Aphrodite and Greek Gods in the Mythology

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Aphrodite is considered, by many, to be a major divinity. She used her powers as the goddess of love and beauty and would influence greek mythology through her decisions and the unique things about her. She also wasn’t afraid to use her powers which would later help her have the influence that she has on greek mythology. Because of her origins and early life, affairs and families, and her power/impact together with the myths concerning her, she is considered to be a complex goddess.

Aphrodite is assumed to have two separate origins which come together to produce a similar story. Many believe that Aphrodite sprung up from the cut genitals of Uranus. It all started when Uranus’ son, Cronus took hold of Uranus and cut his genitals. The genitals would then be thrown out into the sea and turned into sea foam. There within the sea foam, Aphrodite would spring up fully grown and an adult. However, Homer, along with others, claims that Aphrodite comes from another origin. In this other origin, Aphrodite comes to be as the daughter of Zeus and Dione. 

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This origin is evident when Aphrodite is said to have run to her mother when she was wounded in Troy. The origins quickly come together to produce a similar story when Aphrodite is brought in front of the Greek gods. As soon as she was brought in front of the gods, Aphrodite’s beauty was quickly noticed. Aphrodite would begin being “seen by most Greek men as adulterous and irresponsible as well as hostile and even dangerous to men” (Nardo 74) quickly after. Even if Aphrodite has separate origins and has the fear of gods, she will prove to be an enduring legacy.

From the war god, Ares, to mortal, Anchises, Aphrodite would create affairs that would lead to many children. At first, Aphrodite was given Hephaestus as a husband by Zeus. However, Aphrodite had her eye on another god. This other god happened to be the war god, Ares. Aphrodite would begin to fall in love with Ares and recognize that Ares was her true love. Aphrodite would disregard her marriage to Hephaestus and commit adultery. This affair would be the first in many that Aphrodite would partake in. In her affair with Ares, Aphrodite would give birth to four children, including the god of love, Eros. Hephaestus was still married to Aphrodite and quickly found out about the affair that Aphrodite had produced. 

Cartwright says it excellently in his article, “Aphrodite,” by stating that “Hephaestus, a fiendishly clever designer and engineer, manufactured a special golden bed to entrap his wife” when Aphrodite had the affair with Ares. Hephaestus made sure that the other gods would learn of the committed adultery. And they did. Aphrodite was mortified; however, she still has numerous affairs. Another affair Aphrodite had was with the mortal, Anchises. Anchises was one of the most known mortals that Aphrodite was involved with. Aeneas and Adonis would later be born during Aphrodite and Anchises’ affair. As a result, Aphrodite made evident of her power of love and passion.

With her power, Aphrodite would produce both good and bad things and love stories while creating a legacy. Aphrodite, with her powers of love and desire, was able to make any god or mortal fall in love with someone or something (Nardo 74). For example, Aphrodite made her powers evident when she punished Pasiphae. Pasiphae had fallen in love with a bull and created the mythical monster, the minotaur. The minotaur was quickly feared. Aphrodite had favored Paris and blessed Paris in his life with her powers as well. It is considered a myth as to why Aphrodite favored Paris. The myth involves Paris choosing between Athena, Aphrodite, and Hera who the fairest was. 

Aphrodite was chosen as the fairest and would help Paris because of this. Aphrodite had promised Paris a beautiful woman if he chose her. Aphrodite kept her promise and gave Paris Helen of Sparta. Aphrodite would also be involved in a myth with the Trojan War. As supposed, Aphrodite sided with the Trojans as that was the side Paris was on. Aphrodite would save Paris against Menelaus but would wound her hand later on when trying to save Aeneas in battle (“Aphrodite” 1997). As expressed, Aphrodite did use her powers for both good and bad while giving rise to myths. Aphrodite proved to be a complex goddess as she had multiple affairs and myths with two different origins.       

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