April 17, 2012
The Myths are full of the instances of the cruelty of the gods. Giving multiple examples, discuss the reasons for the god’s cruelty. Is it always justified? What does the cruelty of the gods say about the Greeks view of the universe?
First off let’s talk about what a myth is; a story, something that was made up a very long time ago, with its purpose to entertain. And with entertainment value in mind man made up these tales, or myths. The tales included many different story lines, such as romance, different characters, wars, and problems.
Many of the myths had tales of violence, but from the Greek Gods the tales were centered around. These gods were considered heroes in many cases, take a look at Hercules for example, he is described in the text (p.569) as “the greatest hero of Greece.” But take a peek at his story, and you will see that he could be considered the most violent. Hercules was the son to Zeus and a mortal wife, which Juno, Zeus’s Goddess wife (and sister), did not approve of and never let Hercules live down. It actually caused him to go crazy and murder his wife and 3 kids, before exiling himself from the gods and that family to seek forgiveness. He also seeks to become and immortal god when he comes across Hera and is told to do these twelve labors which were all more violent, and slightly immoral, then the next, slay this beast, kill that demon, and steal from this god, clean after that one.
Though violent the acts of some gods throughout the myths, they do seem to hold still in their purpose to entertain, the stories are still being told. Think about it if in the story there wasn’t a bad guy, or a romance happening, the story needs a plot something exciting that leads up to a climax and so on, for the time period that myths were coming about and the area they derived from there is no surprise that there is violence. Only then this wasn’t considered a problem these myths were actually used...