Zeus’ mythology Research Paper
The Greek mythology provides prolific accounts of several supernatural beings. One of these beings is Zeus the overall ruler of Olympus. According to Greek mythology, Zeus was Cronus and Rhea’s son. In religious stature, Zeus held the same position as the Roman god Jupiter or the Hindu sky god Rigveda.
Zeus had a reputation as a carrier of thunderbolt and lightning. Zeus’ main weapon was the thunderbolt and he was commonly referred to as the father of men and gods (Lawson 65). Zeus had both divine and mortal offspring from his union with Hera and other females. This paper will offer insight into the details that surround Zeus’ mythology including his birth, roles, and offspring.
Zeus was fathered by Titan gods Cronus and Rhea. According to Greek mythology, Zeus was the youngest and only surviving offspring of Cronus. All his other siblings had been swallowed by Cronus who had been warned by an oracle that his offspring would dethrone him.
Cronus had gulped all his other offspring immediately after birth. Zeus’ mother Rhea arranged to save him after enlisting the help of Gaia. When Zeus was born, Rhea handed Cronus a rock that was disguised as a baby. Cronus immediately swallowed the Rock While Rhea hid Zeus in a cave.
There are several conflicting myths as to how Zeus was brought up. The most common story is that Zeus was raised by Gaia in the caves of Crete. Others claim that he was raised by a goat that was protected by an army of gods. Another myth claims that because Cronus was the ruler of earth, heaven, and sea, Zeus was raised while being suspended mid-air where Cronus could not see him. Zeus’ other siblings included “Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter and Hera” (Lawson 165).
After Zeus had grown up, he confronted Cronus and forced him to emit his siblings. Zeus’ brothers and sisters showed gratitude for his actions by helping him defeat Cronus and other Titans. In addition, Zeus was able to release Cronus’ brothers from imprisonment by slaying their guard. It was one of Cronus’ brothers Cyclopes who bestowed thunder and thunderbolt upon Zeus.
Eventually, Zeus was able to defeat Cronus and exile some of his supporters. Zeus punished one of his opposing Titans by having him hold up the sky. After his victory, Zeus shared the kingdom of the universe with his siblings Poseidon and Hades. When the three drew lots, Zeus attained the sky and air kingdom, Poseidon attained the water kingdom, and Hades won the kingdom of the dead.
The division of the kingdom explains why Poseidon was the ‘god of the earthquakes’ and Hades had the right of ownership over the dead. Gaia was the “mother of the Titans and she was resentful of how Zeus had treated some of them” (Lang 88). Zeus had to fight with the remaining Titans and he was able to vanquish one of them by the name Typhoon.
Zeus was married to Hera but he also engaged in several extra marital affairs. Both his marriage and his affairs resulted in numerous immortal and mortal offspring. His marriage resulted in the birth of Ares, Eileithyia, Hebe, and Hephaestus. His wife Hera was known for her jealousy and she objected to his numerous affairs.
His affairs with mortals and goddesses were achieved through either rape or witty seduction techniques. Zeus’ affair with Leto resulted in the birth of Artemis and Apollo. Hera was very jealous of this affair and she condemned Leto to roam the earth while searching for a place to give birth.
Eventually, Leto had to give birth in a floating island that was neither sea nor land. Zeus also engaged in various affairs with mortals such as his union with Leda. During his liaisons with mortals, Zeus would often adopt a disguise. For instance, in his union with princess Danae, he disguised himself as a gold shower (Larson 60). Some of Zeus’ offspring from his union with mortals include Helen of Troy, Perseus, and Castor.
There are several shrines that have been erected as a tribute Zeus. In addition, several festivals have been instituted in his honor. An example of a temple that was built in Zeus’ honor is the Temple of Zeus in Olympia. The “temple bears a magnificent ivory and gold statue of Zeus” (Lawson 26).
Most works of art depict Zeus as a youthful, middle-aged, and bearded man. He is usually depicted in a pose that shows him when he is about to throw a thunderbolt. The Olympic Games that are still held to date “were started in Zeus’ honor” (Larson 88). Several Greek museums feature several of Zeus’ artifacts including the Artemisium Zeus sculpture.
