To have a hero there must be a monster to vanquish. Monsters in Greco-Roman mythology are often portrayed as: irrational, nearly impossible to communicate with, often a compound of animal parts or some form of mutation, and are set upon human destruction. “Monsters in the language of mythology were beings of unnatural proportions or parts, usually regarded with terror, as possessing immense strength and ferocity, which they employed for the injury and annoyance of men” (Bullfinch Pg. 143). Mythological monsters are a way for man to explain what he doesn’t understand. They are an attempt to explain ‘why’ to things such as: storms, droughts and other unseasonable weather, unexplained deaths, birth defects, disease, and mental illness. Generally those are associated with fear, and nothing is more fearsome than a monster. Yet, on the other hand, is hope. Man’s need to remain hopeful gives cause to the creation of heroes. Monsters are essential to the existence of heroes. “[…] the mythical monster is present in any number of shapes - Gorgons and Hydras and Chimaeras dire - but they are there only to give the hero his meed of glory” (Hamilton 12). Without a great foe, there’s no need for the greater good. “Myth provides us with absolutes in the place of ephemeral values and with a comforting perception of the world that is necessary to make the insecurity and terror of existence bearable” (Morford 4).
It was common for cultures that overthrew others to convert the important deities of those they vanquished into monstrous figures. Monsters of Greco-Roman mythology tend to appear similar to Egyptian, Sumerian, Babylonian, and other early Eastern deities. “Greco-Roman monsters are like Babylonian...
... middle of paper ...
...of wind” (Hamilton 185) to vanquish another evil monster, the Chimaera. Unlike the malevolent monsters that are composed of creatures, in and of themselves are dangerous to man (i.e. lions, serpents, wolves, rams, raptors). Centaurs and Pegasus are the noble steeds to man.
Books by single author:
Bullfinch, Thomas. Myths of Greece and Rome
New York: Penguin Books, 1979. Print.
Hamilton, Edith. Mythology
New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1942. Print.
Rosenberg, Donna. World Mythology
Lincoln wood, Illinois: NTC Publishing Group, 1999. Print.
Morford, Mark. P.O. and Robert J. Lenardon. Classical Mythology
New York: Oxford University Press, Inc. 2003. Print.
Hesiod. Works and Days of Theogony
Translated by Stanley Lambardo. Quote from Robert Lamberton Introduction.
Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1993. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- A child’s mind is fuel for new ideas and creations because it is full of imagination. Their way of thinking is pure, uncorrupted by the adults of society. People may think that a child is irrational and immature in their thoughts, but the truth is that they are living in their world, the way they imagine it. Based on their experiences, they are able to design anything in their head, whether it is the shape of a cloud or a monster under the bed. When there is not an explanation for something, those who are innovative make one.... [tags: Mythology]
1778 words (5.1 pages)
- Homosexuality, the sexual attraction between members of the same sex, is a term not coined until the late nineteenth century; however, its prevalence throughout Western history is apparent and cannot be ignored. Some of the earliest accounts of homosexual relationships date back to 700 BCE in Ancient Greece. Spanning from that period up to today, the history of the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) minority is one that is commonly overlooked. Only by analyzing the historical records of homosexuality can one fully understand the widespread GLBT movement of the current era.... [tags: Homosexuality, argumentative, persuasive]
996 words (2.8 pages)
- ... Macbeth is clearly a hero because of his acts in the beginning of act I, described by the other characters how heroically Macbeth performed in Battle in defense of his king’s land. Against all odds, Macbeth fights the enemy and brings home the glorious victory. Macbeth is praised for his courage and bravery, which leads to him being the bearer of the crown. Macbeth is truly loved by the king, as the speaker reveals in act 1. Now one may ask, what is Macbeth's tragic mistake. He is an ambitious man who is willing to do what is best for the country.... [tags: hero, evil, men, monsters]
1166 words (3.3 pages)
