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Loyalty Essay

loyalty essay

Example #1 – Loyalty – Definition Essay

Loyalty is a complicated concept, which can be interpreted in many points of views. It is related to many other terms such as love, friendships, family relationships and many others. Loyalty is most of the time the basis of these other concepts. Without the presence of loyalty a strong relativity can never be built. Other than emotional relativities, loyalty is valid for many other areas, as well.

The dictionary defines the word loyalty as; Feelings of devoted attachment and affection. As seen in this definition, loyalty is relevant with devotion, and affection. Many people know devotion as a synonym for loyalty. This is wrong. The reason for this is, that loyalty can only be the basis of devotion, not the definition of it. The situation is the same for affection also. Affection cannot be present without loyalty, but there can be loyalty without affection.

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There are of course other concepts that loyalty is relevant with. Love, such as affection, cannot be present without loyalty. A healthy relationship can only be built on loyalty. By relationship, every kind of relativity is meant. Without loyalty, the concept of family should not be considered.

As stated in the introduction, there are many interpretations of loyalty. The most common one is, understanding loyalty as a childish habit. Especially in Turkish society, this opinion is common. Often, men think of being loyal to their wives as a feminine issue. On the other hand, a more important problem is that women are not expecting loyalty from their husbands anymore. This is a very unfortunate example of degeneration of a society, because of lacking loyalty. Another misinterpretation of loyalty can be as the following. Often times loyalty is being used as a weapon against the loyal person. A bad natured person can use the loyalty of the other person against him and can do a lot of things. Trust (another relevant concept) is the key concept here. Along with loyalty, trust comes, and trust is the key to deceit and lying.

Other than emotional areas, loyalty is the key to other things as well. For example, in businesses, employers should gain the loyalty of their employees to succeed in their business. If the employee does not feel trust towards his / her employer, then s/he would not be enthusiastic in working for him/her. Likewise, if a raise is expected, then there should be loyalty.

Big achievements cannot take place without loyalty between the two sides. To give a specific example, we can take doctors. Loyalty is a very important virtue in a doctor s job. A patient would definitely want to feel that his / her doctor is being loyal to him/her. The reason is, as said before, loyalty brings trust along with it, and trust is a definite idea in a doctor-patient relationship.

Loyalty is a virtue that is a must in almost everything human beings take part in life. It is the key to succeeding, as well as a healthy relationship. If thought analytically, it will be understood that almost every problem occurs that concern human beings is based on either disloyalty or the lacking of loyalty (two different concepts).


Example #2 – Loyalty & The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the main character, Huckleberry Finn is an early teenager living along the banks of the Mississippi River. He spends his time getting into mischief along with his friend Tom Sawyer. Mark Twain tells the story exclusively from Huck’s viewpoint, which creates a unique perspective.

The story is a somewhat realistic portrayal of life in the late nineteenth century along with all the embellishment of a young boy’s imagination. The story is filled with adventure, danger, and challenges to be faced. Throughout these challenges, Huck epitomizes loyalty. He is especially loyal to his friends. He remains loyal even when his choices could have a serious negative impact.

The first example of loyalty appears when Huck first meets up with Jim. Huck is faced with a very important decision. He must decide whether or not he should help free the runaway slave Jim. He knows that it could mean severe consequences if he helps Jim. On the other hand, Huck believes that helping a friend in need is important.

Slavery was commonplace and Huck has always been taught that slavery is moral and acceptable. After much soul-searching, Huck agreed to help Jim to freedom even though it goes against the conventions of the time. He went against his ingrained ideas and proves himself loyal to his friend Jim, regardless of race or ideas. Huck’s adventures with Jim become central to the plot as well as the primary example of Huck’s loyalty.

