Essay on Homer Hum2220

Submitted By yvalencia
Words: 964
Pages: 4

David Sarmiento
Professor Stone Hum 2220
29 May 2015
Homer, A Societal Approach To The Shame Culture The shame culture has not only been observed within the Homeric society. Shame culture has also been around and supported for hundreds of years; by many cultures and its people alike. A pillar of shame culture is public opinion. Ones public standing would always take priority over self-concern. This was very common and completely opposite of today’s societal norms. Homeric society was one of glory and honor and that was a common theme. A warrior would increase his glory and pride by defeating his opponent this increased his pride therefore creating acceptance within the society. Political life went along the lines of shame culture. Society had a different standard for those in public life, they where held to a different esteem of those in private sectors. Nevertheless these behaviors where a common theme and accepted thorough out the culture of the time. Public opinion without a doubt is extremely important affair of this culture. One must understand that without the public acceptance you where considered as good as worthless. This belief was imbedded from childhood. Ones main concerns where not of self but one of the public opinion. In this society the main thought was of public esteem and how you where thought of, as apposed to public humiliation. We could say this created selflessness in the common man of the time. Praises was undoubtedly the ultimate societal goal in public standing. This hunger for praises created a culture of glory and honor. The theme of glory and honor is a common theme with many characters of the Homeric society. Keeping in mind that pride reduces one’s shame, this made seeking pride a societal priority. This also made war a perfect situation for warriors to seek pride and glory. Ironically this was not to shame the enemy or opposing warrior but to honor them in war. Defeating the enemy and treating them honorably was a supported behavior and respected. This was seen with Hector in book twenty two when he negotiated an honorable deal of post war body rituals. This was considered in line with the shame culture and avoidance of public shame. Regardless winning was key in war because results where more important than the means. The soldiers are not the only ones to be held to a high moral compass in the shame society. This was also very true of politicians. The public had absolutely no mercy for any intolerable behavior that would shame ones self. This was especially so for those in the political sector of society. Shame culture also created many political implications. At this moment in time there where many warring factions, while existing divisions and the climate of war always being present. This caused politicians to tread a thin line with the decisions that they made. Anything that could cause dishonor upon the country would not be tolerated. Politicians practiced a common theme seen throughout this society and this was most evident in their speeches. Upon studying the speeches within the books you could see that when the politicians spoke they created an environment of pride coupled with an uplifting spirit of nationalism. In essence this wove a firmer belief in the shame society. Given these points we can be sure that the shame society was highly favored in the Homeric culture. The prevalence of common themes leaves nothing to the imagination when it comes to the full support and favor of the shame society in the culture. As stated the importance of public standing within society was of the upmost importance. Citizens of the culture concerned themselves with what their neighbor thought of their actions, and how he or she viewed them. The relentless pursuit for perfection…