Zeus is known as the punisher of the liars and oath-breakers. Moreover, Zeus was known as the god who assembled the clouds and brought forth rain. Greek mythology presents Zeus as the “god of justice, the protector of the weak, and the punisher of the wicked” (Lang 88). Modern culture has incorporated Zeus into various aspects of everyday life including his depiction in Euro coins.
Lang, Andrew. Greek Divine Myth-Greek Gods in Myth and Religion, New York, NY: Pierides Press, 2010. Print.
Larson, Jennifer. “A Land Full of Gods: Nature Deities in Greek Religion.” A Companion to Greek Religion 23.1 (2010): 56-70. Print.
Lawson, John. Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion: A Study In Survivals, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Print.
“Zeus: King of the Gods (Olympians)” by George O’Connor Essay (Book Review)
Introduction: Welcome to the Olympus
Numerous authors have undertaken countless attempts to retell the original Greek mythology. Some have succeeded; however, creating anything new out of the stories that have been re-told billions of times is very hard. One of the few people who handled this task, George O’Connor put Zeus and other Greek mythological characters in a comic book setting.
Zeus: King of the Gods (Olympians)
By George O’Connor
Paperback, 80 pages, Published in 2010, First Edition.
ISBN-10: 1-59643-431-7 / 1596434317
ISBN-13: 978-1-59643-431-8 / 9781596434318
Plot Summary: Zeus’s Life in Eighty Pages
George O’Connor has decided to take a different approach towards traditional storytelling and out the famous Greek mythological characters into the setting of a comic novel. Thus, he managed to retell Zeus’s life in eighty pages, yet retaining the original flair of the ancient stories and mentioning every single detail that appears in the traditional stories.
Even though the line between god and people was blurred by the Greek narrators originally, which showed in portraying the Greek gods with typically human features and sins, i.e., vanity, wrath, envy, etc., O’Connor makes this line even less noticeable by telling the readers about Zeus’s youth – something that the traditional myths usually skip.
From the point at which Zeus rescues his siblings from his father Cronus, however, O’Connor follows the original myths quite closely, describing the war between the Titans and the Olympians, Zeus’s journey to find Cyclopes, his uncles, and his attempts to make the latter help him in his quest for saving his siblings from his gluttonous father.
Novel Analysis: Even Zeus Has Weaknesses
The obvious strengths of the novel come from the pictures. While the idea of creating a graphic novel is far from being new – according to Scott, Nyberg, and Fee, “graphic novels are a format, not a genre” (Scott, Nyberg, and Fee) and, therefore, can be viewed as reiterations of old stories – it still is refreshing and allows for great creativity. To his credit, O’Connor uses these opportunities to the full. To start with, the drawing style chosen by the author does not look anything like a traditional Miller’s or Marvel/DC Universe’s graphic novels:
Thus, O’Connor makes it clear that he takes his readers seriously and does not want to cash in on a recent surge of interest towards comic books and graphic novels. He uses different angles, a completely different drawing technique, and a very specific color palette to display the tiniest changes in the atmosphere or the characters.
Sadly enough, the negative issues stem from the chosen format as well. Unlike a typical novel, a graphic novel does not allow the reader to portray the characters the way (s)he sees them – the author imposes his vision on the reader. In addition, the idea of putting Zeus and the rest of the mythological characters in superhero suits might attract a younger audience, yet it will inevitably trigger the projection of typical superhero traits of character onto the leading ones, which is rather undesirable. Once the readers relate to Zeus and the entire Pantheon as typical superheroes, the key concept behind the traditional Greek myths, i.e., that being a god does not mean being flawless and completely virtuous, disappears, which is a real pity.
Conclusion: When Myths Revive
Therefore, the book can be considered a good choice to help the younger audience learn about traditional Greek mythology. In addition, it will be a rather enticing journey for an adult. However, considering the book an authoritative source for learning in-depth about Zeus and other mythological characters would not be a good idea.
O’Connor, George. Zeus: King of the Gods (Olympians). New York, NY: Neal Porter Books. 2010. Print.
