Aphrodite Essay

2006 words - 8 pages


HEPHAESTUS AND APHRODITE

APHRODITE

     Aphrodite is one of the most famous figures of Greek mythology. Because

Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and sexual rapture,1 she was desired by

nearly all of the Greek gods. Aphrodite was one of the twelve main gods on Mt.

Olympus,2 and she was the most powerful goddess when it came to members of the

opposite sex.

THE BIRTH OF APHRODITE

     There are many origins to Aphrodite's birth. Some of them are:

1) She arose full-grown out of the foam of the sea,

2) She is the daughter of Zeus and Dionne,

3) She is the daughter of Uranus and Gaia, which would make her a Titaness, or

4) She is the daughter of Titans Oceanus and Tethys, making her an Oceanid.3

     The most common origin of her birth is her being foam-born, which is what her

name means. This origin says that Aphrodite arose nude and full-grown out of the foam

of the sea and riding into the shore of Cythera on a scallop shell. She found Cythera to be

too small of an island, so she went to live in Paphos, in Cyprus, which is still the principal

seat of her worship.4

THE MYTH OF APHRODITE AND HEPHAESTUS AND ARES

     Although Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty, she had a magic girdle

that she wore that made everyone fall in love with her. She could hardly ever be

persuaded to lend it to anyone. Since Aphrodite had the magic girdle and was so

beautiful, all of the gods fell in love with her.     

     All of the goddesses were jealous of Aphrodite because all of the gods loved her

instead of the other goddesses. Because of this, Zeus arranged a marriage for her with

Hephaestus, the lame smith-god.5 Aphrodite didn't really mind this marriage arrangement,

though, because she thought Hephaestus would never notice her having marital affairs.6

     Hephaestus knew nothing of deception until, one night, he caught his wife and

Ares, the god of war, making love at Ares' home. Hephaestus went back to his home very

angry.7

Hephaestus was so angry that he decided to get revenge on Aphrodite by literally catching

the while they were making love. He got out a bronze hunting-net and attached to the

posts and sides of the bed. He told Aphrodite that he was to a short holiday trip to

Lemnos. Aphrodite did not offer to go with him. When Hephaestus left, she sent

hurriedly for Ares and the two immediately went to sleep together. When they went to

bed, they got tangled in the net.8

     At dawn, Hephaestus returned from his trip. He summoned all of the gods

together so they could see what Aphrodite and Ares did. Hephaestus thought that, by

Zeus seeing how Aphrodite deceived him, Zeus would return all of the marriage gifts.

Instead, Zeus told Hephaestus that this should handled by him and Aphrodite instead...

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