The Greek god, Morpheus

Essay by Tanya101High School, 10th gradeA, March 2005

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The Greek god, Morpheus, also known as 'He who forms', is the Greek god of dreams. It was believed by the Greeks that he shaped and formed dreams for mortals.

Morpheus played an important role as a god; he was the leader of the Oneriroi tribe. The tribe was made up of himself and his three brothers, Icelus, Phobetor and Phantos. The Oneriroi were a well-known tribe and had the duty of creating dreams for humans. They were often asked to create dreams to warn mortals of danger and future experiences. This was especially important in the case of kings, queens, heroes and heroines, such as Queen Penelope and Agamemnon.

Icelus was the creator of dreams of reality and truth. Phobetor represented fearsome and alarming dream, playing a role in dreams in the form of an animal. Phantos, as you may notice by his name, created dreams of fantasy; these were often the most strange and unrealistic dreams of all.

He would appear in dreams as inanimate objects, such as earth, rocks, water and plants. Morpheus, the leader of the tribe, was the vital dream creator, appearing as humans in a dream. Unlike his brothers however, Morpheus could simply send thoughts and objects into dreams, without having to play a role in them himself.

The Oneriroi lived at the coast, on the seashores. Morpheus, during his lifetime, is said to have lived in a dark cave, filled with poppy flowers. Morphine, a well-known painkilling drug, which is derived from poppy flowers and induces a dream-like state, is named after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams.

I would now like to share the legend most commonly associated with Morpheus.

Hera, the queen of all gods, sent her most loyal messenger, called Iris, to Hypnos,