- Up to 1933 it was believed that dinosaurs were extinct until they saw an enormous snake-like creature in the waters of Lake Loch in Scotland. There have been more than 1,000 sightings of a creature known as the Loch Ness Monster (Radford). This mysterious cryptid has been sighted countless times, however it has not once been caught or seen up close; this is the reason why it is believed to be a myth. From several videos, pictures, and interviews it is true that Nessie, a nickname given to the Loch Ness Monster, is real and lives in Lake Loch in Scotland; this mysterious creature has been seen countless times and is without a doubt an existing thing on this earth.... [tags: Lake Loch, Scottland, Myth, Legend, Sea, Creature]
1085 words (3.1 pages)
The Similarities and Differences Between Greek and Roman Literature of the Myth of the Abduction of Persephone/Proserpine
- In Ovid Metamorphoses, the Roman literature described the ruthless act of Pluto of rape, to seize and carry away Proserpine without the consent of Ceres and in parallel in the Homeric Hymns of Demeter; Persephone was seized and carried away by Hades without the consent of Demeter. The invariant theme that was identified in both the Greek and Roman literature was the loss of innocence of Persephone/Proserpine. Despite the various differences the story was presented, it reinforced the innocence that was stolen from the god of the underworld, Hades or also known as Pluto.... [tags: Roman Literature, Ovid Metamorphoses]
979 words (2.8 pages)
- Throughout history many civilizations and cultures have had their own ways of explaining the world and its creation. Each of these civilizations has created unique descriptions and accounts of such events. However, when comparing them to each other, are they really different. Look at the ancient Greco - Roman creation myths as told by Hesiod in his Theogony and Works and Days and Ovid’s Metamorphoses, when compared to the creation myths as seen in the Old Testament’s book of Genesis they may not be as different as one would think.... [tags: Greco, Roman, Bible]
1307 words (3.7 pages)
- Our past has so much knowledge that it would be silly to ignore it. All of the problems that have occurred could be prevented from happening again; all the achievements could be amplified by using them to our advantage. Sometimes people ignore the past, sometimes people embrace. This paper is about how we have, and have not, embraced the our Greco-Roman military history. Before getting in depth, I have to say that military has changed so drastically in the past 200 years because it has shifted from two masses of people going against each other, to both sides relatively hiding and engaging in as little hand-to-hand combat as possible.... [tags: past, knowledge, transportation, guns]
930 words (2.7 pages)
- I open with this statement to help provide the context and content of this essay. It is my opinion, like that of the great conceptual artist Sol Lewitt, that many individuals misinterpret art, especially the art of the past. In connection with this, I also believe each person has a right to their own opinions and thoughts. It is my hope that you as the reader will permit my upfront opinion found in this essay. It is my desire to compare and contrast the two pieces I have chased through their formal characteristics, the symbols they contain, and the cultural backgrounds of each piece of art.... [tags: Art Analysis, El Greco, Perugino]
1221 words (3.5 pages)
- Myth or Reality, Today's Perception on Monsters Monsters, which are seemingly just myth and fantasy, do have some truths to their legend. In fact, some creatures may have actually existed and still do today, even though they should not be percieved as monsters. What if the stories of a giant "ape-like" creature that have circulated over the globe for centuries were true. There have been numerous sightings and first-hand accounts of this creature everywhere in the world, from the United States to the Himalayas.... [tags: essays research papers]
1800 words (5.1 pages)
- Greco-Roman Influence in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra Greco-Roman mythological images seem to dominate Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. Ever since the humanist revolution started, Renaissance writers, including Shakespeare, systematically tried to revive Greek literature and Greek mythology. It was an attempt to establish an alternative authority to Catholic scholastic dogma that has the stamp of antiquity. Shakespeare's knowledge of mythology was almost exclusively Roman, especially in relation to love and war.... [tags: Antony Cleopatra Essays]
1407 words (4 pages)