives praise to Athens and honors those that fell in the war. He acknowledges the very first citizens of Athens, the ancestors who had passed on their wisdom and knowledge from generation to generation. It is because of these first people that the city of Athens was prosperous. The current Athenians knew what they would need to provide for the people and make the city thrive.
Athens was an example for neighboring cities at the time and Pericles recognized them for that. He spoke of the loyalty they had towards their authority and all the people of the city. Athens provided great opportunities for education and seeing the world and prepared citizens for hardships they may stand to face. While Pericles is speaking of the greatness of Athens itself, he also memorializes the men who fell in the war. They died for the honor of Athens and in doing so brought pride and honor to the citizens. Even though Pericles had spoken out about wanting less war and violence, he agreed that the heroism shown by the ones who had fought and died was far too important to be overlooked.
At the time Athens had a military force that was much greater than any of the other surroundings cities. But he wanted every citizen to honor the people who lost their lives in war by living their lives. Pericles encouraged everyone in the city to instead look upon the great deeds that they have done to show respect for the soldiers and to repay them for their sacrifices.
Pericles then spoke to the loved ones of the people who had died by offering them words of comfort. Even those who may be deemed useless should take pride in the honor that has been bestowed upon them through their fallen brethren. Those who are still alive should continue to work hard to show respect to those who have gone before them. As a final thought, Pericles states that everyone should grieve, but only for a...