Aphrodite: Goddess Of Love And Beauty

1714 words - 7 pages

Aphrodite in Greek mythology is the goddess of love and beauty. Her symbols were the scepter, myrtle, and dove. Aphrodite holds great power over gods and mortal alike. Aphrodite was not only the provoker of love, but also the victim. She was represented in numerous plays and stories. In the tale of her romance with Adonis her vulnerability is shown as moving. This points to the fact that even the gods could suffer, and were not immune to the pains of love. There are a couple of versions of the birth of Aphrodite. According to homer, she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione. The poet Hestiod explains that she was born from the foam of the sea. The most notorious of Aphrodite's affairs is hers with the Greek god of war Ares. She was married to Hephaistos, the god of smiths. She often abandoned him and was found in the arms of her lover. As a result she bore him three children named Deimos, Phobos, and a daughter named Harmonia. She also had flings with Dionysus and Hermes. There were only three deities who could resist the passions of Aphrodite. They were Athena, Artemis, and Hestia. Anyone else to ignore Aphrodite was messing with disaster. In one legend, Aphrodite cursed Eos the goddess of dawn, who engaged in a fling with Ares. Eos was cursed with an insatiable appetite for love. Aphrodite was involved in bringing together Paris and Helen. She has also had many relationships, such as: Adonis, her relationship with him ended tragically, Anchises, Zeus made her fall in love with him and she bore him Aeneas, Ares, whose affair was legendary, Dionysus, resulted in the birth of Priapus, Hephaistos, her husband who she cheated on, Hermes, the result was a child named Hermaphroditus. Aphrodite became the protectress of sailors. She is associated with doves and swans, with flowers and sweet fragrances and fruits, especially golden apples and pomegranates. When Aphrodite was born of the foam she swam to the island of Cyprus, where Horae, who gave her clothes befitting her beauty, met her. She was shining and the drops from her hair became pearls. Aphrodite's girdle is legendary for it's ability to arouse desire. Of her lovers, her favorite was Adonis, who she shared with Persephone. Aphrodite was pictured with blue eyes and fair hair. At one time her name was Marianna. She was sometimes called virginal, meaning that she remained independent. She was proud, strong, and loving. The love of women in whatever form was sacred to her. She was also the patroness of prostitutes. She was the goddess of love, beauty, the joy of physical love, sensuality, passion, generosity, all forms of partnerships and relationships, affection, fertility, continued creation, and renewal. One story in particular shows the kindness of the love goddess. Pygmalion, a sculptor, dislikes the women of his town because they sin, so he makes an ivory statue of a woman, and cares for her as if she was his wife. One day he prays to Aphrodite for a wife, Aphrodite brings the statue to life,...

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