Scott, Randall William, Amy Kiste Nyberg and William T. Fee. Graphic Novels and Comics in Libraries and Archives: Essays on Readers, Research, History and Cataloging. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. 2010. Print.
Works and Days and Theogony: Zeus Essay
It is worth noting that the reading “Works and Days and Theogony” is a comprehensive genealogy of the gods and it considers the origin of the world in a systematic way. Initially, the world started with the existing Chaos, Earth, and Eros. They produced the essential parts of the universe. After that, the genealogy began to develop, and a struggle for the division of power among the godly generations started. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the reasons why Zeus was able to remain in charge of the gods and what the crucial difference between Zeus and the other gods was.
Zeus, Uranus, Cronus
It is important to emphasize that the main reason why Zeus was able to remain in charge of the gods was his true nature and the existence of moral guidelines that motivated his decisions. Uranus was the son of Chaos and Earth, together with his wife they gave birth to the second generation whom Uranus hated and returned them to the bosom of Gaia (Hesiod 74). Their son Cronus, together with his mother, overthrew his father and became the lord of the universe.
In his turn, Cronus was also afraid to lose the power and devoured all his children to sustain all the authority in his hands solely. Thus, Cronus was also guided by guile and hatred. Zeus was Cronus’s youngest son who was saved by his mother through deception. When Zeus grew up, he was not cunning by his nature and defeated Cronus using his force. The father was plunged into Tartaros. Metis, the wife of Zeus, helped him to bring back the children that were swallowed by Cronus (Hesiod 75). Zeus promised to ensure fair distribution of power to attain the gods’ loyalty. Thus, they divided the father’s power among themselves (Poseidon became the lord of the water element, Hades – of the underworld), and Zeus became the lord of the entire world.
When Zeus received power over the world, the era of catastrophes ended with his supremacy. He defeated all monsters and titans and established order in the world (Cosmos). The most important traits that characterized Zeus were wisdom and justice. He became the guardian of justice, unlike Cronus and Uranus, who were driven by the fear of losing their power. In addition, Zeus was able to bring the law into the world and became the principle of life.
Through wisdom, thoughtfulness, and loyalty to his commitments, Zeus was able to maintain order in the world and the appreciation of fellow gods (Hesiod 85). However, he had certain similarities with Cronus and Uranus in the treatment of children. When Zeus was told that Metis would give life to the child who would take the power of Zeus, he swallowed Metis (Hesiod 86). Nevertheless, Zeus himself gave birth to the child (Athena), and Metis remained in his head giving Zeus advice to drive his decision-making.
Thus, it can be concluded that despite the existing similarities between Zeus, Cronus, and Uranus, the lord of the world was very different from them. He did not direct his decisions by guile but used force that he had as well as wisdom. He did not intend to concentrate all the power in his hands and received it by casting lots with the fellow gods and winning their loyalty. After Zeus had come to power, the epoch of terror ceased, and the order and justice were introduced. For these reasons, he was able to remain in charge of the gods although he had faced a number of hurdles on this way.
Hesiod. Works and Days and Theogony. Translated by Stanley Lombardo and Robert Lamberton, Hackett Publishing Company, 1993.
Zeus’s Literary Journey Through Mythology Essay
Consideration of Hesiod’s poems is advisable to start with “Theogony” because it contains the cosmogony regarding pre-philosophy, which develops within the myth and destroys its rational understanding of the world. The poem tells the story of three generations born of Earth and Heaven (Uranides), sons and daughters of Kronos (Olympian gods and the main among them – Zeus), and also about people and giants. The beginning and the end of the stories are the chants of Zeus who took power over the world by force.
It seems that the truth taught by Hesiod is not in the description of the sequence of generations of gods, but the chanting of Zeus. The author also glorifies the laws “that govern everything,” the ruling of “the blessed gods of Olympus,” Hesiod, Theogony, p. 35 in GHM. He is interested in the steady state of the world and the dominant position of Zeus, according to which the author glorifies his qualities at the beginning and the end.
