Drama Of Ancient Greece Final Paper: Drama of Ancient Greece The Greek dramatists have bequeathed immensely to the current mode of modern Western literature. Shakespeare and his contemporaries revered them for their distinct and explicit language, their dramatic scenes, and their extravagant processions. The language of their stories has connoted itself into both, the Western dialect and Western literature in general. The establishment of Ancient Greek culture that has left the most immutable impression on our current world is the myth. The many mortal heroes who are seen throughout the extensive deployment of myths are accompanied by the ostentatious and mighty immortals, led by Zeus in the palace on Mount Olympus. Their structural case is not restricted to storytelling.
Most of Greek comedy and tragedy is contingent on a working knowledge of all of the following ancient myths. Aeolus was the keeper and god of the winds. After Zeus triumphed over the Titans, who were an earlier race of gods, he assigned his brothers, sisters, and relatives tasks in the realm of Mount Olympus. The winds needed to be contained and looked after, so that they wouldnt destroy the earth. Hera put forward Aeolus, because she was impressed with his steadfast nature. Aeolus was sent to an island named Aeolia, beneath which ran four deep passages in which the north, south, east, and west winds were locked up, to escape only when Aeolus or another god deemed it necessary.
Aphrodite, who is one of the best-known goddesses in our modern culture, was the goddess of love. Born of the foam of the sea, she came to symbolize passion and lust. She is a primary model of the anthropoid temperament of the Olympian gods, being inclined to fits of pride and temper and drawn to trouble making. Although given in marriage to Hephaestus by Zeus, she was well known for her liaisons with other gods and even mortals. Her son, Eros, inherited both, her mischievous nature and her iconography.
Apollo was the god of light, the intellect, the arts, and healing. He was the son of Zeus and the Titan, Leto. Also heralded as Phoebus, Apollo signifies light, order, and the sun. The most beautiful of all the gods, Apollo represents the more rational side of both the universe and man. His oracle at Delphi, on Mount Parnassus, was revered throughout the mortal world as a vessel of Apollos predictions for the future. Mortals sought the oracle from vast distances to discover the will of the gods.
Ares/Mars was the god of war, and the son of Zeus and Hera. He loved to fight, and to cause torment and battle, although he lost his courage immediately after he himself was wounded. Followed by Panic, Terror, and Trembling, and accompanied by his sister, Eris, and her son, Strife, everywhere Ares walked he brought death and violence. Artemis, who was the twin sister to Apollo and goddess of the hunt and unmarried women, had vowed to remain chaste. Attended by her hunting hounds and nymphs, Artemis ranged throughout the mortal forests, hunting with her silver bow. Any mortal man who saw her bathing, or in any way harassed her, met with a horrible fate.
She changed one man into a stag and set his own pack of hunting hounds on him. Like the moon she was always related to, though, Artemis had two sides. She was gentle and protective towards women and their young children. Athene was the goddess of wisdom, laws, and jurisprudence, arts and crafts, culture, and learning. She was said to have sprung fully-grown and fully armored from Zeuss head, who was complaining of a headache and asked Hephaestus to split his skull. In all of the myths but one Athene has no mother.
In the Homeric Hymn-28, however, Athene is described as the daughter of Metis, a titan. Metis was renowned for her wisdom and cleverness, and she was fated to have two children: first a girl and later a boy. The boy was destined to someday overthrow his father. When Zeus heard of this he flew into a rage and consumed the pregnant Metis. He later developed a headache, and here the divergence among the myths merges.
Athene was by all accounts Zeuss favorite child, and in many ways she was the most powerful god on Mount Olympus. Athene had many facets. She was her fathers child in bravery, protecting heroes in battle and just causes in war. But she was her mothers child in her just, compassionate behavior. She is the patron of the city of Athens, her gift of the olive tree defeating Poseidons gift in their conquest for the city.
Athene is a virgin goddess, but unlike Artemis, she is equally compassionate towards men and women, and her favorite mortal was a man, Odysseus, whose cunning appealed to her. In one story Athene, unlike the other gods, acknowledges her mistakes. She accidentally killed her dearest friend, the mortal Palas, when she was new to the world, misjudging her own strength. From then on she placed his name before hers, making Pallas Athene her proper name, and her friend and terrible act a part of her forever. Circe was an enchantress encountered by Odysseus in Book X of The Odyssey.
She amuses herself by turning the reconnaissance messengers, sent by the tactical Odysseus into pigs. Hermes saves Odysseus himself from succumbing to this fate by apprising him of the situation, giving him both, a magic flower to resist Circes magic and the warning not to go to her bed without first exacting a binding promise to ensure his safety. The now benevolent sorceress thus entertains Odysseus for a year. When Odysseus decides that he feels homesick again, Circe sends him to the realm of the dead to question the seer, Teiresias, telling him that he is fated to wander many strange paths before he can return to Ithaca. Demeter, goddess of the harvest, was Zeuss sister. She was responsible for bringing crops to fruition, wild and cultivated. If she did not give her blessing to the earth, famine and starvation would follow. Her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped by Hades, god of the underworld, to be his queen.
Demeter was so stricken that she disguised herself as an old woman, and wandered the earth crying and seeking her lost daughter. The god of the sun, Helios, tells her at last where her daughter is and she becomes coldly furious. She refused to heal the barren earth, and Zeus, knowing that if his sister was not given aid the mortal world would perish, sent Hermes to bargain with Hades for the return of the sunny Persephone. Hades slyly told Persephone that was free to go, and he gave her a handful of pomegranate seeds to eat if she got hungry along the way. She ate four and was bound to spend four months of the year with Hades in his dark kingdom. During that period Demeter was so sorrowful that the earth became cold and bare, the ground froze despite the light from the sun, and nothing grew. Eros/Cupid, the god of love and passion, was said in the later myths to be the son of Aphrodite. In some of the earliest myths, however, he was considered to be the very first god, the son of Darkness or Chaos, who brought light and order, and therefore life, through love.
This idealistic and all-powerful view of love is far from the erotic version associated with Eros in later myths. Portrayed as the conceited and spoiled young son of Aphrodite, he used his magical bow and arrows to cause mortals and immortals to fall hopelessly in love. Although he obeyed his mother, he shot most of his arrows for his own personal entertainment. Hades, god of the undead and king of the underworld, was Zeuss brother. He rarely leaves his silent, gray palaces underground to visit the brightness of Mount Olympus.
Hades is also the god of wealth, for he owns all of the precious gems and minerals that lie below the earth. Helios, the god of the sun, drove his fiery horses and golden chariot across the sky each day, bringing day, heat, and light. Although his own origins were obscure, there was one myth that concerned his son by the mortal Clymene, the boy Phaeton. Granted one wish, he chose to drive the chariot. Phaethon set fire to the earth in his dipping and diving until Zeus was forced to throw a thunderbolt at him to cease the destruction. Eventually the earth recovered, and Helios, deeply saddened by his sons actions, returned to his daily task.
Hephaestus was the god of fire, craftsmen, the protector of blacksmiths, and the son of Zeus and Hera. He walked with a limp because Zeus threw him over the palace wall when he sided with Hera in an argument. He fell …