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Greek Heritage in Modern Literature and Society Essay

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Updated: Jun 5th, 2020

The contribution of the role of Greeks in the development of history with regard to who they were is a question, which remains unanswered by many people. However, the Greeks are the people behind civilization and should be credited for the development of the art of communication, literature, and poetry. In addition, the current aspects of democracy were derived from the ancient Greeks. Similarly, modern aspects of culture, character, and individuality came into existence courtesy of the Greeks. The greatness of the Greeks is best depicted in the play “Hippolytus.” In this play, the Greeks are depicted as very intelligent and independent men and women. The men in the Greek society demonstrate their intelligence and independence by skillfully fighting battles on their own whereas the women can plot skillful plans and lure people into their traps. There is much for the modern society to relate to with regard to the Greeks’ way of life as depicted in this play. Among the major aspects inherited from the Greeks is the concept of freedom and literature.

The contribution of Greeks on the development of the modern society has further been indicated by Jean Alvares. The later is the head of Montclair State University Department of Classics and General Humanities. According to Jean, the current society has learned to attempt doing many things using available skills and knowledge from the Greeks. He adds on to indicate that the current society has the potential to take risks and do amazing things like the son of Odysseus in the ancient Greek play. In this play, the son goes on a dangerous trip with the hope of meeting his father, visiting others, and restoring Ithaka. According to Jean, taking risks in life is vital for understanding of an individual’s potential. In essence, people in the current society pursue education, which makes them leave their homes for new places where they encounter new people.

On returning to their homes, new skills are transferred, which help in the transformation of the society. The implicated process of the transformation of other people is an aspect learned from the Greeks. Jean adds on to say that human beings should have knowledge of themselves and others as they live in the society. This aspect is related to the common Greek expression in which it is presumed that a life not examined is not worthy living (Matthews and Platt 30). It is true for Jean to have indicated that the current society has learned many qualities from the Greeks.

Comprehension from Greeks and their contribution toward modern literature is also depicted in the works of Sigmund Freud. Freud relied very much on the value of Greek literature to develop many of his theories in psychology. A majority of the Greek literature depicted stories related to obsessions of young children with their parents of the opposite sex alongside parents obsessions with their own offspring. Freud’s conclusions, especially the oedipal complex were coined from an understanding of Greek literature. According to the oedipal theory, young boys hold on to their mother with admiration and desire. This explains the feeling of replacing the role of their father. This led to the development of the phallic stage by Freud. This stage is used to describe the development of a child characterized by a desire to possess the parent of the opposite sex. The expiry of this stage signifies the beginning of good connectivity with the parent of a similar sex. A majority of Freud’s theories were derived from reading the works of the Sophocles whose absence may have implied the unavailability of most of the psychological theories.

According to Jean Alvares, Sigmund Freud is an ideal representation of the concepts of the current society learned from the Greeks. Most of the literature written by the Greeks cannot fail to be recognized because of the vital lessons they hold. This literature holds important lessons on the value of human abilities and the process of knowledge acquisition. In addition, this literature provides vital lessons on the value of creativity and the pursuit of new forms of knowledge, which translates into human intelligence. Sigmund is thought to strictly have adhered to the lessons learned from Greek literature. Most of his insight into the study of psychology was derived from the Greeks. Using the lessons learnt, Sigmund could speculate the development of personality, memory, and sexuality. This formed the basis of the development of various therapies for human psychology.

With the help of the characters in a majority of Greek plays, Sigmund could make conclusion regarding the psychology of human beings. It is important to indicate that most of the theories, therapies, and conclusions formulated by Sigmund Freud came into existence as a result of the existence of Greek literature. This implies that most of these theories would be missing had Freud Sigmund lacked the inspiration by the Greeks. It is true for Jean to have indicated that Freud Sigmund is an ideal illustration of what the current society has derived from the Greeks. Most of the theories developed by Freud were based on Greek literature, and because of their value in the current society; there is reason to believe that the current society has gained many qualities from the Greeks. This possibly should explain why the Greeks are very important in any history class. Many of the qualities of the current society came into existence because of the Greeks.

Works Cited

Matthews, Roy, and DeWitt Platt. Western Humanities. 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Print.

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