Although the main bloodline of the gods covers the birth of three generations, Zeus is at the center of the narrative. He releases “his brothers and sisters Uranides,” they give him the “thunder and smoky thunderbolt and lightning,” Hesiod, Theogony, p. 41 in GHM. The result of this act is the rule of Zeus: “he rules over mortals and immortals.” The episode about the sons of Japetos is placed in the center of the story as the conquest of the supreme power of Zeus over the people and gods. Here comes the inclusion of anthropogony in Theogony: the appearance of a human in the historical arena.
Prometheus, taking the side of people, tries to deceive Zeus. The deception lies in the unequal section of the carcass of a bull intended for sacrifice to the gods. Zeus sees the trick: the best part of the corpse was wrapped in skin and stomach, and the worst (bone) covered in “gleaming” fat, Hesiod, Theogony, p. 42 in GHM. Prometheus tries to help people avoid submission to the gods, and above all Zeus. Zeus is depicted in this episode as a cruel, ruthless god.
He sees deception and taunts Prometheus. His behavior is dominated by emotions, especially anger. Submission of people to Zeus turns into one of the central scenes of the struggle of Zeus and the Olympian gods for “power and honor.” While Prometheus was forgiven in the end, the author argues the idea of the impossibility of deception of Zeus and the inevitability of his anger.
In this context, Hesiod tells about the appearance of humanity: Gods create one half of the human race. A woman, “a beautiful evil thing to pay for the good one,” was created on misfortune to people, Hesiod, Theogony, p. 43 in GHM. Zeus represents a brutal cult, before which men should lie in fear and awe. The attempt to deceive Zeus led to the greatest evil in the life of mortals — the creation of women. The creation of a human is included in the context of honoring Zeus as the most powerful god, as well as the idea of the secondary nature of women in the society of that time. Here Zeus appears to be a vengeful arbiter, who does not tolerate deception.
The mighty warrior of the first narratives, the supreme ruler of the second, and vengeful, capricious dictator in the third case, Zeus has many hypostases, and the second part of his behavior is more appealing. The recurring motif of the parent’s crime against children with Zeus’ claim as “king and master” is interrupted. Cosmogony clearly describes Zeus’ order, the cosmic balance, and the harmony of the world.
In Hesiod’s Theogony, the same world is taken in two dimensions: mythological and cosmogonic. Both dimensions contain the corresponding images of Zeus: the powerful and furious god, in the first case, and the wise guardian of the world in the second place. Man is present in the world in both dimensions. Hesiod, although he speaks of the need for sacrifices to the gods, proclaims the idea of natural and social order, law and justice.
Greek Mythology Influence Analytical Essay
The impact of Greek mythology on the modern society cannot go unnoticed. Many spheres of the modern society have borrowed heavily on Greek mythology. Areas like modern language, arts and traditions among others all exhibit the influence of Greek tradition in the modern society.
A good example of this is where people with no or little understanding of Greek legends still know that Hercules was a strongman and that Venus is the god responsible for love. This goes ahead to show how the Greek mythologies have taken root in our modern society. In fact, majority of the traditions that people in the modern society carry out have their origin in Greece.
One Greek mythology that has influenced the whole world is the celebration of the Olympic Games. According to historians, the Olympic Games are a traditional Greek sport that was established in 776 B.C. The Greeks used these athletic contests to award vegetal crowns to people who excelled in different areas.
According to historians, the foundation of the Olympic Games is credited to Herakles. According to the myth, Zeus set up the games to celebrate his legendary success over his father Kronos. This event was celebrated once every four years and involved all Greece citizens.
As time went by, the rest of the world adopted the use of Olympic Games as a unifying event. Today, the Olympic Games are regarded as the most popular sporting event in history. In fact, the modern day sport has minimal differences compared to the original games. This goes a long way in exhibiting just how Greek culture has influenced the world systems. (Barringer, 2010)
In the modern society, very few people can speak Greek fluently. However, the English language has been greatly shaped by Greek mythologies. An example of this is a term like “Herculean task”, which refers to doing something that requires a big effort. According to historians, the term comes from the Greek legend that refers to the labors assigned to Hercules. Another common name in the English language that has its roots from the Greeks is the sleep inducing drug known as morphine.
