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Agamemnon vs. Abraham: Universality vs. individuality

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  1. Introduction
  2. The demand God makes off Abraham
  3. Kierkegaard's use of Abraham to portray the religious mindset
  4. Agamemnon's sacrifice of his daughter
  5. Agamemnon and Martin Luther King
  6. The contradicting actions performed by Abraham and Agamemnon in Fear and Trembling
  7. Conclusion
  8. Bibliography

Throughout Soren Kierkegaard's book, Fear and Trembling, there is controversy over whether the religious mindset or the ethical mindset should be used as the outline by which a person lives their life. These conflicting views are depicted by the decisions which Abraham and Agamemnon encounter during their lives. After reading about both of these much different decisions, Abraham's individualistic mindset can be compared to Adolf Hitler's mindset, while Agamemnon's universalistic mindset can be compared to Martin Luther King's mindset. It is after studying both of these mindsets that it is clear that Agamemnon's situation is much more justifiable. Kierkegaard uses Abraham in order to explain how people who live by a religious mindset make decisions throughout their lives. Abraham is given a choice, which will decide whether he is faithful enough or not towards his religion.

[...] Through the contradicting actions performed by Abraham and Agamemnon in Fear and Trembling, it is easily understood which type of mindset a human life should be outlined by. Abraham's religious mindset has the potential to bring one a successful life, but on an individual level. On the contrary, Agamemnon's ethical mindset has the potential to bring one a successful life on a universal level. It is this type of mindset which has enabled the world to evolve over time. When people live through an individual mindset, they do not contribute to better the whole of their community, but instead, bettering only themselves. [...]

[...] Agamemnon and Martin Luther King both fulfilled actions which can be closely related to one another. Both performed actions out of a modem opposite that of Abraham and Hitler; a modem of selflessness. Martin Luther is the most famous civil rights activist as a result of his actions throughout the civil rights movement. MLK was the leader of countless attempts to bring awareness to the American people of the brutality African Americans endured before the 1970s. These actions were chosen for the same reason as Agamemnon's. [...]

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