How Child Abuse Affects a Hero, a God, and a Monster in Greek Mythology

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Abuse has always been a problem throughout the history of the world. Abuse is suffered in various forms such as physical, emotional, and verbal. But all abuse is very harmful, especially when it is experienced by a child. There are many stories in Greek mythology that show various types of abuse but most prevalent are the acts that target children. Three figures in Greek mythology that face child abuse are Heracles, Hephaestus, and the Minotaur. The first figure is the hero Heracles. He is one of the most known figures that faces abuse throughout his childhood and into adulthood. Heracles’ prime abuser was his stepmother, Hera. Hera shows the classic signs of blaming children for the mistakes of their parents and for the situation they…show more content…
That fall has said to have made him lame. According to Martin “Hera never knew her lame son’s fate…she never gave him a second thought” (89). As time passes and Hephaestus matures in the sea with Thetis, he was found to be skilled at making jewelry. When Hera hears of the skilled craftsman, she “divined that it was her own son and demanded him back” (Evslin 50). She only wants her son back because he became useful, she does not care for him. When Hephaestus returns to his new home on Olympus, Hera gives him a decrepit mountain as a place to work and live. She does not give him a home like the other gods have and has him making her fine things with Cyclopes around the clock. Hephaestus agrees to go back only because “…he loved her and excused her cruelty to him” (Evslin 50). Sacks writes that Hephaestus once “took his mother’s side in a quarrel between her and Zeus, and this time Zeus threw him down from the mountain” (“Hephaestus” Par. 3). All Hephaestus is searching for is his mother’s approval and will to do anything to get it. The third and one of the most misunderstood abuse victim is the so called monster, the Minotaur. One of the most frightening in Greek mythology monster is truly a victim in disguise. First of all, since he is born out of wedlock, and of a bull, he is treated like an outsider. Since he is treated like a monster, he becomes one, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Minos treats his stepson

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