Zeus’s Literary Journey Through Mythology Essay
Updated: May 22nd, 2021
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.
This essay on Zeus’s Literary Journey Through Mythology was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Updated: Sep 15th, 2019 Introduction The confrontation between tradition and change comes out well in the collection Women writing in India. The collection contains various views on the theme change […]
Updated: Dec 26th, 2018 Introduction Chinese women faced difficult moments during the period before 1949. China was a feudal society that transformed into a semi colonial state. Furthermore, the country […]
Updated: Nov 14th, 2018 Introduction The novel The God of Small Things was written by Roy Arundhati. It features the story of two Indian twins that happened during their childhood, […]
Updated: Nov 25th, 2019 Introduction ‘My Turkish Lover’ is the third of a series of memoirs ‘When I Was Puerto Rican’ and ‘Almost a Woman’ written by Esmeralda on her […]
Updated: Nov 6th, 2019 Introduction Roland Barthes in his work ‘Myth Today’ gives a deeper insight into the understanding of the myth of romantic love done through the disintegration of […]
Updated: Jul 21st, 2020 The nineteenth-century gave rise to realistic and symbolic movements that were still closely intertwined with visions creating more ambiguity and ambivalence. Based primarily on the true […]
Updated: Oct 30th, 2019 Romanticism Romanticism was a great source of inspiration for French literature. It brought to birth the use of strong emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic […]
Updated: Oct 27th, 2019 Introduction The passage that has been chosen can be found on page 31 of the novel between line 14 and 33. This passage was chosen because […]
Updated: Jun 26th, 2018 Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is a controversial book that many students and parents would like to see removed from their school curriculum. […]
Updated: May 22nd, 2021 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 […]