What are the ways in which Greek sculpture was connected to the Greek worldview?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is difficult to take an entire's culture and then seek to reduce a complex world view in that culture to such a vast array such as a culture's sculpture.  This task becomes even more daunting when we examine Greek culture.  However, we can see some elements of the Greek world view present when we discuss sculpture such as the Parthenon.  The use of marble, an expensive material but one that possessed lasting quality, helps to connect to the permanence of the Greek world view.  The Greeks understood cosmological being as one in which there is permanence, and little of value in seeing life as transitory.  The use of marble, expensive but lasting, in the building of the Parthenon is significant in this light.

Additionally, the sculptural value of the Parthenon being placed upon a hill, the Acropolis, is significant.  The belief was that all should look towards or look up at the Parthenon.  This architectural design is reflective of the Greek world view that there is something larger than human consciousness.  The Greek pursuit of "the good, the true, and the beautiful," what Plato would call, "the forms" underscores what it means to be human.  To aspire and to look towards the heavens for what humans could be is where this element is seen in the Parthenon, as people "looked up" at it.  Using the Parthenon as an example of Greek sculpture, one can see how elements of the Greek world view are embedded within it.