Huck’s loyalty is tested as Jim gets closer to freedom. When Jim thinks he spies Cairo and the mouth of the Ohio River, Huck begins to have second thoughts. He realizes that he would be blamed if word got out that he helped a slave to freedom. Huck convinces Jim it would be a good idea to ask some passing rafters if the town in the distance is indeed Cairo. Huck has his mind made up to spill his guts, when Jim calls out flattering remarks to Huck…

“Jim won’t ever forget you, Huck; you’s de bes’ fren’ Jim’s ever had; en you’s de only fren’ ole Jim’s got now.” (86-7)

This dialogue is a very effective way to get the reader to feel what Huck felt. It places emotions such as guilt or shame into the reader. Huck realizes that betraying Jim felt like the wrong thing to do. Again, Huck forsakes his own self-interest and decides that he is going to do the right thing no matter what the consequences. That is true loyalty.

It would have been just as easy for Huck to turn Jim in right then and there. He probably would have benefited socially and financially for such an act. Yet he doesn’t turn Jim in. The only explanation is that Huck believes in loyalty and can not stand to betray a friend.

Other characters in the story also display loyalty. Not only is the loyalty between Huck and Jim is mutual, but Jim displays loyalty to Tom Sawyer as well. Near the end of the story, a bullet wounds Tom Sawyer as he, Jim, and Huck flee a posse. Jim chooses to sacrifice his chance of freedom rather than leave Tom Sawyer behind. Even Tom himself is loyal to both Huck and Jim.

He has to undergo the same moral struggle as Huck. He must decide whether or not to help Jim; or if he should turn him in as he has been taught. Looking at this example, one can draw an important conclusion about loyalty. It is that loyalty begets loyalty in return. Loyalty between Huck, Jim, and Tom is both openly displayed and reciprocated.

The theme of loyalty in the story can be applied today. Loyalty is a necessity in today’s world. It would be a cold and inhuman place if people were not loyal to one another. No one would trust anyone else. The story also raises the question about going against the majority and doing the right thing. One of life’s hardest tests is staying true and loyal even when faced with adverse consequences. The novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn provides an enjoyable story, in addition to an example of true loyalty.


Example #3

One of the most important ideologies to me is loyalty. Any successful relationship, whether it be business, love, or friendship, involves loyalty. A business builds loyalty with its customers by continuously providing good products and services to its customers so that they will return rather than look elsewhere for their needs. Without customer loyalty, the business wouldn’t thrive as well and for as long.

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This is the same with love and friendship. Without loyalty, the relationship becomes inconsistent and fragile. Me personally, I want to be able to have confidence in my relationship with others. Those that I know are dependable, unbreakable, and where there is no need to question their loyalty. Any other type of relationship would be considered a waste of my time, honestly.

Loyalty can come in many forms and can mean various things depending on who you ask, but to me, it means giving someone your consistent love and support no matter what. It means not running away when times get hard, keeping your promises long after they left your mouth, and going through both the highs and the lows of life, together.

To me, loyalty is like an unspoken bond. Being loyal is not something you can just say you are, rather it is something you prove through time, sacrifice, and devotion. Anybody willing to humble themselves, be selfless and commit to you, is a valuable friend indeed. Life can get crazy, and it is a comforting feeling to know that you have someone in your corner to help you get through the hard times and celebrate the good times as well.

Which brings me to my next topic on loyalty. I feel like most people tend to recognize a person’s loyalty more when something bad occurs. It’s always good to know that you have someone who will stick through the rough times with you and help you get to a better place, but I feel like people don’t recognize a friend’s loyalty as much as they should when something good is happening too.

Many people can say they want the best for you but I’ve noticed that not everybody truly does have the best intentions for you. I’ve heard people say you should take notice to the ones who pick you up when they see you fall down, but I believe it’s just as important to pay attention to those supporting your success as well.

Not everyone is going to clap when they see you succeed. Some will get envious and look at it as more of a competition, but someone who is truly loyal to you will share in the merriments of your success because that was the goal in the first place; to be a selfless, genuine friend and succeed together. Those are the kinds of people you want in your circle. The kind that does not stray during your failures but also the ones that are there cheering you on during your success.

