Fairly Miserable, Most of It

Athena, the goddess of knowledge, dedicated
violent and mindless acts. The king of the gods, Zeus, went round raping
girls, and his jealous spouse Hera went round afflicting the ladies. Apollo, the
god of Reality, was a liar. Along with this, he beloved a human lady, Coronis,
however she didn’t like him, so he had her killed. And it goes downhill from there.

The human heroes, in addition to the demigods,
had been additionally removed from being fashions of habits. Hercules, for instance, was a complete
jerk besides when he was depressed. One time he went loopy and killed his
household. Then he felt such intense regret that he compelled his well-known Labors upon
himself. The Greek king Agamemnon sacrificed his personal daughter, Iphigenia, so
that the Greek ships might sail to Troy. Even after studying about it, I might
not perceive why Medea killed her kids.

Punishments, meted by the gods upon
demigods or people, appeared random. Some, like Tantalus, deserved the everlasting
torture that they obtained in Hades. (In his case, he was eternally hungry, and
fruit hung proper earlier than his mouth however moved away at any time when he reached for it,
eternally, and he was eternally thirsty, and water got here proper as much as his mouth,
however flowed away when he tried to drink it, eternally.) I feel Tantalus was one
of the fellows who killed his kids. There have been plenty of these. However Sisyphus
was condemned to roll the stone uphill eternally from a minor infraction. The
Danaïds needed to carry water, eternally and eternally and eternally, in jars with holes
in them, then refill them, for causes that weren’t clear to me even once I
examine them. And poor Oedipus. It was apparently the whim of the gods that
condemned him to kill his father and marry his mom, and never understand he was
doing it. The mom of Tithonis requested that he obtain everlasting life. The gods
granted it. However she forgot to ask for him to stay younger. So, he lived
eternally, simply getting older and older and older. He should be a pile of flesh
someplace even right now; if you happen to step in a pile of goo, it could be him. Helen was
immortal until somebody killed her.

The logical Greek view of the universe, as
written by philosophers, got here after a protracted historical past through which folks considered
themselves as a part of a universe that made no sense, and will by no means make
sense. I can think about dwelling in a world of Aristotle, the place results observe
causes, however I can’t think about dwelling on this planet of Homer. The gods had been simply
like people, some good, some unhealthy, most of them alternately and unpredictably
each. The one distinction is that they had been highly effective and immortal. How are you going to
even stand up within the morning if you happen to consider the world is unpredictable?

The Romans had been so unimaginative that they
took the entire load of Greek mythology and adopted it as their very own, simply altering
some names, like Zeus into Jupiter, Chronos into Saturn, Hephaestus into
Vulcan, and many others.

There have been some brilliant spots. You’ll
discover them within the Iliad and the Odyssey. Within the Iliad, there was one temporary
second of humanity, through which Achilles returned the physique of Hector to Hector’s
grieving father, Priam the king of Troy. And the Odyssey is stirring as a result of,
regardless of the stupidity of destiny, Odysseus (Ulysses) by no means gave up his quest to
return dwelling to Ithaca and to his spouse Penelope, now 20 years older. Some
think about the Odyssey the primary, and probably the best, novel ever written.

One other brilliant spot is that the Greeks did
not but have our fashionable sense of racism. Andromeda, one of many lovely
princesses rescued from sea monsters, was Ethiopian.

Towards the background of randomness, the
monks of the gods (particularly on the oracles) might just about make up
no matter they wished and declare that it was the desire of their specific god.
The monks of Zeus would take heed to the susurrus of the wind within the oak leaves
to discern the god’s will. Nonetheless a lot I like the wind within the bushes, I feel
these monks had been simply making shit up.

The one factor worse than Greek mythology
was Norse mythology, which was simply as grim, however the gods, reasonably than being
immortal, needed to finally die within the Götterdämmerung.

So, expensive college students, if it’s important to research
Greek mythology, be ready for some grim and tiresome stuff, apart from an
occasional beam of sunshine that may enter your thoughts the best way Zeus entered by way of
a tiny slit into the dome the place the human lady Danae dwelt.

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