According to English experts, this name has its origins from Morpheus, the Greek god responsible for bringing sleep. The Greek god of love Zeus otherwise known as aphrodisiac has also been incorporated in the English language. Today, the modern language uses the term aphrodisiac to refer to any stuff or condition that stimulates sexual need.
Besides their use in languages, Greek mythology also has a great impact on science. Today, most heavenly bodies have been given the names of Greek characters. On top of this, nearly all the planets and most of the stars in the solar system have been given Roman translations of Greek characters.
There is no doubt that the modern world has borrowed much from Greek mythology. Reference to Greek mythology proliferate every sphere of our society. The Olympic Games one of the most celebrated athletic sport has its origins from the Greek culture.
The sport has undergone the test of time and today it is considered as an event that unifies the world. In fact, some things that we take for granted as maps have their origin from Greek myths. The Europe continent that houses many communities is named after Europa, the virgin carried off by Zeus, who tricked her by masquerading as a bull.
Barringer, J. (2010) Art, Myth, and Ritual in Classical Greece. Retrieved from http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521646475&ss=exc
Roman & Greek Mythology in Pop Culture: Examples, Referenses, & Allusions
Although Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome vanished long ago, their culture has not fallen into oblivion. The characters of the Greek and Roman mythology no longer seem just as credible as the Ancient Greeks and Romans saw them. Still, there are lots of references and allusions to Greek and Roman mythology in the popular culture of nowadays. Such examples of using myths in modern literature, filmmaking, and advertising can be found in Western and, especially, American culture. Some of the examples will be described in this essay. However, the elements of mythology might not factor in the content of the pop culture just as well as the authors of the reference think.
One of the most famous examples of the use of the characters taken from Greek mythology in pop culture must be the mentioning of the famous goddess, Venus, in advertising, which is, in fact, based on a song about Venus. In the advertisement, some elements of the song are used, with Jennifer Lopez performing. On the one hand, the idea of femininity which the whole commercial is shot through seems to be entirely in tune with the image of Venus.
However, such lines as “Feeling confidence and strength” can hardly be attributed to the Greek idea of femininity, especially strength, which is a purely male feature in Ancient Greek mythology. Therefore, the authors of the commercial turned the Greek mythical beauty into a modern image of a femme fatale. Hence, one can admit that the authors of the ad have offered an excellent idea; however, this idea landed too far from the original context.
The second example of an allusion to greek mythology in pop culture can be considered a modern adaptation. Hercules was a tremendous innovation at the time and a new way of telling the old story. However, it is still a movie for children, which is why it should be viewed as a modern story about a man learning where he belongs, with an Ancient Greek background.
However, it still seems that basing a movie for children on such an ambiguous character as Hercules, who further on killed his wife, Megara, does not seem a good idea. To avoid the controversy, the movie director had to cut a lot of essential elements, making it another coming-of-age story, but not an interpretation of a myth.
Finally, comic books as a huge chunk of modern day must be considered. In one of the most famous comic universes, DC, a character based on one of the most famous Ancient Greek mythological creatures, a phoenix, was created. Jean Grey, known further on as Phoenix, turns into the creature mentioned above, bringing destruction and chaos into the entire universe.
That is another excellent example of reviving the long-forgotten myths. The comic book adds a meaningful social context to the image of the mythological bird, i.e., the idea of equality, which, as a phoenix, cannot be killed, defeated, or washed away by the sands of time.
It seems that the use of the elements of Greek and Roman mythology in popular culture in modern day can be justified by the proper use of the elements above.
For instance, when referring to a specific idea expressed in some of the famous Greek myths, or when developing a character that can relate to one of the characters in the ancient mythology, the latter can be used. However, the use of these elements must make sense both regarding the source material and the new context; otherwise, the whole idea will most likely fall flat.
Beyond Beautiful JLO. “Jennifer Lopez’s Gillette Venus Commercial.” YouTube. 2012. Web.
Hercules. Ex. Prod. Ron Clemens, John Musker and Barry Johnson. Burbank, CA: Walt Disney Pictures. 1997. DVD.
Phoenix (Jean Grey). Web.