Without loyalty relationships become meaningless. Somebody could have hundreds of people in and out of there life, but to have a one genuinely loyal friend is worth so much more. There are many inconsistencies in life, but the people you share them with shouldn’t be one of them.


Example #4 – Loyalty In Twelfth Night

A common theme in many of Shakespeare’s plays is the idea of loyalty. Good or evil, right or wrong, the central character in the play always has at least one person whom no matter what the circumstances never leaves their side or never denies the person what they want even if it is contrary to what they want or believe.

The play Twelfth Night portrays a very good example of loyalty and sacrifice. Viola, or Cesario as she is known through most of the play, has found herself in an interesting predicament. A rather interesting ‘love triangle’ is woven in the play and she finds herself in the middle of it as both a man and a woman. The interesting part is that she puts her own feelings aside in order to fulfill the wishes of her Lord and her love. For anyone who has been in love they can understand how difficult it must have been to pursue another woman for the man that you love.

Viola is quoted as saying “I’ll do my best to woo your lady: [aside] yet a barful strife! Whoever I woo, myself would be his wife” (Twelfth Night I.iv.40), she is admitting that she loves him. This is not going to stop her from pursuing Olivia on Orsino’s behalf. In creating her character Shakespeare has in effect created someone who will put her own interests aside in order to be loyal to the Duke. This is the ultimate sacrifice. Loyalty in this case is something that is prohibiting the character from finding her own happiness. She never considers not carrying out her duties to further her gain. Her loyalty lies in two different aspects, to her Lord and to her Love.

Viola’s character is so unique because through her disguise she becomes the love interest of the very woman that she is pursuing for the Duke. Obviously her interests would lie far from getting involved with Olivia but we can still observe her persistence in her loyalty to the Duke. It is at the times when Olivia is persistent in her love for Cesario that I think Viola’s loyalty shines through the most. Going against her own feelings she always has the Duke’s interests at heart. Viola, in my opinion, truly represents the loyal servant and love.

In King Lear, one of King Lear’s largest supporters is Kent. While he is only Kent in Lear’s eyes for a short while in the play, because he is disguised, it is Kent none the less who watches out for Lear and attempts to protect him. Beginning with the first line of the play we already see Kent interested and involved in King Lear’s life and well being. Kent is an interesting character because he does not stay in the good graces of King Lear past Act I, Scene i but this does not stop him from being true, loyal and faithful to his King. At the point just before Kent is banished from the kingdom he is quoted as saying

“Royal Lear, who I have ever honoured as

my king, loved as my father, as my master

followed, as my great patron thought on in

my prayers-” (King Lear I.i.140).

These are words that would only be spoken by a man that was truly loving and loyal. This quotation sets up for us that even after he is banished from the kingdom he will continue to serve and be loyal to his King. He accomplishes this is by using a disguise to hide his identity which will allow him to say by Lear’s side till the end of the play. As far as I’m concerned this is the ultimate form of loyalty because Kent’s only agenda is to keep Lear safe. As the play progresses we see Kent doing various deeds in order to protect Lear’s reputation and life. Kent’s goal is to protect Lear from his two daughters Goneril and Regan whom he feels are trying to eliminate Lear to increase their own power. Kent knows that Lear does not realize that he has made a monumental mistake by splitting his power between Goneril and Regan and he is trying to rectify the situation. In effect, Kent is trying to save Lear from himself.

Shakespeare creates such a wonderful character with Kent because Kent is the ultimate servant. Although he disagrees with Lear over what has occurred with Cordelia he never abandons his loyalty to his king. Kent has fights to defend Lear, he is sent to the stocks after defending Lear, he watches out for Lear while he is ‘losing his mind’, and importantly keeps in contact with Cordelia acting as a pseudo father. He knows what is important to Lear and he will go to great lengths to uphold that. At the end of the play, he refuses reinstatement of his title and we can only assume because he is doing this because he will no longer be of service to his king. In Kent, we see a loyal servant and friend.

