The Relationships Between Parents and Children in Greek and Roman Myths

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Contrary to the present archetypes involving the relationships between parents and children, Greek and Roman myths show us that at one point in time, incest was considered socially acceptable. Many Greek and Roman myths contain twisted relationships between parents and children. These twisted relationships can be broken into three different categories: mothers and sons that have exceptionally strong bonds, parents that are threatened by their children, and the betrayal of parents or children. Greek and Roman Mythology often employs many themes that, in modern life, we consider to be taboo; one of the most widely used ideas is the distortion and dysfunction of parent and child relationships. One idea displayed through these twisted …show more content…
It stems from something deeper. Sigmund Freud named a theory of his after this myth. His theory of the Oedipus Complex states that every male unconsciously wants to kill his father and have sex with his mother. An unusually strong relationship between mother and son is one of the themes that Greek myths include often. Another theme used often in Greek and Roman mythology is that Parents are threatened by their children. This is shown in The Creation of the Titans and the Gods when it is said that "Uranus feared the terrible strength of these six children, and he hated them because they terrified him. So as each was born, Uranus took him from his mother, bound him, and hurled him deep into Gaea's being, the earth" (Rosenberg 84). Uranus obviously feels threatened by the children. The real life equivalent of this act would probably be child abuse. Child abuse is definitely looked down upon in our society. This theme is also shown when Gaea forms the Furies from Uranus' blood (Rosenberg 85). The Furies drive any child that kills his parents to insanity. This shows that although Gaea instigates Uranus' downfall, she also feels threatened by her children. She is scared that because they were able to take down Uranus, that she might be next. Cronus also feels threatened by his children. "Cronus took the baby lovingly from his wife, opened his gigantic mouth, and swallowed the infant in one gulp" (Rosenberg 85). Cronus feels so threatened by his children that he actually
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