Discuss the tension between traditional values and ″new″ ideas in ancient, medieval, and early modern western societies. Which ideas, customs, and values were considered ″traditional″ during these periods (it′ll be different for each), and which ideas appeared or reappeared to threaten the status quo? How successful were these ″new″ ideas at creating lasting change? – Choose at least FOUR primary sources to discuss AT LENGTH in your essay. These primary sources will provide your examples. – Primary sources include: The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Oedipus the King, Letter to Menoeceus, Virgil′s Aeneid, Ovid′s Metamorphoses, St. Augustine′s Confessions, Beowulf, – summaries.: ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
The western societies exhibit a continuing dichotomy in the social values. Essentially, there has been always a tension between the traditional values and the reformed ideas in the ancient, medieval and early modern societies. Literature texts mirror the societies in these particular periods clearly depicting what was upheld at a specific period and what was denounced. This paper seeks to examine the social values in the western societies with close reference to the texts written in the particular periods. The texts that will be used in the paper are all heroic, an aspect that makes them appropriate for the study of social values.
In the traditional western civilization, societies highly regarded unity and social harmony. Social stratification was unheard of, and people easily cooperated with one another. This is well exemplified in The Epic of Gilgamesh which is perhaps the oldest is known work of literature dating back to the 2000BCE. Gilgamesh and Enkidu portray a powerful friendship, “Becoming aware of himself, he sought a friend” (Sandars 1.194-204). This kind of unity was replaced by the social stratification in the ancient civilization. Ideally, the ancient civilization illustrated complexity at its worst. The society was majorly divided into two groups; the freemen and the slaves. This is exemplified in the ancient Greek text, Oedipus the King by Sophocles. When the fate of Oedipus was pronounced, Jocasta gave the child to a servant to get rid of it (Sophocles33). This creates some sense of the presence of social classes whereby the wealthy have the poor under their service. The ancient civilization was a break from the traditional unity to a society with people guided by individual interests. It was out of selfishness that Jocasta had given out Oedipus to avoid the fulfillment of the prophecy. End of Preview: ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW