Greek and Roman Myths

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 10th grade February 2008

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In this essay I am going to explain how Greek and Roman gods represent forces we attribute to nature, human thought, human skill, and luck. I will explain this by using stories such as 'Demeter and Persephone', 'Ages of Man', and most of the Greek and Roman myths that we have covered so far. I think that most of the gods that we have talked about have attributed something to humans' whether it is good or bad.

The first one that I will explain is the gods attribute to nature. My favorite example of this comes from the myth of 'Demeter and Persephone'. When Persephone gets captured and has to live with Hades, Demeter is furious. Persephone can spend two thirds of the year with Demeter. When Persephone is in Hades for one third of the year, Demeter makes the earth cold, and there weren't any seeds or plants for the humans to eat and nothing reproduced.

This is better known as winter. When Persephone could come back, Demeter made the world plentiful with food and seeds, nice weather, beautiful flowers, and the days became longer. This season is better known as spring/summer.

The second one that I will explain will be the attribute to human thought. I believe that the best example of this one is to be found in the story of the 'Ages of Man'. Even though this story doesn't say too much about Zeus, you can see the attributes within the different generations of people. The first generation is wonderful, and died a peaceful death. The second generation was greedier and immature; Zeus made their lives short and unhappy. The generations kept getting worse and worse therefore their lives were shorter and unhappier than the generations before. This put fear in the humans' eyes to stop acting foolishly and start acting civil.

The third attribute I will explain will be human skill. My example of this is from the myth, 'Creation of the Titans and the Gods'. In this myth, Zeus taught humans how to be just in the treatment of one another. Poseidon taught humans how to tame horses, work, and how to build ships. Hades taught humans to respect the dead, and how to have proper funerals/burials. Demeter taught humans how to plant crops for harvesting.

The last attribute that will be explained is luck. I think Zeus somewhat brought good luck to the people of the golden age by letting them live a long happy life and dying a peaceful death. I think that maybe Eros brought both good and bad luck by making people fall in love. Actually, I think maybe all the gods brought some kink of luck both good and bad.