The Roles of the Gods in Greek Myth
In Greek myth, there are many deities who specialize in different realms. According to Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound and Homer’s Iliad, Greek gods do not only have power, but also have interactions with humans. Most of Greek deities make themselves or their intent known to humans through direct communication and indirect punishment. Zeus punishes Prometheus, the creator and protector of the mortals, for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to the human beings. Zeus, the king of the Gods, rules the world by his own laws. Although Prometheus is one of the most intelligent Titans and takes Zeus’s side in the Titanomachy, he cannot avoid being punished for the violation of Zeus’s will. After Zeus wins the war against the Titans, he plans to destroy humans completely and create another race (Aesch. Pro. 229-237). Since Prometheus opposes Zeus and shows excessive stubbornness and pride, Zeus demands that his servants, Strength and Violence, chain Prometheus to a mountain to show his power. Gods also communicate with human beings. For example, in Iliad, Athena comes down and tries to make peace between Agamemnon and Achilles. During the war between the Achaeans and Trojans, Achilles, one of the Achaean’s most important warriors, is angry with the commander Agamemnon for taking away his reward, Briseis, and stops fighting for the Achaeans. Athena hates the Trojans, so she talks with Achilles to convince him to stop fighting with Agamemnon and join the battle (Hom. Il. 1.241-251). In addition, Athena gives the Achaean hero Diomedes incredible strength and the ability to see the gods so that Diomedes can be more powerful in the war (Hom. Il. 5.1-3). She also encourages Diomedes and warns him not to challenge the gods except Aphrodite (Hom. Il. 5.136-137). Although the Greek gods communicate with humans and help them in some ways, they are actually not morally upright. Most of time, they make decisions based on their...
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