Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the ancient Greeks. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities, heroes and mythological creatures, the origins and significance of the ancient Greek’s own cult and ritual practices. Greek mythology is an important part of ancient Greek religion. Modern scholars prefer to study mythology, because it reflects the ancient Greek religion, political environment and the whole ancient Greek civilization, in order to understand the nature of these myths. Some theologians even believe that ancient Greeks created these myths to explain everything that happened to them. Greek mythology and the “Bible” are the two pillars of western culture. Understanding Greek mythology helps us better understand western history. Also, Greek mythology has had a broad influence on the culture, art and literature of western civilization and remains part of western tradition and language. Poets and artists from ancient to modern times derive their origins from Greek mythology and find contemporary meaning and relevance in their subjects.
Greek mythology mainly comes from Greek literature and visual media, from ca.900 BCE to ca.800 BCE. In fact, the integration of literary and archaeological materials sometimes supports each other. In many cases, however, the existence of such data strongly suggests that many elements of Greek mythology are factual and have historical roots.
In fact, Greek mythology can be divided into gods and heroes. But this time I am only going to talking the gods, starting with Gaia. In the beginning, the universe was chaotic, a yawning nothingness. Out of emptiness came Gaia who was the earth goodness. Without male assistance, Gaia gave birth to Uranus-the god of the sky who then fertilized her. From than union were born twelve Titans-six males and six females. After that Gaia and Uranus decided no more Titans. They were followed by the one-eyed Cyclops and the Hecatonchires or 100-handed ones, who were both thrown into Tartarus by Uranus. This made Gaia furious. Also, Uranus became wayward and less respectful to Gaia. Gaia decided to abolish the rights of the gods of Uranus and gave the person who could to do that a great reward. Cronus, Gaia’s youngest son, was wily and most terrible. He volunteered to cut off his father’s genitals, and he did this. Then he became ruler of the Titans and married his sister-Rhea. Uranus was angry and cursed: you will pay for what you have done. Soon you will be overthrown by your son just like me. To avoid this curse, Cronus make a cruel decision: to eat all the children his wife had given birth to. Rhea was so sad that when she gave birth to her sixth child, she decided to protect the child and named him Zeus. She replaced Zeus with a wrapped stone. So, her husband ate the stone instead of his child. Zeus and his mother took advantage of Cronus’ habit of drinking and put emetic in his wine. After drinking, Cronus vomited up the five children he had eaten. Zeus and his five siblings overthrew their father. Zeus became the new king of gods. Zeus was predicted to be overthrown by one of his more powerful sons in the future. But instead of eating children like his father, Zeus had seven wives and many children.
Another significant story I read is “Pandora’s box”, also known as Pandora’s magic box. Pandora was the first human created by Zeus to avenge for mankind, because Prometheus helped men despite Zeus. He brought fire to people and taught them a lot of knowledge and skills. It makes Zeus was so angered. However, Zeus could not fight him, because Prometheus helped Zeus to the throne in the battle of the gods. After the creation of Pandora, Zeus decided not to send her to Prometheus, because he knew Prometheus wouldn’t accept his gift. Therefore, Zeus ordered Hermes to send her to the naturally dull Epimetheus. Epimetheus couldn’t bear temptation and married Pandora. At the command of Zeus, the gods each gave Pandora a present; Aphrodite poured on her the hormones as that made men mad, Hera gave her curiosity, and the goddess Athena gave her ignorance and love, but taught her to weave, making her more beautiful and charming.
One day, Epimetheus’s brother brought him a large box and told him again and again that it must not be opened. But Pandora, being a woman of great curiosity, said to herself, “why is a box so hidden from view?” While Epimetheus was out, Pandora opened the box, but there was nothing in it that Pandora had been expecting. Before her opened the box, there was no human disaster, that is because all the viruses are locked in the box, the human can be free from torture. However, Pandora’s curiosity, the disaster and plague escaped, since then, the disaster day and night, everywhere to harm mankind. In her panic and fear, Pandora closed the box quietly, leaving only hope in it. Therefore, even though human beings are constantly suffering and tormented by life, they always have valuable hope in their hearts to motivate themselves.
Hopes is always there before death, and life is full of good hopes. What makes this story topical? Because in the end of the story I learned, even Pandora made mistake, yet people instead of hating her or complaining that life always brigs disaster, people have a positive and optimistic attitude towards to life. People believe that god will brings them love and hope in the end. This story advises us that no matter how life had given you the environment, but please believe that the sunshine always after the storm. It related me when I was young in China, my family had a lot of debts, so I dropped out of college after one year to go to work to help pay my family’s debts. At that time, I told myself, “don’t be sad, it wouldn’t always be hard. After paying off our debt, I can go back to school and live the life I want.” Now I am here, in college, it tells me, if you work hard, life will bring you hope. It is like god closing the door but leaving a window open for the sunshine to come in and light up your life. Also, it tells us, don’t be a curious person, it causes problem sometime but not always. I think my examples and concept can prove.
To conclude, myths are full of fantasy for everyone. Ancient Greek mythology interweaves real life with fantasy and vividly depicts the social life of ancient Greeks. Up to now, Greek mythology for a long time with its beautiful image and rich poetic flavor, and has been handed down as the eternal theme of literature and art.
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