Greek Mythology: Historical and Factual Roots Essay (Critical Writing)
Greek mythology is a body of teachings used in ancient Greek to describe the human environment, the passing of time, and natural phenomena (Stafford 45). The myths explained stories concerning gods, heroes, and rituals. According to Jennings and Lowery, Greek mythology is depicted in collections of different narratives and artistic works (34).
Greek Mythology in Art: The Birth of Venus
The story revolves around the birth of Venus. The beautiful piece of art was created in the mid-1480s by Sandro Botticelli. The picture and the story behind it illustrate in many ways the Greek’s profound understanding of human nature and behavior. Venus is a being born from the sea.
In the drawing, she is nude and standing on a sea shell on the seashore. Towards her left side, the wind blows gently, causing her hair to flow with poise (Stafford 51). On the right side, a handmaid awaits to dress Venus and cover her nudity. The area around where Venus is standing is filled with violets.
According to the Greeks, art illustrates a wide variety of elements within the human environment. To begin with, the floating violets around Venus mean that the air is warm and still. Her nudity symbolizes modesty. In addition, a look at her body creates the idea of divine love. The angel embracing the woman is a symbol of physical love (Jennings and Lowery 47).
The illustration also shows that romantic love is unrealistic. The reason is that they are floating on water. On her part, the maid on the right signifies intellectual love and wisdom. The reason behind this is because she is ready to pride Venus with a piece of cloth to cover her nudity. The act is an illustration of how intellectual gifts are hidden from plain sight.
An in-depth analysis of the picture reveals that the myth is an accurate metaphor for contemporary human behavior as it was in ancient civilizations. In today’s world, people are inspired to show physical and intellectual love. The same case applied in the ancient era. The piece of art also recommends appropriate behavior for couples through the angel’s embrace (Stafford 62).
Comments on Students’ Essays
Student one talks about federal, state, and residential buildings. They give a brief and general account of different forms of structures and architectural techniques employed. For example, they state that many southern mansions are constructed using Greek revival design. Greek Revival was an architectural design that gained widespread recognition due to the exploration of similarities between ancient and present-day cultures (Stafford 59).
Student two gives an account of their understanding of Sister Wendy’s point of view on changes and improvements in art. They explain that art has changed over time. However, the paintings convey their message in a similar manner. In addition, the student does not shy away from pointing out where they disagree with Sister Wendy’s views. Over the centuries, the process of art and tools used has changed (Jennings and Lowery 63). The different phases of transformation have resulted in significant improvements.
Student three shows her total appreciation of Sister Wendy’s account. They support Wendy and do not disagree with any of her views. According to this student, Wendy’s stories have had a significant impact on their perception of artwork and artists. In addition, the accounts provide in-depth insights into the three stages of an artist’s development. The phases of development include emerging, mid-career, and established artists (Stafford 77).
Greek mythology has strong historical and factual roots. In today’s world, people understand the myths and stories through Greek literature and artistic representations. According to Jennings and Lowery, the folklores were used to re-tell historical occurrences (77). The aim was to help people maintain contact with their ancestors, heroes, and gods.
Jennings, Ken, and Mike Lowery. Greek Mythology, New York: Little Simon, 2014. Print.
Stafford, Emma. Life, Myth, and Art in Ancient Greece, Los Angeles, Calif.: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2004. Print.
The Issue of “Man’s Relationship with the Divine” in Greek Mythology Essay
Historians and folklorists have argued that myths contain coded or symbolic insights into the human condition. Some of the common features of the human condition include destiny, love, hatred, “human relationship with the divine”, and association with the natural world. In most of the Greek mythologies, these aspects of the human condition are widely explored thus helping readers understand the cultural and historical backgrounds of such societies.
As the reader explores the idea of divinity throughout most of the Greek mythologies and epics, it becomes clear that there is a strong connection between the people of Greece and their gods thus making it easier for the two to manipulate one another. This discussion explores the issue of “man’s relationship with the divine” and treats it as a basic feature of the human condition.
Man’s Relationship with the Divine
The “Iliad” begins by explaining how the clash between Agamemnon, the greatest Greek warlord, and Achilles began. The author writes “Achilles is godlike”. This explores the relationship between human beings and the gods. The Greeks considered their gods as holy or sacred. Their superiority and powers explained why the people developed the best relationship with their gods. It is agreeable that most of the Greek heroes in different works of literature had their ancestry connected to one or more gods.
