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Monsters: The Physical Embodiment of Fear Essay

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Monsters are the physical embodiment of fear. Monsters are the physical embodiment due to a wide variety of reasons. The most important being: Monsters’ apparent invulnerability/incredible strength, represent the bad part of society, most often look ugly, represent evil/nightmares itself, are intelligent, and some deviate from the norms are the reasons why monsters are the physical embodiment of fear. Monsters’ incredible characteristics are what strike fear into the hearts of others. In many myths, monsters are a weakness to societies. For instance, the heroes of Rome fight these monsters in order to overcome them which is the symbolic overcoming of weakness by the community. The fear monsters represent is primarily human fear as monsters are generally on good terms with animals and human fear is far deeper than animal fear.
A monster’s apparent invulnerability/incredible strength is what strikes fear into its opponents. Examples of this can be seen in numerous sources. One such example is “Eurytheus first commanded Heracles to bring him the skin of the lion of Nemea. Heracles knew that the beast could not be hurt by stone or bronze, so he would have to devise some other way to kill it. When he came upon the lion he learned that his arrows and his huge wooden club were also useless. The lion responded to Heracles attack by retracting into a cave that had two exits.” (Rosenberg 101). This quote shows the incredible strength the beast possesses which enable it free from death by normal weaponry. Many amateur heroes retreat when their trusted weaponry doesn’t work. This fear was ultimately caused by the monster’s sturdiness. Another powerful example is the fact that some monsters born from gods may prove more formidable than the ...


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...urs. According to Edith Hamilton, “Seeing as the combining of a horse and human was not degrading, the ‘Centaur’ is the only one of the fancied monster of antiquity to which any good traits are assigned”. Another example is some monsters are not exempt from human emotions. One monster who exemplifies this is Polyphemus who dearly loved the sea nymph Galatea.
Monsters are a representation of fear and are like nightmares. This is so because many of the monsters’ qualities strike fear thus, they are a representation of fear itself. Monsters are like nightmares is that one having the nightmare always awakes before the end, symbolizing the victory of good over evil. This is why monsters’ symbolize evil as well as fear. This was the case with Heracles and the snakes. Even danger was lurking, baby Heracles woke up before tragedy could strike and struck back at tragedy.



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