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In Antony and Cleopatra Enobarbus is a character that represents the ideal follower and friend. Enobarbus is Antony’s greatest supporter. He is the only person who actually approves of Antony and Cleopatra’s relationship, in fact he is infatuated with the idea of them being together. He never doubts their love and is sure that they will always be together even after Antony’s marriage to Octavia. He is a voice of reason and completely honest with Antony, he is truly his friend. Enobarbus is always looking out for Antony and trying to give him sound advice, which will be helpful to him in battle, but Antony does not listen. When Antony says that he is going to prepare for a war against Caesar that is on the sea, Enobarbus is the one telling him that he will be defeated unless the battle is on land. It is things like that make us see how devoted Enobarbus is to Antony. He is not afraid to tell Antony how he feels if he thinks that it will help him. Enobarbus, as supportive as he is of Antony and Cleopatra’s relationship tries to help Antony see what the reality is.

Cleopatra is a real distraction for Antony and many of his followers see this as a downfall and disassociate from Antony, Enobarbus is the only person who is staying loyal to Antony (against his better judgment). He knows that Antony is going down but he will not leave him. It is not until Antony decides to fight out of anger rather than reason that Enobarbus decides to abandon Antony. As far as Enobarbus is concerned, Antony has lost his mind and that is why he decides to abandon him.

After Enobarbus’ desertion, he is overcome with guilt. His loyalty still lies with Antony and hates himself, he feels that he is a common traitor and must rectify the situation. Enobarbus’ true feelings, pain, and regret come forth in the apostrophe that he gives just before he dies. He is filled with guilt and prays for Antony’s forgiveness. Enobarbus says,

“O Antony, nobler than my revolt is infamous,

forgive me in thine own particular, but let the

world rank me in register a master-leaver and a

fugitive. O Antony! O Antony”

(Antony and Cleopatra, IV.ix.19)

it is clear through his final words that he can never forgive himself for what he has done. In this speech he also wants to be branded a trader. He was faithful to Antony up to the very end and now as he is dying he withdraws his loyalty over a brief period of disaffiliation. Shakespeare makes this very powerful and makes us feel the pain of Enobarbus. He makes his last words a calling, a begging for Antony’s forgiveness. His loyalty stretches to the point of death, if this is not being true and devoted to someone I don’t know what is.

Every situation I have spoke about so far was the loyalty of a servant to his King but in Measure for Measure Shakespeare sets up a different kind of loyalty for us and that is family loyalty. Isabella is loyal and devoted to her brother Claudio. In the first act of the play we find out that Isabella has joined a convent and is called upon from there to help her brother Claudio. She is put into a very awkward situation when her brother seeks out her help in setting him free from prison.

After rushing to his aide when she hears of his death sentence, she is forced to make a tough decision that will go against everything that she believes in. Her first decision lies in defending her brother for committing a sin that goes against all her religious beliefs, fornication. While she wishes to help her brother, what he is asking her to do goes against her moral values. While she feels he should be punished she agrees to do whatever she can do to save his life. Both Claudio and Lucio (Claudio’s friend) try to convince Isabella to use her femininity to persuade Angelo. What they do not realize is that as devoted and loving a sister Isabella maybe, she is also devoted to her religious beliefs and to God. Her familial loyalty will only go so far before her loyalty to God will intervene.

After Isabella goes and pleads for her brother’s life in front of Angelo she is confronted with the choice of letting her brother die or sleeping with Angelo to set him free. Shakespeare does something very interesting in the sequence of the play because he shifts the loyalty that Isabella has for her brother totally into loyalty for God. He sets up the story she must either give up her body or give up her soul and she chooses her soul, therefore choosing God. Even though this is the decision that she makes she still pleads with Angelo to let Claudio live and he denies her. This leaves Isabella with having to tell her brother that he will die because she will not sleep with Angelo.

