Monsters of Mythology
Myths are stories that establish moral laws and models of behavior for people of a society. They often feature characters who are gods or heroes with supernatural abilities. In mythology, these heroes must overcome great challenges in order reach a final goal which is identified by the hero in the beginning of the story. The ending goal usually leads to some kind of moral theme that can be applied to everyone. These heroes are generally characterized as being very gifted, physically appealing, and very popular in their society.
The archetypal hero must pass several tests on his journey. These tests can take the form of powerful monsters that the hero must battle and defeat. There are several examples in Greek and Roman myths where heroes must fight god-like monsters in order to reach their goal. There is a repeating pattern that can be found with these monsters. Each monster can be categorized based on their role in the story and relationship to the hero. In Greek and Roman mythology, monsters often represent the inner struggle the hero must overcome in order to complete his mission.
Monsters are sometimes portrayed as servants of the gods and heroes. In Jason and the Gold Fleece, Argus built the Argo for Jason and the Argonauts. He also guarded Hera in an unrelated story. This demonstrates a more obedient, slave-like monster who may still contend with heroes. Cerberus was the three-headed dog that guarded the entrance of the underworld for Hades. In The Twelve Labours of Heracles, Heracles was instructed to capture Cerberus alive without the use of a weapon for his final task. This proves to be his greatest test, which he achieves in order to complete his mission. Monsters can take many roles and challenge the hero in different ways.
Heroes often face the challenge of battling a monster. These monsters are usually independent creatures who considered invulnerable and therefore feared by most people. In The Twelve Labours of Heracles, Heracles kills the Nemean lion. He also defeats the Lernean Hydra. Both of these tasks are very challenging and help Heracles to solve his inner conflict. These beasts are of great size and have terrifying features to symbolize the inner evils a hero must overcome. These evils...