The question of to what or to whom individuals owe their highest allegiance is one that has confronted every society and generation. While each society is free to arrive at its own conclusion most have a common denominator. That common denominator is the belief that the gods of the time deserve homage and obedience. Those who acknowledge the gods are rewarded while those who ignore them are punished severely. Greek literature gives many examples of this.

Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Plato all gave the gods important positions in everyday life. The culture that Aeschylus wrote about mandated that the gods should be obeyed under all circumstances. Orestes obeyed the gods and killed his mother demonstrating that obedience to the gods must be absolute. Sophocles espoused the view that loyalty belongs first to the gods. Antigone buries her brother effectively rejecting the laws of the state, giving priority to the laws of the gods. Socrates believed that the only path he could follow was the path that was in accordance with the desires of the gods. These three Greeks demonstrate the view of the Greek society that human loyalty belonged to the gods.

Loyalty and allegiance to the gods involves honoring the wishes of the gods. Humans will both reap the benefits of fulfilling the wishes of the gods and suffer the consequences of failing to obey. Aeschylus presented Clytemnestra and Orestes as examples of the results of disregarding or following the orders of the gods. Clytemnestra elevated herself above the gods when she violated the law of the gods and murdered her husband Agamemnon. The son of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Orestes, is then commanded by the god Apollo to avenge the murder of his father by killing his mother. He briefly wrestles with carrying out the command of Apollo only to be admonished by his companion Pylades who says “Make all mankind your enemy, not the gods” (Aeschylus, 573) that his only hope is to maintain true allegiance to the gods.

The gods will protect the people that obey them. When Orestes obeyed Apollo and killed his mother he was pursued by the Furies who wished to punish him for committing matricide. However, Orestes had won the protection of Apollo because of his obedience and Apollo supported Orestes saying “I share responsibility for his mother’s execution”( Aeschylus, 594) Because Orestes gave his first allegiance to the law of the gods by avenging the murder of his father as ordered by Apollo he was rewarded by the gods and set free. The gods will protect and reward the people who listen and obey their commands.

Yet another reason the gods must have the first place in life is that the gods give meaning to life. The gods provide a standard of perfection that individuals must strive to achieve. Striving to obtain that perfect standard gives individuals a purpose for living outside of themselves. Reaching the perfect standard of the gods was the all consuming passion of Sophocles Antigone. Antigone buried her brother according to the law of the gods in direct disobedience to the decree of her Uncle Creon, the king. When criticized by her sister Antigone made her priorities clear when she referred to the gods saying “I know I please where I must please the most.” (Sophocles, 655) Because Antigone honored the gods before men she had a purpose in life. In contrast her sister Ismeme found her life purpose in the lives of others. Once Antigone was condemned to death by her Uncle Creon Ismeme made her lack of purpose clear saying “How can I live alone, without her?” (Sophocles, 668) Individuals that are faithful to the gods will have a life purpose regardless of outside circumstances.

Similar to indifference toward external circumstances, giving allegiance to the gods also causes individuals to remain faithful to their calling at great personal expense. The price of considering the good of others is far smaller than the anticipated reward. Socrates demonstrated this in his staunch defense of his activities in . Socrates claimed that he was “indeed the sort of person to be given as a gift to the city by the gods” (Plato, 771) Socrates believed he was a gift to Athens and that it was imperative that he remain faithful to his calling to truly benefit the people of Athens. Socrates did remain faithful to his calling and was ultimately sentenced to death. Upon receiving his sentence however Socrates said ‘The difficult thing, gentlemen, isn’t escaping death; escaping villainy is much more difficult,” (Plato, 777) Socrates did not escape death, but he did remain faithful to his calling which benefited the people of . In remaining faithful Socrates believed he was honoring the gods to the highest extent.

The consequences for disobeying the deities of society can be quite severe. In some instances the penalty exacted might be life itself. Clytemnestra paid for her disobedience with her life. As a result of his disobedience to the gods Creon lost everything he held dear. Creon’s punishment is perhaps even worse than Clytemnestra’s. After the deaths of his son and wife he says “I died once, you kill me again and again!” (Sophocles, 687) In the case of Socrates the society as a whole had to bear the consequences for subordinating the wishes of the gods to their own. When they killed Socrates they lost an invaluable asset who could have shaped the next generation of Athenians into strong leaders.

Highest allegiance belongs to the gods for a number of reasons. The gods will take notice to those who obey them and will reward them. They will also take notice of those individuals who disregard their commands and punish them sometimes quite severely. Also, allegiance to the gods gives an inherent meaning to life that does not depend on external circumstances. Ultimately, a good quality of life depends on recognizing the gods as sovereign over every aspect of life.
I suggest you fix the tense inconsistencies.

Hope this helps.

