Monday, November 18, 2019

Death According to Socrates and Roland Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Death According to Socrates and Roland - Essay Example A majority of sixty voted to convict Socrates, and he jokingly offered to pay a fine of 100 drachmae, a fifth of his property. The prosecutor was not happy with this and pushed for the death, a penalty of which the jury agreed by a margin of 360 to 140. Although his supporters encouraged him to flee, Socrates did not and would not repent for his actions professing that he would rather die in his own manner than live like those who had condemned him. Socrates stated, "I say, gentlemen, to those who voted to kill me, that vengeance will come upon you immediately after my death, a vengeance much harder to bear than that which you took in killing me" (Plato 40). In essence, Socrates believed his death would teach others to hold fast to their convictions, even in the face of condemnation by an unjust society. The Song of Roland is touted as the oldest known major work of French literature. It is written as an epic poem depicting heroic deeds that took place in 778 A.D., when Charlemagne's retreating army was attacked by pagan armies. Roland was an army soldier, said to be a nephew of Charlemagne. The tale speaks of betrayal and revenge within Charlemagne's army, with Roland and his fellow soldier Oliver being left with only an army of twelve peers when thousands of Franks attack. Oliver pleads to Roland to retreat, however, Roland states, "Hold the field, let us not be beaten! The French say: 'A curse on the man who runs away! Until death itself not one of us will fail you'" (Merwin 35). Roland and his peers are successful in battle after a bloody fight which includes slicing off limbs. Roland eventually suffers a severe injury to his temple, not through battle but by blowing his horn at the urging of a comrade to call Charlemagne's troops. "Count Roland, in pain and anguish, and in grea t sorrow, blows a blast on his ivory horn, and the bright blood flows from his mouth, and the veins burst on his forehead, but the sound of the horn swells and mounts" (Merwin 55). Roland continues to fight, despite his injury, tries to unsuccessfully break his sword, and then "His brains have begun to seep out through his ears. He prays for the peers, asking God to summon them to His presence, and then for himself he calls upon the angel Gabriel.appearRoland is dead and God has taken his soul into heaven" (Merwin 69 & 73). It is clear that Roland fought a valiant fight and his honor and morality would not allow him to surrender even in the face of impossible odds. Therefore, Roland believed that his death would teach others to never give up on beliefs and values, even if faced with certain demise and destruction. How Does Socrates' and Roland's Beliefs Reflect the Values of Athens and Medieval Europe Socrates' beliefs do not appear to reflect the values of ancient Athens. He was not satisfied with accepting the mores of the day and questioned the influential figures of the time, whose reputations for wisdom and virtue he debunked through his questioning. Socrates also taught his students this method of inquiry, which greatly upset the established order and moral values of Athens. Socrates criticized democracy, including the local voting process, yet he also fought and argued for obedience to local

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