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The Gods Vs. Man Essay

2876 words - 12 pages

The Gods vs. Man

God. That one word has a lot of weight to it, doesn't it? It had even more

significance to the Greeks. It was something they feared and respected. Throughout

history men have always wanted to be like the gods. It is something that is seen over and

over, man's universal struggle to be like the gods. Is it man's fault that he wants to be

like the gods? Or is it the gods' fault? The story Oedipus Rex by Sophocles shows that

man's arrogance and fallible personality is the cause of this struggle for superiority. The

Greeks dealt the most with gods, melding their daily lives with religion.

The Greeks have had multiple Gods over much of their history. The Greeks had

one of the most complex and extensive systems of religion and polytheism in the history

of man. They also had a very extensive hierarchy of Gods. Its origin begins with the

Chaos and a number of other Gods. There were 19 of them and they were called the

Titans. They were the creators and first rulers of the world. The Titans later went to war

with the Olympians and lost and were imprisoned in the center of the earth. There were

also lesser Gods and noble characters. There were 32 lesser Gods that were various

offshoots of the major twelve Olympians. They were given all types of minor jobs and

responsibilities in helping to keep the world organized and running. There were also

noble characters in mythology, who were classified into heroes and creatures. There

were fourteen heroes who completed many legendary tasks. Many were well known such

as Hercules, Perseus, Jason, Odysseus and many others. There were also fourteen

creatures that had many various roles, from killing people and animals to helping the

Gods. Most were also well known like Medusa, Cyclops, Sirens, and others.

More recently, during the time period of Sophocles, the Greeks believed in and

listened to the Olympians. There were twelve of these major Gods. These Gods directly

influenced the lives of the people of this time. They ruled all parts of people's lives and

were the gods that the people prayed to and listened to. The following passage explains

the position of the gods:

Gaea created life, but that was life, which was reigned by a brute force. There was no prize for honesty, nor punishment for crime. Guided by their natural aspiration towards the order and ordered society wise men created immortal gods, who governed people's lives, seeing and hearing everything, and enforcing the laws? The fear of such mighty gods forced the people to place them as far as possible, but also in beautiful settings in order to please them. So, the gods were placed at Mount Olympus and organized as a hierarchical society in which the "jet-set" consisted of twelve Olympian gods: Zeus, the supreme god, Hera, his lawful wife, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Aphrodite, Hermes, Athena,...

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