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Good And Evil In Greek Mythology

1233 words - 5 pages

Light and dark, heaven and hell, winning and losing, victor and defeated, they all share something, they are the balance of good and evil, and glory and shame in a hero’s journey; for every light, there is darkness; for every heaven, there is a hell; for every win, there is a loss; and for every victor someone is defeated. This constant battle of good and evil, and glory and shame is seen through many cultures mythology, especially in ancient Greece, men were to have glory associated with their name, and there were to fight for good; their mythology reflects this, with their battling Gods, and warring cities. The true question for the hero in Greek mythology is which side is good, and who deserves the shame? In many Greek stories, the line between good and evil is not clearly defined; however those who were closer with the Gods were viewed as the good and any who went against and angered the Gods were evil. Glory and shame had a much stronger definition, those who stood and fought were rewarded with glory, and any who cowered and hid away from battle were shameful and week. The hero’s journey, especially in the Iliad, is to find the line where they belong, being good and full of glory, but not so celebrated that they become conceited and vain, crossing that line from good to evil. When Greek gods duel, the winners are the good and the losers are seen as evil; when Greeks go to war those who stand and fight are rewarded with glory, those who fear the battles are filled with shame and ridicule, the hero’s journey is always a balancing act with the scales of good and evil, and glory and shame.
In ancient Greece, though there may not have been a clearly defined good and evil, one side always seems to portray the morally correct side, and the other flank is the bad/evil. In the argument between Achilles and Agamemnon over the return of the priest’s daughter Chrysies and the attempt to stop the terror Apollo is raining down on the city. In the scene, Achilles can be seen as good, as he wants to save the people of Mycenae from Apollo, and Agamemnon is the bad/evil side. As Agamemnon was the start of the horror Apollo brought, as he took the girl, sent the priest off, and refused to return Chrysies, but later on, Agamemnon can be seen as an evil good doer. Agamemnon tells Hector “I have two wishes. If you grant them, no more of your people need die,” though Agamemnon agrees to stop killing, he does it manipulatively, he straddles the line of good and evil, as he can be seen as both (Homer, Iliad). In ancient Greek mythology, the division between good and evil is blurry; Agamemnon is evil when arguing with Achilles, yet in battle, he can be seen as good, does that make him a hero, as he can be good? But what about Achilles, he is good in all senses? Does the hero need to completely good? In the Iliad, good and evil are blurred, depending on the situation, but a hero needs to embody goodness on his journey, and the Greeks always write in a complete good...

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