Essay on Mythology: Differences in Gender Regarding Divine Vengeance

1121 WordsNov 25, 20125 Pages
Gender and Divine Vengeance In Greek mythology, there are many stories pertaining to divine vengeance and mortals. There are many different reasons as to why the gods penalize humans, and likewise, an assortment of punishments cast down upon these offenders. Throughout the book, Powell gives many examples of the wrath of the gods and the differences in their punishment styles based on their gender. Male gods do not usually punish male offenders with a quick and easy death. They prefer to use a more prolonged and torturous style of punishment; where as female gods use a quick, more destructive punishment that affects more than just the offenders themselves. The pattern that emerged from myths that were comprised of male gods punishing…show more content…
Zeus finds out and is very angry with Prometheus for not only disobeying him, but also besting him and making a fool out of him. To pay for his crime, Zeus binds him to a pole and sends an eagle to eat away at his liver every day; and at night, it regrows only to be re-eaten the next day, and the next day, and the next, turning into a viscous cycle. Another well-known example of eternal punishment is the story of Atlas and Zeus. During the Titanomachy, Atlas foolishly sides with the titans during the war. Once Zeus and the other gods defeat the titans, he sentences Atlas to carry the world on his shoulders. Although male gods’ vengeances lasted for eternity, there were occurrences when they would take pity on their offenders, making their punishments less torturous. The story of Cronus and Uranus illustrates this well. Cronus hates his father because he would not allow Gaea’s children, his brother’s and sisters, to leave her womb. Consequently, Cronus takes a sickle and castrates Uranus, separating him from earth and sending him upwards where he would remain forever. While this is still an example of eternal damnation, it is an instance where the gods are more merciful. Female gods on the other hand, have a different technique when it comes to punishing their offenders. The wrath of female gods is not drawn out and unending, like those of male gods. They preferred a hastier, but more devastating style of castigation that would impact more than just the

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