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Interactions with the Gods

Interactions of Gods and men Nothing can be more life changing than when a god chooses to interact with a mortal man. Much of Greek mythology describes the natures of these interactions. The Olympian Gods meddle with the mortals they rule over constantly, but what is the result for these interactions, and how do they impact the mortals? The question that this paper tries to address is what is the nature of these divine interaction, and how does each side truly perceive each other? The Gods and mortals interact in a variety of ways, but the true natures of these interactions truly describe how the ancient Greeks perceived their gods.
Before one can understand the interactions between the Gods and mortals, one first has to understand the nature of the Gods. In Homer, the Olympian Gods are anthropomorphic; that is to say they have human characteristics. The Gods have both a human shape as well as human emotions and needs. It is very evident that the Gods behave much like the mortals they lord over. Another facet to the Olympians Gods is that they represent a facet of nature, such as fire, water, death, weather, love, anger, nature, and death. The duel nature of the Gods creates a paradox in which the Gods are both anthropomorphic, as well as abstract representations of nature. In Homer, the Gods alternate between each of these parts, and on occasion become one. It can be best said that while the Gods are anthropomorphic, they are also a personification of nature. There are numerous examples of this in both the Iliad and the Odyssey. In book 21 of the Iliad Achilles has to fight the river god Xanthus, but he is saved by the fire god Hephaestus. Hephaestus is portrayed both a fire God as well as the fire itself. Xanthus, who natural aspect is revealed with the lines “ the river’s anger rose/ churning at heart for a way to halt his rampage” (Iliad, book 21, lines 156-157) . The use of adjectives such as churning better describe qualitie...

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Bibliography:
Bibliography Ian Ross Barnes, Hazel E. The Meddling Gods Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press 1974 Ferguson, John. Greek and Roman Religion Park Ridge, New Jersey: Noyes Press 1980 Nilsson, Martin P. A History of Greek Religion New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Company 1964 Guthrie, W.K.C. The Greeks and their Gods Boston, MA : Beacon Press 1950 Caldwell, Richard S. The origin of the gods : a psychoanalytic study of Greek theogonic myth New York : Oxford University Press, 1989


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