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Overview Of Greek Mythology Essay

3224 words - 13 pages

Greek mythology is a body of myths and teachings that belong to the ancient Greeks concerning Titans, gods, and heroes. According to Alan Dundes, a myth is a sacred narrative explaining how the world and humankind assumed their present form (Dundes 1). Though now it may be referred to as mythology, to the ancient Greeks it was an aspect of their religion. Like many other pre-Christian societies, the ancient Greeks deemed things that were important in their lives, such as fire, water, air, and lightning to be gods which govern the world. The gods of the ancient Greeks had a complicated genealogy with many generations of gods and goddesses. The tales of these gods were woven into an immense variety of fables. The fables of the Greek gods were handed down through word of mouth, from one generation to another, long before written logs were used (History). The fables that were passed down show that the Greeks used the tales to give answers to the questions, such as where do we come from? How did we get here? Why are we here? Questions like these are human nature and the basis of all religions.
Mohandas Gandhi once said “It is the permanent element in human nature which counts no cost too great in order to find full expression and which leaves the soul utterly restless until it has found itself, known its Maker and appreciated the true correspondence between the Maker and itself” (Bharathi 43). By this Gandhi means that humans as a race have a perpetual need to understand the world around them and justify their place within it, and for the Greeks this was done with mythology.
The earliest literary embodiment of the Greek myths is in the poems of Homer. Here the tales appear in their simplest and most naïve form. The Gods are believed to be real beings, having intimate relationship with humans (Kelsey 10). Homer is unarguably the greatest poet of ancient times. Homer lived between the eighth and ninth centuries B.C. and was said to be a court singer and storyteller. Because of the lack of written history at the time not much else is known about him, so his poems are used to depict his personality and life. Homer is thought to be blind due to the description of the blind bard presented in The Odyssey. Due to the complexity and dates in which the poems where written, some historians believe that Homer may be a group of separate authors. Both The Iliad and The Odyssey were written in a style of a purely oral and unwritten poetic speech that was used before the end of that century (Homer). Some people even believe the name Homer was actually a commonly used term for blind men who wandered the countryside reciting epic poetry.
Homer’s works included The Iliad, The Odyssey, and his Homeric Hymns. The Iliad was the story of the city of Ilion during the Trojan War. Ilion was a city in Troy. The title of the poem literally means "something concerned with Ilion". The Iliad focuses on the last year of the Trojan War. It depicts intricate details of...

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