The Heroes Of Classical Mythology

1738 WordsJul 23, 20157 Pages
Heroes in classical mythology are often compared with gods and are seen to be more akin to gods than mortal men. They are famously known for the quests or the deeds carried out by them. These quests usually do not take place near where they originate from. They need to travel long distances and usually transgress geographical, cosmological and physical boundaries. During these quests, they come across and have to interact with a range of divine and supernatural creatures, objects, and people. In doing so, they can be seen helping keep the society more ordered and civilized. Due to their deeds they too like gods have their own cults and/or are worshipped. Many of the heroes also gain apotheosis (immorality). Heroes can have divine parentage which classifies them as hemitheoi (half gods/ demi-gods). All these qualities of heroes truly makes them more akin to gods than mortal men. The quests carried out by the heroes makes them transgress many types of boundaries which is impossible for the mortal men to do so. From such transgressions, one of the key ones is that the katabasis. In this context it means the journey to the underworld. This type of journey is usually seen only by people who die and move to the underworld, however, heroes are seen to be able to make this journey while they live. One such example is Heracles when he travels to the underworld to capture and bring back the three headed dog Cerberus (Apollodorous, 2.5.12). Another example is Odysseus who has
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