Growing Up With Greek Literature Essay

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Growing Up With Greek Literature


Say “Greek Tragedy” to an English major and you’re likely to elicit a groan, or even perhaps a screech of terror. For me however, Greek tragedy, as well as Greek mythology, has always fascinated me. When I was younger, the Greek God’s always captured my interest, and I could never get enough of them. As I grew older, I became interested in the more refined aspects that Greek literature had to offer. Sophocles and The Three Theban Plays in particular, left me awestruck. I quickly began to realize that many of the new and inventive books and movies I had seen, had actually been written in one form or another, generations ago.

I suppose my interest was first piqued when my father brought home the
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I was brought up Christian and believed in on only one God. A different god for love, war, and a variety of other things fascinated me.

Eventually, in my early teens, I took up reading books such as The Odyssey by Homer, and various other works relating to the Trojan War. As is typical with many Greek stories, The Odyssey presented me with a hero I could look up to, but I was dealt my first shock when I realized that not all books have a happy ending. Quite the contrary in most Greek literature. While the Odyssey does have a fairly happy ending, other books on the Trojan War presented a much different picture. Achilles, another one of my heroes at the time, dies, and the city of Troy is sacked. I wasn’t sure how to take these bizarre endings. I say bizarre because as a kid in this day and age, I was presented with stories that always ended happily. The guy always got the girl. The hero always saved the day. The criminal was always caught. This was quite out of the ordinary in my world. I began to realize that the stories and movies I had previously always been presented, were in no way a honest view of reality. Bad things did happen, and that was life. Instead of turning away from this reality, I embraced it, realizing that while the stories themselves may not be true, the reality of the situations faced in them were.

Having changed my views on what a “story…

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