The question of to what or to whom individuals owe their highest allegiance is one that has confronted every society and generation. While each society is free to arrive at its own conclusion most have a common denominator. That common denominator is the belief that the gods of the time deserve homage and obedience. Those who acknowledge the gods are rewarded while those who ignore them are punished severely. Greek literature gives many examples of this.

Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Plato all gave the gods important positions in everyday life. The culture that Aeschylus wrote about mandated that the gods should be obeyed under all circumstances. Orestes obeyed the gods and killed his mother demonstrating that obedience to the gods must be absolute. Sophocles espoused the view that loyalty belongs first to the gods. Antigone buries her brother in defiance of the laws of the state, giving priority to the laws of the gods. Socrates believed that the only path he could follow was the path that was in accordance with the desires of the gods. These three Greeks demonstrate the view of the Greek society that human loyalty belonged (wording) to the gods. (tense inconsistencies throughout. I highlighted some for you)

Loyalty and allegiance to the gods involves honoring the wishes of the gods. Humans will both (not at the same time) reap the benefits of fulfilling the wishes of the gods and suffer the consequences of failing to obey. Aeschylus presented Clytemnestra and Orestes as examples of the results of disregarding or following the orders of the gods. Clytemnestra elevated herself above the gods when she violated the law of the gods and murdered her husband Agamemnon. The son of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Orestes, is then commanded by the god Apollo to avenge the murder of his father by killing his mother. He briefly wrestles with carrying out the command of Apollo only to be admonished by his companion Pylades who says “Make all mankind your enemy, not the gods” (Aeschylus, 573). His only hope is to maintain true allegiance to the gods.

The gods will protect the people that obey them. When Orestes obeyed Apollo and killed his mother he was pursued by the Furies who wished to punish him for committing matricide. However, Orestes had won the protection of Apollo because of his obedience and Apollo supported Orestes by saying “I share responsibility for his mother’s execution”( Aeschylus, 594) Because Orestes gave his first allegiance to the law of the gods by avenging the murder of his father as ordered by Apollo he was rewarded by the gods and set free. The gods will protect and reward the people who listen to and obey their commands.

Yet another reason the gods must have the first place in life is that the gods give meaning to life. The gods provide a standard of perfection that individuals must strive to achieve. Striving to obtain that perfect standard gives individuals a purpose for living outside (wording) themselves. Reaching the perfect standard of the gods was the all consuming passion of Sophocles' Antigone. Antigone buried her brother according to the law of the gods in defiance of her Uncle Creon, the king. When criticized by her sister Antigone made her priorities clear when she referred to the gods, saying “I know I please where I must please the most.” (Sophocles, 655) Because Antigone honored the gods before men she had a purpose in life. In contrast, her sister Ismeme found her life's purpose in the lives of others. Once Antigone was condemned to death by her Uncle Creon Ismeme made her lack of purpose clear by saying “How can I live alone, without her?” (Sophocles, 668) Individuals that are faithful to the gods will have a purpose in life regardless of outside circumstances.

Similar to indifference toward external circumstances, giving allegiance to the gods also causes individuals to remain faithful to their calling at great personal expense. The price of considering the good of others (what do you mean?) is far smaller than the anticipated reward. Socrates demonstrated this in his staunch defense of his activities in . Socrates claimed that he was “indeed the sort of person to be given as a gift to the city by the gods” (Plato, 771) Socrates believed he was a gift to Athens and that it was imperative that he remain faithful to his calling to truly benefit the people of Athens. Socrates did remain faithful to his calling and was ultimately sentenced to death. Upon receiving his sentence, Socrates said ‘The difficult thing, gentlemen, isn’t escaping death; escaping villainy is much more difficult,” (Plato, 777) Socrates did not escape death, but he did remain faithful to his calling which benefited the people of . In remaining faithful Socrates believed he was honoring the gods to the highest extent.

The consequences for disobeying the deities of society can be quite severe. In some instances the penalty exacted might be life itself. Clytemnestra paid for her disobedience with her life. As a result of his disobedience to the gods Creon lost everything he held dear. Creon’s punishment is perhaps even worse than Clytemnestra’s. After the deaths of his son and wife he says “I died once, you kill me again and again!” (Sophocles, 687) In the case of Socrates the society as a whole had to bear the consequences for subordinating the wishes of the gods to their own. When they killed Socrates they lost an invaluable asset who could have shaped the next generation of Athenians into strong leaders.

Highest allegiance belongs to the gods for a number of reasons. The gods will take notice to those who obey them and will reward them. They will also take notice of those individuals who disregard their commands and punish them sometimes quite severely. Also, allegiance to the gods gives an inherent meaning to life that does not depend on external circumstances. Ultimately, a good quality of life depends on recognizing the gods as sovereign over every aspect of life.
Thank you! I will try to correct those.