According to Homer, most of the poleis and leaders governing different cities and states in ancient Greece had their patron goddesses or gods. There are significant stories detailing the nature of the relationship existing between the heroes and their “patron-gods”. With such kind of connection, the heroes in the cities and states became powerful. As well, there were conflicts between the gods and humans beings. Apollo was Zeus son. Agamemnon, who was Greek’s warlord, offended Apollo.
It would also be notable that most of the inhabitants in different states and cities in ancient Greece believed that they were descendants of a “patron god”. The works also present a unique sense of pride between the individuals and their gods or goddesses. The portrayal in different poems and epics support this connection between “human beings and the divine”. This kind of relationship between the people of Greece and their gods is evident in the Iliad and the Odyssey.
It is notable that divine intervention was always an important aspect of ancient Greek theories and literature. Most of the myths presented in the works present magical connections between gods and the citizens of Greece. In the Greek mythologies, the gods play a significant role in the experiences, fates, and lives of the people. It is also notable that “Zeus brought the Trojans and Hector to the Greek’s ships” and left the fighters to their own misery.
One of the outstanding goddess who portrays this kind of “human condition” between individuals and the divine is Athena. The great goddess by the name Athena is the daughter of Zeus. With her powers and capabilities, Athena is able to determine every person’s life across the country.
In the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey” by Homer, it becomes clear that the goddess is strongly involved in the lives of the people. At times, she goes ahead to assume leadership in order to control the lives and experiences of different protagonists in different Greek myths and epics.
When there is a tussle between Agamemnon and Achilles in the “Iliad”, the goddess intervenes by warning Achilles about the dangers of his personal rage. The goddess promises to give Achilles a present if he manages to control his pain and anger. This explains why the goddess portrays a classic connection between individuals and their gods.
The goddess also pays Diomedes a visit to give him strength and powers so that he can become victorious. As well, Achilles prays to his mother by saying, “mother, since you bore me for only a short life, Zeus was to grant me favor honor” and favor. This shows this kind of connection between humans and the divine.
As well, it is evident from the mythologies that the Trojan War was not mainly a dispute between human beings. The war was another example trying to show an important aspect of the human condition.
It was a sign of the “ensuing dispute among the gods and their ability to control or relate with human beings”. In the “Ovid”, Pygmalion went to the temple in order to make a sacrifice to Venus. He prayed to get a woman to wed. As well, the author indicates that that another god by the name Venus knew what Pygmalion was thinking about and was pleased with the prayers.
It is also notable that the relationship between humans and the divine played a significant role towards the establishment of the society. Both men and gods were encouraged to work together and sometimes understand each other. More often than not, men were supposed to seek guidance and favor from their gods. As well, the gods used different men in the Greek epics and mythologies to realize their goals and objectives. The gods carefully coordinated the success of most of the heroes in the Greek epics and mythologies.
This explains why the relationship between the two is critical. Although the heroes are more or less the same as the other normal men in the society, they have better connections with their gods. As they work hard in an attempt to achieve their goals, they consider the needs of their gods. They constantly wish and hope that the divine would always stand on their sides and support their missions.
In Greek mythologies, there is a unique relationship between human beings and the divine as observed in the Iliad and the Odyssey. In these folktales, it becomes evident that the gods played a significant role towards determining the experience and future of most of the heroes and other citizens.
Although man has to encounter numerous challenges and pains unlike the gods, the relationship plays a significant role towards exploring the nature of the human condition. The gods appear to take out their pains and anger actively. As a result, they have to use men in order to show their pain. This eventually determines the kind of life led by the people of Greece.
The idea of divinity is evident throughout most of the Greek mythologies and epics. That being the case, it becomes clear that there is a strong connection between the people and their gods thus manipulating one another. Most of people in the Greek epics and mythologies explain how the society established unique relationships with their gods.
These myths therefore manage to present symbolic insights into “the human condition”. These examples are worth considering because they help the reader understand how the question of beliefs and human faith plays a significant role towards the establishment of a given society.
