Ancient Greece is known as mother of oratorical art and rhetoric. Rhetoric is closely connected with political and social history of Antique world. Greeks called orator a munion of muse and told that muse spills sweet dew onto the lips of orator, that’s why they present sweet orations.
Funeral and farewell orations were very popular in the ancient Greece (Public Funeral pp. 1-3).
For example, Pericles in his famous “Funeral Oration” gives a good example of brightly written speech, which is also a defense of democracy. In this oration he speaks about worriers, who died for their fatherland. He speaks about the dead and also wants to “point out by what principles of action we rose ~ to power, and under what institutions and through what manner of life our empire became great” (Pericles, p.1)
Actually, almost all orations of those times had social and political accents. They were giving idea of democratic society (as in example of Pericles’ oration), orations against fate, where was proclaiming that a man is strong and even stronger, than the Gods are – the main accents on price and self-efficiency (Oedipus) (Brian Lea, p.1). Also “Sophocles’ Antigone courts death to break an unjust law, Pericles calls for unthinking loyalty to the state in his Funeral Oration, Socrates claims a tacit covenant with the Laws of the State as explanation why he can’t break them now that they are inconvenient for him.” (Janis Siegel, pp. 1-5)
Pericles tells also in which way democracy serves to the good of all Greeks. So, although this is funeral oration, which he addresses to the families of worriers, praising their honor and glory, but also he speaks about ideals of democracy in Greek society, addressing to all Greek citizens.
Citizens of Greece! To you I apply here. Citizens, I am not a man, who is worthwhile speaking a farewell orations in honor of this man. The whole fatherland should praise him and the whole fatherland should tell this oration. He was a great citizen of his country and his country is proud of him. This man worked in the Parliament and issued a lot of regulations, which brought to our country a lot of good. His life wasn’t easy, but his persistency and talent gave him possibility to fulfill everything he planned. Great will be the glory and deep will be the grief.
The Oresteia: Bringing Structure and Unity to a Core Course” by Janice Siegel, Temple University April 10-13, 1997 [online] http://lilt.ilstu.edu/drjclassics/texts/CourseThemes.shtm
The Curse of Oedipus by Brian Lea [online] http://www.cbu.edu/Academics/honors/hj2k3_curse.htm
“Pericles’ Funeral Oration”(translated by R. Crawley) excerpted from Book 2 of Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War [online] http://oll.temple.edu/ih/IH51/Greeks/Thucydides/Thucydidestext.htm
Public Funeral and its Oration [online] http://www.msu.edu/~tyrrell/public_funeral.htm