Demades and the duty to do

Demades and the duty to do

Demades and the duty to do is a metaphor where the narrator, Aesop , is also the reference of the story.

Aesop strong> that the speaker Démades (1) spoke one day, in the public square, to the citizens of Athens , but as they did not pay much attention to his speech, he stopped this, and asked to be allowed to tell a fable of Aesop .

Granted the demand immediately, Démades , before a much more attentive audience, He began to say this way:

- On one occasion, the goddess Demeter (2), the swallow and the Anguilla traveled together along a road when at some point they reached the edge of a river; before the obstacle that blocked their way, the swallow flew off, the eel submerged in the waters and the goddess ... and here her speech stopped, Démades .

And he remained silent until ...

- And Demeter - those who listened to him shouted impatiently - what did she do, then ?

- Demeter got into a rage against you - replied Démades , as I do now because you are frivolous and vain and neglect the affairs of State to entertain you with the fables of Aesop .

Concludes Aesop in his moral, that often happens to many people: they prefer to only attend to pleasure by not doing things for him really necessary or required. And it suggests, then, not to fall into that error and share in a balanced way the duty and the pleasure.

The criticism of the idle and those who do not fulfill their public (or private) function is therefore clear.

Note well that Aesop does not deny pleasure or criticize the Athenians for enjoying it, but it does so for those who, having public function, substitute this, in part, for pleasure. The problem is not so much in the pleasure but in its substitution by the work due, when a public work is being exercised.

And the story of the author to catch the attention of the readers is superb.

Miguel Villarroya Martín, February 21, 2016/Madrid. Spain/Fab.010/


(1) See Démades in the Wikipedia: "Demades, speaker and Athenian politician (Athens, 384 BC-320 BC).

(2)" The goddess Demeter is the protecting divinity of the crops and the fertility of the fields, responsible for the birth and regeneration of the plants. Along with his daughter Persephone, Demeter was one of the oldest and most important deities of the whole of Hellas, receiving worship in many places, of which the most outstanding was undoubtedly that of Eleusis, home of the Eleusinian mysteries . "Read the full article in Classic portal.

(3) Roman statue of Demeter . It appears in Wikipedia as a public domain image. Photographer Jastrow (2006) We all appreciate the use of the image.

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