Ancient Greek Myths Of Tantalus, Medusa, Achilles, And Icarus

1519 WordsSep 4, 20177 Pages
Most people have heard a fair amount of stories from Greek mythology, and maybe they even have a favorite. These stories can have any number of different tellings, all with various tones, emotions, and purposes, depending on who wrote them and when they were created. What 's most important to me, however, is not their exact replication, but the idea that these stories can be handed down from generation to generation and still hold relevance. I, nonetheless, do have favorites of my own; they are the ancient Greek myths of Tantalus, Medusa, Achilles, and Icarus. Tantalus ' tale tells of the dangers of narcissism, a thread commonly seen throughout ancient Greek mythology. To set the scene, Tantalus was a vain man who had had multiple run-ins…show more content…
Forever being imprisoned by neverending thirst and hunger, all the great and mischievous Tantalus can do is continue stretching for something that is just out of reach and undeniably tantalizing. This gives the clear message that extreme vanity, such as a mortal believing he is superior to the all-powerful gods, has dire consequences. Accompanying Tantalus in his rank as one of the most compelling characters of Greek mythology is Medusa. Not only is she fascinating, but she is also arguably the most understood Greek "villain". Sure, her face is recognizable, what with the head of vicious snakes, but her tragic tale and representation of female rage is much less widely known. According to Ovid 's Metamorphoses, this frightening gorgon, or one of the three snake-adorning, stone-turning sisters of Greek myth, started out her life as a beautiful woman. Unfortunately however, because of her devastating beauty, the great god Poseidon rapes her in the temple of Athena. Most interpretations then move to an enraged Athena, who, furious at Medusa for defiling her temple, curses her to live her life as a treacherous gorgon. This is mostly, and hopefully, seen as an outrageous reaction by today 's society; but in ancient Greece, women held a much different role, and it was not uncommon for them to be blamed for their own rapef. Because of this surrounding culture, Medusa spends the rest of her mortal life as a gorgon (monstrously ugly or

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