Mythology Exam #3:
Now our myths will be focused on human beings instead of gods.
These “Hero” myths
are not about extraordinarily courageous or superior people, as our common
interpretation of ‘hero’ denotes.
Instead, heroes in mythology are capable of stupidity,
cowardice and other weaknesses, though some are naturally brave and smart.
heroes, basically, are ordinary human beings who live extraordinary lives, who could
either succeed or fail at their tasks.
Greek hero myths show what it was like to be human.
– a concept somewhat foreign to our culture, which emphasizes freedom of choice
and autonomy, as well as responsibility for your own actions.
Greeks believe that it was
all mapped out for you since you were born – an unchangeable blueprint, with personal
choice being merely an illusion.
We’re ruled instead by fate – but Greeks were unclear as
to who authored fate, since even the gods could not change it.
Later on came the concept
of three women who controlled fate, one of whom wove the thread of fate, the next who
measured it (and thereby measured your lifespan), and one who cut the thread.
Belief in fate made the oracle of Apollo so important – it let visitors find out what their
fate was going to be.
Astrology and horoscopes are also based on the assumption that
you do not have freewill – that the stars determine your life.
Psychology says that you
were born free, but your development and childhood dictate what kind of person you’ll
be – that you’re not free anymore.
The biological basis for human behavior says that
both physical attributes and personality are controlled by your genes.
violent or peaceful, it’s genetic.
So each of these things is a form of predetermined fate –
we may think we’re free, but the things and sciences we surround ourselves with say
, king of
– he was the richest person in the world, and it was he that created
the concept of money.
He had the fortune to do or have whatever he wanted to.
Greek philosopher named
visited Croesus, and the king really wanted to impress
this powerful man.
After Solon had been shown the grand tour of all of Croesus’ riches
and power, Croesus asked Solon who the happiest person in the world was.
Croesus’ surprise, named someone he’d never heard of.
So Croesus asked who was
Again, someone he’d never heard of.
Finally, exasperated, Croesus asked, “OK,
what about me??”
Solon replied, “Call no man happy until he’s dead.”
confusing to Croesus – the Greek view of the afterlife was very bleak with eternal misery.
What Solon meant was that if you can die with a good life with nothing bad happening to
you, then you can be called happy, as in having had a happy life.
But while you’re still
living, something bad might still happen to you.
So until you complete life happy, you
can’t be happy.
Such is the story of the father whose two sons won medals at the