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Comparison Of Incestuous Relationships Throughout History.

3213 words - 13 pages

Comparison of Incestuous Relationships Throughout HistoryThough there are many subjects and areas to write a comparison essay on, the most unusual to me is the discussion of incest. This topic is found throughout early historical literature in Enuma Elish, the Holy Bible, and later John Milton's Paradise Lost. The theme of incest was predominant within parent/child relationships. The results of these relationships had significant negative impacts on family and society.The earliest myths date back to the Rig Veda, the first of the four Vedas, composed over a period of time, though certainly before 1000 BC, and eventually committed to writing many centuries later. Primeval incest is one of the methods by which creation takes place in the Rig Veda, and this idea recurs throughout Hinduism. Later mythology claims Manu, the first man, gave birth to the human race through the act of incest. Manu himself is also born of incest that the creator indulges in.By the time we come to the texts known as the Puranas, dating between 300 and 1500 AD, the story of creation becomes more complex: the creator of the Universe was the god Brahma, who came from the primeval waters, and was self-existent. Brahma transformed himself into a giant boar to bring forth the earth from the depths of these waters. The first man, Manu, was born directly of Brahma. Manu was a hermaphrodite, and created two sons and three daughters from his female half. (Rig Veda, X)Atargatis is a Near Eastern Great Goddess, or moon goddess, who was worshipped mainly in the Levant, today's Turkey, Syria, Israel and Lebanon. Atargatis is one of the independent virgins and her myth speaks of a union with the archetypal vegetation-god and of incest. Ichthys was her son and lover. She was often worshipped in a more or less public orgy that usually involved sacred prostitution and ritual promiscuity. In her temple at Hierapolis, north-east of Aleppo and close to the Euphrates River, she was worshipped by men performing auto-castration. At some point, this goddess was merged into Ishtar.Incest in Greek mythology was also a common occurrence. Part of the reason is that the gods themselves set the example, and since everything that happened in society was the result of the passion of the gods, this gave the characters in the Greek plays the opportunity to also lust after their children and relatives. While the story of Oedipus the King is the delineating play on the subject, Greek mythology is full of incestuous relationships.The story of Oedipus is the definitive Greek play on incest. Sophocles' Oedipus Rex is the story of a son who marries his mother Jocasta and destroys his father, not knowing beforehand that the man he has killed is his father and that he has been sleeping with his own mother. Because of his guilt, he puts out his own eyes.Many of the current critiques of Oedipus absolve him of his acts, stating that he is not guilty of his sins, but that the gods directed his actions. The text does...

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