This in effect causes friction between Isabella and Claudio. Claudio does not understand why she will not do such a simple thing to save his life. Isabella in her defense is quoted as saying, “O, were it but my life, I’d throw it down in your deliverance as a frankly as a pin” (Measure for Measure III.i.104). This is a very bold statement that Claudio rejects and is unsatisfied with even though she said that she would die for him. This is the absolute testament to loyalty and love, she is willing to die for him. She becomes outraged that he feels this way, she cannot understand that he would compromise her body and soul to save his life. She is quoted as saying

“O, you beast! O faithless coward! O dishonest

wretch! Wilt though be made a man out of my

vice? Is’t not a kind of incest to take life out

of thine own sister’s shame?

(Measure for Measure, III.i.135).

After this encounter we never see Claudio and Isabella speak again. While she does take part in the plan that will trick Angelo and ultimately result in Claudio’s release from prison, it appears that Isabella harbors resentment toward her brother. The lengths that she was willing to go where not enough for him and his asking her to do what at the time was unthinkable to her caused her to disassociate herself from him. All in all as mad and upset as Isabella was with her brother she never stopped trying to save him, therefore, proving her love and loyalty to him as a sister.

Shakespeare’s interpretation of loyalty through these plays says a lot to me about what it meant to be someone follower, servant, or even sibling. It appears to me that to the people of Shakespeare’s time they would rather die than be dishonorable to the people they love. I think that these four characters are good examples of this ideal and I think that Shakespeare through the use of interesting stories makes good the point that loyalty is a true testament to love.


Example #5 – Loyalty In Odyssey

In The Odyssey by Homer, the scene when Odysseus dog Argos recognized him after nineteen years of absence, along with Eumaios still respecting his master greatly showed that a loyal person in the Odyssey or even in the Greek society will be respected while the disloyal are despised. Unlike disloyal characters such as Melanthios, the reader respects characters that put duty over personal gain in The Odyssey. The Characters get what they deserve in the Odyssey, if they are respectable, they usually end up well, if they are disloyal, they end up bad.

Both Argos and Odysseus did not forget each other during their nineteen years of separation. Even when Argos is weak, dirty, and dying, he still tried to show affection toward Odysseus by wagging his tail, and laying his ears back. This showed that his loyalty towards Odysseus never faded despite his master s absence. When Odysseus recognized Argos and realized he never forgot about him, Odysseus becomes emotional and wiped a drop of tear away. I was touched after reading this scene, and it was hard to ignore my respect and sympathy towards Argos. Not only the animals display this sort of fealty, however since Argos was loyal, but the reader also respects this character.

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Eumaios, the swineherd, also embodies the characteristics of a faithful servant. Like Argos, even when Odysseus is speculated as dead, Eumaios still refers to Odysseus as his master: I call him my Master, though he is absent. His kind treatment of the beggar, who was actually Odysseus, shows he is a good person in general, not only to his master. The fact that Eumaios sleeps with Odysseus pigs every night greatly reinforces this pattern of being loyal. He was so loyal that in order to take care of his absent master s livelihood he sacrificed himself. I respected Eumaios because he treated the property as if he expected Odysseus to return at daybreak. In the end, he also helped Odysseus in the banquet hall battle. His ultimate fate was not due to luck, but rather a life of uncompromising devotion.

Not all of Odysseus s servants emulated this ideal. Melanthios, to the contrary, was the exact opposite of Eumaios. He ignored his duty as a goatherd by delivering the goats to the suitors instead of protecting Odysseus’ property. Even though Odysseus has been gone for a long time, he should still do his job because Penelope was still his master. Even though the goatherd insulted Odysseus unwittingly, the author used dramatic irony here to accentuate the servant s recklessness.

The reader knows Odysseus was in disguise, and he was holding in his anger, but Melanthios didn’t. He kicked him on the street, he tried to tell Odysseus to leave his own house, and he even helps the suitors during the banquet. These scenes foreshadowed Melanthios’ brutal execution later in the story.

