Mythology Exam #3:
Now our myths will be focused on human beings instead of gods.
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.
Greek heroes, basically, are ordinary human beings who live
extraordinary lives, who could either succeed or fail at their tasks.
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.
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.
biological basis for human behavior says that both physical attributes and
personality are controlled by your genes.
Whether you’re violent or peaceful, it’s
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 otherwise.
, king of Lydia
– he was the richest person in the world, and it was he that
created to concept of money.
He had the fortune to do or have whatever he wanted
A famed Greek philosopher named Solon
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.
Solon, to Croesus’ surprise, named someone he’d never heard
So Croesus asked who was second.
Again, someone he’d never heard of.
Finally, exasperated, Croesus asked, “OK, what about me??”
“Call no man happy until he’s dead.”
This was confusing to Croesus – the Greek