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The Sacrifice Of Life (Iphigenia)

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A simple definition of sacrifice is to give up something for the sake of something else, whether it is for another human life, for an idea, or even for a belief. "She was 17 years old. He stood glaring at her, his weapon before her face. 'Do you believe in God?' She paused. It was a life-or-death question. 'Yes, I believe in God.' 'Why?' asked her executioner. But he never gave her the chance to respond. The teenage girl lay dead at his feet." (DC Talk 17) This example of a sacrifice really happened at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, on April 20, 1999. In the story Iphigenia and in today's society, justification can be found in favor of the sacrifice of life for the lives of others, for the sake of one's country, and for one's religious beliefs.

First, one can see the importance of the sacrifice of one life in order to save many more. In the Grecian tale, Iphigenia is forced by her father and the multitudes of Grecian soldiers to sacrifice her life in order to appease the god that controls the winds. Her inner struggle consists of the desire to live verses the knowledge of the fact that if she doesn't die, her family will be executed along with her. Iphigenia must decide which is more important in the grand scheme of things. Her decision to die is only made because she realizes that she is the sacrifice for the ones she holds dearest to her heart, her own family members. This devotion to her kindred is her reason for willingly giving her life. As Achilles speaks with Iphigenia about her decision, he notices the nobility and courage that she is putting forth in order to make such a huge sacrifice. This courage is much like the courage that is shown in the sacrifice of lives today for others.

When searching today's society for those that show courage and nobility like that of Iphigenia, one acknowledges the work of the firefighters and police departments. Every time a person of this profession leaves their station in lieu of a call, they are potentially sacrificing their lives for the lives of others. The many possible things that could happen to one of these workers while on the field could put them in a situation where their safety is questionable. It is understood that this worker must sacrifice his or her life for whatever person that is in need of help. This victim is more than likely a complete stranger to this firefighter or police officer, yet the workers continue to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the people. Contrary to Iphigenia's sacrifice for the ones she holds closest to her, today's defense workers are sacrificing their lives for the entire people group in their jurisdiction that they have never even met. Though there is this difference between now and then, the sacrifice of life still requires huge amounts of courage and a noble manner.

Next, justification of the loss of life for the sake of a country is evident through Iphigenia and today's society. In Iphigenia, thousands upon thousands of men are just waiting to sacrifice their lives in a war for the sake of their country. The cause of this war is the defining characteristic to notice. The entire Grecian army is ready to cross distant waters and lands in order to steal back something that was taken from



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