Homer. The Essential Homer. Translated by Stanley Lombardo. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2000.
Ovid. The Metamorphoses of Ovid. Translated by David Slavitt. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1994.
- Homer, The Essential Homer, trans. Stanley Lombardo (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2000), 1.
- Homer, The Essential Homer, trans. Stanley Lombardo (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2000), 1.
- Homer, The Essential Homer, trans. Stanley Lombardo (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2000), 130.
- Homer, The Essential Homer, trans. Stanley Lombardo (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2000), 12.
- Ovid, The Metamorphoses of Ovid, trans. David Slavitt (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1994), 202.
Greek Mythology Essay
Identification of the item
Hera is a goddess who symbolizes marriage and femininity; she is the daughter of Cronus and Rhea. This deity is often associated with the peacock and the cow. Allegedly, this goddess protects such an island as Samos as well as the city of Argos.
Hades is the god of the underworld, and he is the son of Cronus and Rhea. This deity governs and sometimes punishes the souls of deceased people. This deity is often accompanied by the three-headed dog, Cerberus.
Dionysus is the god who represents wine-making, the fertility of the soil, drinking, and even theater; he is the son of Semele and Zeus. This god grew up in the kingdom Phrygia located in Anatolia. He usually wears the skin of a leopard.
Prometheus is the Titan who gave the fire to human beings and taught them various skills and arts such as medicine. He is the son of Iapetus and Clymene. Prometheus was punished for his theft of fire, and he was chained to a mountain in Caucuses.
Titans are the children of primordial deities, namely, Uranus and Gaea. They are the opponents of Olympian gods. Titans are not associated with any geographic region. There are several generations of Titans, and these divine entities can perform several functions; for instance, Atlas is supposed to hold up the sky.
Gaea is one of the primordial deities, and she can be viewed as the personification of the entire Earth. Gaea is a self-borne deity; so, she does not have any parents, unlike Olympian Gods. The name of Gaea is sometimes linked with such a region as Delphi because she guided the oracles serving in the local temple.
Hera is mentioned in different primary sources such as Homer’s Iliad (2006) and Hesiod’s (2004) Theogony. These authors depict the birth of Hera and her interactions with gods as well as heroes.
Hades is depicted in Theogony by Hesiod (2004) and Homer’s Odyssey (2006). For instance, Homer (2006) writes about Odysseus’ travel through the underworld governed by Hades.
Dionysius is described by various ancient authors. For example, one can refer to Hesiod’s (2004) works and Ovid’s Metamorphoses (2010).
One can refer to Hesiod’s (2004) books to learn about Prometheus and his conflicts with Olympian gods.
Titans are mentioned by Hesiod (2004).
The story of Gaea and other primordial deities is told by Hesiod (2004).
Discussion of critical points
The presence of such a deity as Hera shows that the family was one of the key values for ancient Greeks. Moreover, this goddess illustrates the responsibilities of a wife.
The representation of Hades and his underworld in ancient myths suggest that Greeks did not have an optimistic view of the afterlife. In their opinion, these experiences were deprived of any joy.
Dionysus challenges the rules and values established by Olympian gods. For instance, he does not value power that is one of the top priorities for his father, Zeus.
Prometheus is a cultural hero who enables human beings to build their civilization. One should bear in mind that this myth is present in various ancient cultures. For instance, it is possible to consider the Georgian epic character named Amirani, who is also renowned for giving fire to people.
Titans succeeded in overthrowing primordial deities, but they could not retain their power. However, they were subdued by Olympian gods. To some degree, this example indicates that brutal force is eventually conquered by rationality.
Gaea and other primordial deities represent the uncontrolled forces of nature. In contrast, Olympian gods symbolize various qualities of human beings, such as rationality.
Hesiod. (2004). Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days, Shield. (A. Athanassakis, Trans.). Baltimore, MD: JHU Press.
Homer. (2006). Homer – the Iliad and the Odyssey. (S. Butler, Trans.). New York, NY: El Paso Norte Press.
Ovid. (2010). Metamorphoses. (W. Johnson, Trans.). New York, NY: Hackett Publishing.