What does ‘speaking truth to power’ mean to you? (1st paragraph)
Where have you seen it in the ancient sources? (2nd paragraph)
To speak the truth to power, for me, implies to speak up and stand up to someone of authority or of higher power and tell him or her that they are clearly doing something wrong or unjust. Furthermore, I also think that it implies to stand up for yourself towards an authority figure when he or she is performing acts of injustice towards you. It means to face the person in power and tell him the truth of what is really going on; it means to get rid of the fear of the power that the person has and to speak what is on your mind. To speak the truth to power takes a lot of courage and hinders you from conforming just because someone is higher in status from you. The person with power get blinded with his or her power and starts to develop corrupt characteristics, is it necessary for someone to talk to the person and to remediate and help him realize that what he is becoming is not a pleasant person and that if he continues and, the power get to his head, it will end up causing his own downfall. To speak the truth to power means to stand up for what is right disregarding the status of the other person and following your beliefs in doing the right thing even with some one of higher status wants you to do something wrong. An example of the concept of speaking the truth to power that occurred in ancient source is in Homer’s Iliad when Achilles stands up to Agamemnon. When Agamemnon is forced to return his own slave back he also makes Achilles give up his own slave, Briseis, just because Agamemnon feels jealous. Achilles stands up to the king and refuses to fight in the war anymore and especially not for king Agamemnon. Achilles also states that he and his men are doing all the work in the war while the king just sits on his throne and reaps the rewards. This is a clear example of speaking the truth to power because the power is represented by King Agamemnon and the injustice is that he is forcing Achilles to give back his slave out of pure jealousy and Achilles decides to speak the truth by standing up to himself and refusing to fight for his army. He also speaks the truth by proclaiming that the King is not actually doing anything, it is Achilles and his troops that are doing all the work and King Agamemnon gets all the credit for their hard work. How does Sophocles’ Ajax dramatize the warrior’s integration into society and how effectively does it accomplish this? Sophocles’ Ajax displays a warrior’s integration into society through the means of honor and the honor of a warrior is entirely dependent of what others in society thinks of the warrior. Sophocles dramatizes this integration through the events that are played out for Ajax. Ajax is a typical Greek hero and when he losses the armor of Achilles to Odysseus, he becomes less in the eyes of the community, losing honor, which make him less of a warrior and this leads him to go crazy with revenge. Sophocles dramatizes the integration of a warrior into society by displaying an example of what society’s views can do to a warrior through Ajax’s actions. He displays Ajax as going mad and killing livestock, which brought great shame to himself. Sophocles clearly tries to depict that the warriors cared way too much of what the society thought of them. He shows the reader this by writing about how Ajax’s concerns of looking like a failure and less a warrior made him perform foolish actions leading to his own death. Sophocles showed that the warriors’ perception of themselves in society was high influenced by what the surrounding community thought of them. Warriors of this time period had no self-esteem and relied entirely on the community to feel good about themselves clearly seen of how Ajax perceived himself after he losses the armor and performs ill-advised and foolish tasks. The warrior’s status is greatly determined through the opinions of the society and Sophocles shows an example of this through his description of how it was determined who would get Achilles armor. He writes how judges were appointed and they decided who would get the armor and they picked Odysseus instead of Ajax, which lowered Ajax’s status as a warrior. Sophocles dramatizes the effect of this on Ajax by writing how he plans to kill Greek leaders, Agamemnon and Menelaus but is interrupted by Athena’s trickery. Sophocles effectively portrays the integration of warriors into society through his dramatization. Through his dramatization of the events he clearly shows the reader that a warrior’s status is great important to the warrior. His dramatization further shows that society plays very prominent and important role in the status and integration of a warrior and disapproval of society and cause a warrior to his/her downfall.