|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Reflection Relationship Social psychology|
In the A Dialogue of Friendship, two men, Toxaris and Mnseppus, discuss the meaning of friendship in their respective society in an effort to justify which of them treasures and honors friendship more. Toxaris represents Greek society, while Mnseippus represents the Scythian society. In the dialogue, Toxaris and Mnseippus make and discuss five convincing arguments to illustrate the society that values friendship more than the other ("Toxaris: A Dialogue of Friendship", n.d). Toxaris starts by claiming that the Greek talk more about friendships, but fail to practice it. In particular, Toxaris states that Greeks are good at theoretically demonstrating the need for a robust bond of friendship, but at the critical honor fail to actualize their intentions and leave their fine words to look after themselves. Mnseippus, on the other hand, counters Toxaris claims by basing his arguments on the Euthydicus, Demetrius, Zenothemis, and Agothocles and Dinias stories ("Toxaris: A Dialogue of Friendship", n.d). With respect to Toxaris and Mnseppus, this essay discusses the extent of Greek friendship.
Mnseppus arguments are convincing, considering the fact that they offer a robust argument against the Toxaris claims of why the Greek society fails to honor and actualize friendship. For instance, Mnseippus states that Agothecle was a man who offered his property in order to make one of his friends happy. This was after Agothocle realized that the woman who was the source of happiness for the man he gave up the property for was no good, thus prompting him to take an action that would, in turn, console him as his friend. Agothocle demonstrated traits of true friendship since he stood by his friend at his darkest hours while offering him the love and support he needed without disregard or contempt ("Toxaris: A Dialogue of Friendship", n.d).
On the other hand, in an effort to save the life of his friend, Euthydicus, jumped into the ocean. Euthydicus action was heroic and a true definition of friendship, particularly because he had to risk his life to save that of his friend. Such an action implies that should anything have gone wrong, both could have died in the stormy sea, which could also have demonstrated a strong bond of friendship Euthydicus and his friend shared. Other friends, such as Demetrius, also demonstrated the art of true friendship, as expressed in the dialogue. For instance, when Demetrius friend was held in prison, he took it upon himself to sleep by the prison to share the misery of being in prison as his friend ("Toxaris: A Dialogue of Friendship", n.d). Such action also demonstrates that people from Greece show compassion with those they care about, which in this case, is contrary to Toxaris' claim. Overall, the five incidences, as expressed by Mnseippus, reflect the character trait of a different society as that expressed by Toxaris. Through Mnseippus' stories, the reader understands that people from Greece are compassionate and loyal, which, in this case, defines a true friendship. Therefore, Toxaris is wrong for claiming that Greeks are only good at speaking about friendship rather than acting on it.
From the dialogue, it is evident that Scythians value the art of friendship more than most things in their society. In particular, Scythians believe in sharing good times and sharing the toils of hard times. While Scythians take oaths to pledge their allegiance to the bond of friendship, most of them, if not all, did not at any point underestimate or even look down upon a friend regardless of the situation they were in. In other terms, Scythia willingly and selflessly helped fellow members of their society and the people they cared about without contempt or disregard. While other readers would claim that Scythians showed love and compassion to their friends, particularly because of the oath they had taken and promised to honor friendship, I believe that they acted willingly and selflessly rather than out of their personal gain or out of their selfish gain. For instance, to save his enemy from prison, Dandaris allowed his eyes to be plucked by the enemy, which is a noble act and a huge sacrifice for any man to make ("Toxaris: A Dialogue of Friendship", n.d).
On the other hand, Belitta attempted to save his friend from being mauled by a lion. Unfortunately, the two, Belitta and his friend, including the lion, died. Another selfless act is evident when Abauchas nearly loses his family, wife, and children while trying to save his friend. From the outlined incidences, it is clear that Scythians are people who valued friendship and acted selflessly to protect the bond of friendship while avoiding acts that would harm their friends ("Toxaris: A Dialogue of Friendship", n.d). People from this society act with a lot of courage and confidence during the critical periods, thus ruling out any claims that Scythians acted willingly and selflessly because of the oath they took to protect the bond of friendship.
Most often than not, when one is caught up in a critical situation, one tends to think of things and acts that would rescue them, and most of such people do not have time to care about friends or anything else other than themselves. In this case, however, Scythian men responded to their friends' situations as theirs while leaving out the things that matter to them for death. Therefore, considering the various incidences as outlined in the dialogue of friendship, it is evident that Scythians acted and performed acts of heroism out of love for their friends and not because they were compelled to do so by the oath. After reading the dialogue, I find Mnseippus more convincing in his arguments about the existence of Greek friendship. Unlike Toxaris, Mnseippus gives detailed examples and avoids generalization of ideas.
Toxaris: A Dialogue Of Friendship. Retrieved 24 November 2019, from https://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/luc/wl3/wl305.htm
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