Monsters are the physical embodiment of fear. Monsters are the physical embodiment of fear due to a wide variety of reasons. The most important being: Monsters’ apparent invulnerability/incredible strength, they represent the bad part of society, are most often ugly, they represent evil/nightmares, many monsters have the ability to shape shift, and those that deviate from the norms still maintain some monster-like characteristics. These six characteristics are the major reasons why monsters are the physical embodiment of fear. These six or combinations of them strike fear in the hearts of those around the monsters. In numerous myths, monsters are a weakness to society. For instance, the heroes of Rome fight these monsters in order to overcome them which is the symbolic overcoming of weakness by the community. The fear which these monsters represent is primarily human fear as monsters are generally on good terms with animals and human fear is far deeper than animal fear. Thus, the monster-hero/god relationship is far deeper better representing the fear relationship they have.
A monster’s apparent invulnerability/incredible strength is what strikes fear into its opponents. Example of this can be seen in numerous stories. One such example from Donna Rosenberg’s World Mythology is “Eurytheus firs commanded Heracles to bring him the skin of the lion of Nemea. Heracles knew that the best could not be hurt by stone or bronze, so he would have to devise some other way to kill it. When he came upon the
lion he learned that his arrows and his huge wooden club were also useless. The lion responded to Heracles’ attack by retracting into a cave that had two exits” (101). This quotation exemplifies the incredible strength the beast possesses which enables it free from death by normal weaponry. Many wannabe heroes often retreat when their trusted weapon fails them. This fear is caused by the monster’s sturdiness or its apparent invulnerability/ incredible strength. Another powerful example is quite evident in Homer’s The Odyssey, which shows the fact that some monsters born from gods may prove more formidable than the god himself as is the case with Charybdis, daughter of Poseidon (180-181). Surely, if the monster offspring of a god is actually more powerful than the god himself, then even some gods would fear the monster.
The fear that monsters represent is a parallel of the bad part of society. One example of this is “Mahisha, the fierce buffalo demon, was on a terrible mission to conquer the world and rout the gods” (India). Those attempting to gain control of a kingdom are feared since if they were to succeed then the ruler will lose much. It is the fear of being usurped that is the bad part of society. This aspect is the parallel of the fear that monster instill into other beings. In addition, this is a bad aspect of ancient society which occurred quite frequently during those times. Not only did monsters attempt to do conquer the world,...