Revise the given english paper
We all come to the fork of road of making decisions as we live. The decision we make can be driven for either our own self-interest or by certain purpose and principle beyond ourselves. Also, those decisions can be made with assessment of the value by us, but possibly those can be made compulsory by others. Although we are the one who actually make decisions, sometimes we also live with regret about these decisions. I will analyze if the main characters in The Odyssey, Antigone, and Medea, make decisions by what sort of motivations, whether it is made by their own self-interests or by certain purpose and principle, also what elements are grafting to modern society.
Antigone, the main character of the Antigone story, her action is considered to be driven by purpose and principle. She attempts to bury her own brother’s corpse although she is very aware a decree had forbidden such affairs. She is against a decree which lead her to the death eventually. “For me, at least, to meet this doom of yours is precious little pain. But if I had allowed my own mother’s son to rot, and unburied corpse that would have been an agony! This is nothing”(668). She asserts that stirring brother’s corpse out of the beasts of prey is more valuable meaning of life than her thread of life. The actual motivation for her is the fact that her brother’s corpse is about to be thrown out miserably, and without thinking she rather chooses the path of life. Her makes this decision is not driven by self-interest but by certain purpose and principle beyond herself. The philosopher Kant defined “The good will”. That is, when we act, whether or not we achieve what we intend with our action is often beyond our control since we have a natural good will without learning. With this concept that Kant approved, Antigone’s action is closer to be done by purpose and principle. However, partly, Antigone’s action can be considered done by self-interests once cognizes that she would never be happy if she does not bury the corpse of her brother’s. On the contrary to this, Antigone’s sister Ismene, her action is driven thoroughly by self-interest. In the beginning, she is against Antigone’s suggestionand follows a decree. “Now look at the two of us, left so alone, think what a death we’ll die, the worst of all if we violate the laws and override the fixed decree of the throne, it power-we must be sensible”(658). Even though Ismene knows that her brother’s corpse is thrown away, she decides not disobey King’s decree so that her family include her can keep honor as a compromise plan at last. For Ismene, honor can be motivation. It is for not only for herself, but also it is for her sister Antigo and for family who already passed away. Therefore, both sisters make different decision from each other, but the ultimate objects are alike.
The main character Mean, from the story of Medea, her action is thoroughly driven by self-interest.She kills her husband’s new bride, her father unintentionally, and she even kills two children of hers due to abhorrence. “She is dead, only just now, the royal princess, and Creon dead, too, her father, by your poisons”(753). Medea kills her two children not for their children who perhaps will be live with the title of “The murder’s offspring”, yet she makes an extreme measures since she is not willing to see that her children might be raised by abominated her husband. The path she chooses is completely far from “The good will” that Kant asserted, but it is more likely driven by her self-interest, and she gratifies her selfish interests and desire with motivation of revenge. Moreover, when she hears the fact that many people breathe their last, she obtains enjoyment, let alone she is not grief and sorrowful. “Do not in hurry, friend, but speak. How did they die? You will delight me twice as much again if you say they died in agony”(753). This statement shows us how strong desire and pleasure Medea has when she receives surprising news. Thus, her action is most like driven by her self-interest with inspiration of revenge.
The last story “The Odyssey”, there is another main character named Penelope, a queen of Ithaca.The action she shows in the story is more closely driven by certain purpose and principle. The whole nation argues that king Odysseus is dead from the Trojan War since he has been out for twenty years, and theypressures queen to accept the proposal of marriage. Yet, queen makes an excuse to decline suitors over one hundred.”Penelope was able to live pure through twice ten years, such a woman worthy of many suitors; the false weaving was able to postpone a marriage, and although she never hoped that she would see Odysseus, she remained, having become an old woman by waiting”(273). She states that she will remain faithful although Odysseus is disgracefully absent. In this part, Queen Penelope shows the combination of enlightened-interest and purpose and principle. By waiting her husband, she can feel full of responsibility and faith, also by declining other suitors, she does not do something false. Her motivation can be “faith”, or “responsibility”.
These three main characters of literature, they have something in common that for their aim, they happily renounce whichever they have under the name of “bravery”. Even though they face up to a situation that they have to give up something big in order to achieve goals no matter the method is right and wrong, they actually step forward to the goals with braveness. These characters are also partly assimilated into our modern society. Nowadays, many women’s social position has become higher, and reaches the position that can possibly obtain a “good result” alike the characters in the literatures. As times were changing rapidly, modern women can maintain their dignity, aim their desires.