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The Greek Underwood Essay

2001 words - 8 pages

The Greek Underworld can be a dark place, especially for those who have angered the gods, where one can see how the punishments often times fit the crime.

Throughout this research paper the Underworld is portrayed as a dark place where those who committed crimes are punished for them which can be extremely brutal.

The Underworld is often times portrayed only as dark place for criminals, which it is, but it’s where everyone goes after death. “Souls of the dead who carried an ancient Greek coin in their mouths were ferried across another underworld river, the Styx, by Charon, to begin eternity as citizens of his dark kingdom. Those who did not have a coin remained, lamenting, by the riverside.” (Evans 16). The Underworld is where everyone spent the rest of their afterlife. It was a strict place and there was no escaping. Each person was judged when they entered. “Osiris became king and judge of the dead in the underworld.” (Ingpen, Perham 18).
The Erinyes or the Furies are who punishes the people who have committed crime. Virgil is the one who places them as to where they go. “The Erinyes – or the Furies – were regarded by some of the poets as his [Hades] daughters, and the three (or sometimes four) of them are often shown standing beside his throne. They were of fearsome appearance, often garbed in black cloaks soaked in blood…above all those who murdered their own kin.” (Allen 52-3). The Erinyes ruled with the God of the Underworld, Hades. He was the god who controlled everything that went on in the Underworld. “Hades was seen as a dark and unattractive god, hard-hearted and merciless.” (Allen 52). Hades was not always the nicest god to be around. But he was the ruler, highest in command and no one dared to disobey him. “Hades contains Tartarus, where the wicked are punished, and the beautiful Elysian fields, where the virtuous enjoy their reward.” (Philip 183).
The Underworld was not just a place for the dead, but also a place for criminals. After death they were punished for the crime they committed. Often times their punishments fit their crimes, meaning they were similar. Their punishment sometimes was like them getting a taste of their own medicine. Whatever they did, they would have the same thing happen to them in return but only much worse.
Tantalus was the son of Zeus and Pluto. Some people knew him as the King of Argos. His wife was Euryanassa and had three children. His children’s names were Pelops, Niobe, and Broteus, but some thought Pelops was a bastard. Tantalus was Zeus’ favorite. Zeus let him dine with the gods. He also was given the privilege to eat the god’s food, nectar and ambrosia. Tantalus did not show any respect towards Zeus after his kind gesture towards him. He stole Zeus’ golden hound and gave mortals the foods of the gods. These were not the worst of his crimes, however.
“Having called the Olympians, to a banquet on...

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