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Hades, An Influence On Greek Society

1299 words - 5 pages

Greek gods, the basis of Greek culture and religion, are the center of Greeks’ superstitions and ways to worship. These relate to the god’s origin and their deeds in their myths. Gods can either show jealousy, courage, or kindness to mortals and other gods, so Greeks label the gods based on their qualities. In most circumstances, the Greeks decide whether to worship or despise a god only by whom or what they rule over. For example, Greeks show reluctance in worshipping Hades, the Lord of the Underworld. Greeks hold celebrations and festivities to earn favor from the gods. Greek gods can either have a positive or a negative impact on Greek culture. Most people believe that Hades, an important god in Greek culture, has a negative impact on Greek society. Hades is an impact to Greek society because of his reputation as Lord of the Underworld, his actions in popular myths, and his relationships with other gods and mortals; this influenced how Greeks view him and how they worship him.
Hades’ early childhood determined his reputation as a god, and his eventual title as Lord of the Underworld. Cronus and Rhea, two important titans, gave birth to Hades. Titans, in their evil and domineering way, ruled the universe. Negative qualities, like these, showed up when “Hades was devoured by Cronus as soon as he was born, along with four of his siblings. Zeus later caused the Titan to disgorge them” (Atsma). After killing Cronus, they easily overthrew the Titans. They needed to do this for the good of the other gods and mortals in the universe. Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades worked together to defeat the Titans. They locked the Titans in Tartarus, the depths of the Underworld. This victory gave them power over the universe. They decided to take residence in Mount Olympus. However, they had to divide the world among themselves. The “Big Three,” Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, “three victorious brothers then drew lots for the division of the cosmos; Hades received the third portion, the dark dismal realm of the underworld, as his domain” (Atsma). After gaining the dismal underworld, Hades avoided contact with other gods and mortals. Most people and gods believed that Hades’ kingdom represented himself as a person: dark, gloomy, and evil. However, Hades had shown kindness in some myths by acting fair and generous towards mortals who wanted help. However, the Greek society and the gods had an immediate dislike to Hades when he assumed the throne of the Underworld with his wife, Persephone. Because Hades ruled the Underworld, most of Greek society believed that worshipping him brings bad luck, and few monuments existed to commemorate him.
Myths portrayed Hades as having a strict, unfair, and temperamental attitude; however, he fairly administered justice. Hades is known as “‘the unmerciful and irreconcilable’ and is for mankind the most hated of gods, yet this description must be recognized as the poetic product of an elite literary tradition” (Taylor). Hades was unmerciful...

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