The name Tantalus has been modified in several ways, from how it was used in classical time to modern time. The definition given in the Oxford English Dictionary is " a Lydian king, son of Zeus, father of Pelops, for his crime which induced killing Pelops and offering his flesh to the gods was punished in Tartarus by being provided with fruit and water which reduced after he reached for them." This definition best fits with the way the word was used in classical times. Tantalus was a disgrace to the gods, as he abused their friendship, and showed no respect towards them. Thus he was punished the ultimate punishment. Was trapped in a Paradise, with beautiful fruits, and fresh water, but could not enjoy the banquet that was put forth to him. The way the word is used in modern times, takes away from the punishment side of the word.
It is more of a tease than it is a punishment, in the sense that people joke around with the idea, and taunts others. The name Tantalus is the origin for the word used today Tantalize. Which means subject to torment like that inflicted n Tantalus, to torment by the sight, shoe or promised of a desired thing which is kept out of reach, or removed or withheld when on the point of being grasped. The name Tantalus, and the meaning have had a drastic change in the perception of the way we define it. It started out as a name that is despised, and no one would want any part of it, and has become a word that is used to joke around with, in the sense of it being associated with teasing.
Tantalus in classical time was considered liked among the gods since...