Two Of These Protagonists Address
Various protagonists have been involved in dilemmas that leave them with tough decisions to make. They handled the situations in their respective matters and there is a lot to be learnt or inferred form the same. It also makes it possible to contrast the way each character dealt with their situations and from the same we can borrow on how to handle different situations. The dilemmas touch on various spheres of life and could be moral, emotional or ethical just as it is in the contemporary society.
Arjuna is one of the individuals who is faced with the dilemmas when he goes to war together with his Charioteer Krishna and when he looks at both armies, he realizes that they both contain his relatives. He is torn in between which side to be on since his cousins, uncles, friends and other kinsmen. He is of the opinion that he cannot find pleasure in killing his own. Arjuna tells Krishna that even if he (Arjuna) is killed, he won’t in any world try to kill his kinsmen as what of what value would kinship be if an individual can kill their own. It renders Arjuna a moral dilemma and at the same time an ethical dilemma. The great warrior he is, nothing is greater than the duty to deliver victory in war but this becomes challenging when he is to kill his own in order to deliver the same. Arjuna is of the stance that honor does not only come from victory in battles but also from upholding our morals which does not entail killing of relatives (Ram, 1968).
Love and relationships are tested on various occasions just like in the case of Aeneas and Dido. It is from such dilemmas during those turbulent tests that significant decisions have to be made. There is a dilemma between Aeneas duty to leave Troy and conquer Italy. Dido comes along the way and their love for each other makes puts Aeneas in a position where he has to make a choice between his emotional attachment to Dido and the ethical duties owed to his people. His fate has already determined and there is no way he can run from the same. Additionally, Venus ensures that things are tougher for him. It reaches a point where Aeneas has to part ways with Dido who he truly loves. He recognizes the burden he has and the same cannot be compromised by finding love. Dido acts in a manner that Aeneas least expects when he informs her of the same and Aeneas finds it reasonable considering the manner in which she had given up a lot in order to see their relationship succeed (Harris, 2017).
The two character above have had high regards for societal values over their personal feelings or ambitions. Arjuna believes in kinship and refuses to participate in the battle while Aeneas makes the decision to accomplish his tasks even though it is tough for him to leave behind the woman he genuinely loves. These confrontations indicate that the values and priorities of our cultures, which derive from the society are more significant than personal fulfillments. From the two protagonists, we learn that personal desires and satisfactions are not the basis for making decisions. Life comes along with significant dilemmas and at times we are called upon to make decisions that aim at our long term wellbeing or that of the society at large (Bhatia et al, 2013).
Ram, Alur Janaki. “Arjuna and Hamlet: Two Moral Dilemmās.” Philosophy East and West (1968): 11-28.
Bhatia, Subhash C., et al. “The Bhagavad Gita and contemporary psychotherapies.” Indian journal of psychiatry55.Suppl 2 (2013): S315.
Harris, Ellen T. Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Oxford University Press, 2017.