Homework Question on Greek Mythology
- Write 1 page for each essay:
- (Essay #1) Essay on the Maternal: Assuming that myths reinforce social norms through providing both good and bad examples of appropriate behavior, analyze the “mother” in at least three myths in which such a character (divine or mortal) plays a significant role. What aspects of motherhood are emphasized? What do we learn about social expectations of the maternal from these stories? What might this also tell us about the significance of the goddesses who explicitly opt for virginity?
- (Essay #2) Essay on Advice-seeking from the Past: A former professors wrote that “to preserve the past as a resource for the present is to traffic with the dead.” Write an essay about the attitudes found in the mythic traditions you have studied towards consulting with the souls of the departed, and the seemingly more “historical” use of the legendary past as an explanation for the present (from Hesiod to Virgil). What might we modern people learn from the ancient writers about current arguments or debates that appeal to “history” and/or “tradition”?
Homework Answer on Greek Mythology
The “Mother” as Depicted In the Mythology of the Greeks
Myths reinforce social norms by providing both good and bad examples of appropriate behavior. In the Greek folklore, the aspect of motherhood has been displayed through various characters in various myths. In the Greek society, men dictate and thus their dominance suppresses women. However, the motherhood aspect of women has been shown in various myths whereby women are portrayed as caring, loving, protective, and strong when protecting their children.
In the story by Hesoid about the Greek creation, Gaia, the earth goddess is portrayed as loving and protective towards her children. In the creation myths, it is narrated that Uranus married Gaia, and they gave birth to ugly children with many arms. When Uranus realized the ugliness of his children, he decided to hide them such that they could not be exposed to the open. However, the protective mother stirred a rebellion between the children and their father to free them, and this portrays that mothers were willing to do anything to express their love, as well as protect their children (Segal, 1999).
In the myth of Psyche and Cupid, Venus is depicted as protective to her son cupid. She tries to prevent further injury on her son despite that her son has wronged her. This portrays mothers as forgiving and protective. In the myth of Persephone and Demeter, Demeter is portrayed as a loving and protective mother. She goes against all odds to rescue her daughter who has been kidnapped. Mothers are also portrayed as the cause of misunderstanding between fathers and children.