In conclusion, the loyal characters in The Odyssey had a good end to them, and the disloyal characters all suffered. Since Homer wrote this play hundreds of years ago, this shows that in Greek society loyalty was an important characteristic to have. (In a world of great uncertainty, the devotion of allies, friends, and servants cannot be overlooked. Though the times have changed, the value of fidelity has not. Like Odysseus, each of us should evaluate our friends and allies before placing complete trust in them.


Example #6 – Employee Loyalty

Loyalty seems like a quality that is becoming increasingly harder to find. People today are feeling less and less of an obligation to their employer. Years ago, employees believed that when they were hired that they would be with that same company until they retired. That is no longer the case. People today change jobs and even careers at least once during their lifetime. People’s sense of obligation and loyalty have changed. How loyal are employees expected to be to their employer?

In the article, Four Concepts of Loyalty, David Soles discusses different views on loyalty and how they relate to employee loyalty. The first view is that of Josiah Royce, an American idealist. According to Royce, loyalty requires total, thorough-going dedication to a cause. Royce’s definition of loyalty would lead people to believe that a truly loyal employee ” would always be willing to place the interests of the principal before purely private interests, even in matters unrelated to employment; a loyal employee would never advocate or vote for social policies or legislation that might damage the interests of the employer; a loyal employee would never criticize or oppose the actions of the employer ” and so on.

These are not realistic expectations and most people would have to agree that the average employee would not behave in this manner. The idealist concept of loyalty implies it is very unlikely that a business could even qualify as an object that people could be loyal to. It requires people to contribute more than most people would conceive of contributing to their employer. To many people, their job or even career cannot compare to a family or a close friend.

The common-sense view of loyalty is a view most of us are familiar with. In this case, most people see no problem with being a loyal fan of a baseball team or that someone is loyal to his/her alma mater. There are three fundamental features of loyalty that relate directly to the common-sense conception. First, loyalty entails having a positive attitude toward the object on one’s loyalty. Second, loyalty involves serving the interests of the object one is loyal to. And lastly, both the concern and the obligation that a person believes he/she has to the object connect that person to that object.

The common-sense view goes on to discuss an employees’ loyalty to his/her employer. According to this conception, no one has an obligation to be loyal to anything. For a person to be loyal to something, one must care about it. Furthermore, people can have moral obligations to perform certain actions but we do not have moral obligations to have certain attitudes and beliefs. The common-sense conception also states that one should only bestow their loyalty onto those objects, which are worthy of it. Moreover, if a person were to feel obligated to his/her employer than loyalty is said to exist. However, if there were no feeling of obligation, then would the employee owe his employer anything?

The concept of employee loyalty is one that has many meanings. Depending on how one defines loyalty and how it is applied can be very different. As if this concept is not complicated enough, what happens when employees are downsized or randomly tested for drugs? Many people would have to say a lot.

Drug testing is one issue that is highly debatable. While many employers believe that drug testing is necessary to safeguard coworkers and consumer health and safety, critics say that it violates people’s right to privacy. Privacy is a trusting way others treat us, resulting in a conception of ourselves, as worth being trusted. Random or across the board drug testing without “reasonable cause” implicitly tells employees that they are not trustworthy. When an employees’ trust is undermined they do not feel like they can act autonomously because there is no trust present. Moreover, people who are trusted less are less likely to feel obligated to that company since there is no connection between the individual and the object (the employer).

In conclusion, employee loyalty is a topic in which people have debated for many years. I personally feel that an employee has an obligation to their workplace. That obligation does not involve putting the interests of the company before all other personal interests, however, it involves a commitment to that job and to the people involved.

Going to work and doing a little more than what your job requires you to do is an example of that loyalty and commitment. Advocating the positive things about your company and those that you work with is a basic part of your employment. However, individuals will continue to hold their own view of loyalty and how they relate it to the employer.

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