Sunday, November 27, 2011

How Zeus Came to Power - Greek Mythology

Metis the Goddess of wisdom was pregnant with Athene. Because Zeus felt that Athene would be so wise he felt it would be a threat to his power. He felt that Athena would be stronger than even his bolts. In order to prevent this from happening he tricked Metis and swallowed her whole. However, Metis was still able to conceive Athene and gods gave her birth through the way of his head. This is very important because it symbolically represents the birth of many great things in Greek thought and culture. Athena was a goddess of wisdom, war, and defender of heroes and justice. All the aspects combined create a unique and complex civilization.

There used to be a popular cartoon that would come on television that, Hercules. The cartoon was a series based off of the Disney movie which was the cartoon version of the Greek tale. In this cartoon Hercules had amazing adventures battling Gods and Creatures.

Unsurprisingly the Disney version changes the Greek story, so that Hercules main enemy is Hades (the god of the underworld). Although Disney did a horrible job of telling the story of Hercules, they were able to expose many people to Greek mythology.

I recognize Zeus from the cartoon, he was the most powerful God and he was the father of Hercules. In the cartoon Zeus is portrayed as a humble, loving, and kind father. Some of the other names I recognized were: Athene, Apollo, Artemis, Posedion, and Hera.

In order to rise to power Zeus had to first overthrow the ruler Cronos and the Titans. How he did this was with a clever strategy and with his might. What he did was gather a team of Gods to join his side. Then he made friends with the Cyclopes and other creatures. The combination of the Gods and boulders hurled from the powerful creatures was what led to Zeus becoming the ruler of the Gods. The war was ended with one last bolt that was driven by all of Zeus's fury and might.

The way Zeus came to power was similar to the way humans do things. There was a higher power in which no force at the time could stop. Zeus wanted to take them down and bring himself to the top. His method of doing so was gathering large forces because there is strength in numbers. It was simply a game of politics.

If Cronos had befriended the other Gods before Zeus had a chance to, Zeus would not have been able to fight him. The way the war is described is even similar to that of a war between human forces. Weapons were being hurled back and forth and it was very loud. In order for Zeus to become victorious he had to give every last bit of energy into the fight.
Another important factor was the help from the Cyclopes who were hurling boulders at the opposing Gods. One would think that Rocks, no matter the size would be ineffective in causing damage to the gods.

Athena's creation was symbolizes the birth of a new way of thinking for the Greeks. She represented war, justice, and wisdom. There is an importance placed on the word wisdom throughout the reading. Greeks believed it to be so valuable that they suggested Zeus feared it and that is why he did not want to give birth to Athena. It was a threat to his power. This reading also suggests the importance of being powerful in societies.

What you can gain from this reading, is that cultures from earlier eras reflected their beliefs through mythology. Each god represented an appreciation or an acknowledgment of a certain aspect of life. The way the gods behaved was similar to the way humans behaved in a sense. The way they fought, loved, politicized, and belonged to a ranking system.

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