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Writing About Greek Gods: Why Are They More Human than You Thought?

Statue of Goddess

Needless to say, that the mythology of ancient Greece is considered to be one of the most popular in the world and one of the oldest as well: in written form first fragments of myths appeared only in the 8th century BC, but its formation took many centuries before. Even if its history goes back more than 3000 years, it would be difficult to find some person in the XXI century, who has never heard such names as Zeus, Poseidon, Aphrodite, etc.

It is usually thought that gods must be perfect at all rates, but the Greek ones are much closer to the human nature than in any other mythology or religion. Writing on this topic can be very exciting and here is a number of aspects to develop. You should find the theogonic cycle of myths and epic poems to prepare appropriately.

Physical Limits

Having read few myths about Olympic gods, you will see that they are not that all-powerful and can feel pain. Not only deities hurt each other because of some discord - they actually can get wounded by the mortals. To prove that point, read Homer’s The Iliad attentively and you will come across the story how the Achaean hero Diomedes hit the god of war Ares with his spear in the Trojan War, how his cries made every warrior on the battlefield tremble. In addition, it is normal for these divine creatures to eat, drink and get tired. Nobody can resist the power of Hypnos, the young god of sleep: even Zeus sinks into a deep sleep when Hypnos takes care of it.

Ancient Fight Scene


Greek gods resemble us people not only in physical terms. You have already noticed that they have some features and needs just as we do, and it concerns their nature in the moral sense, too. Pay attention while reading: most of the times those deities’ behavior is really far from perfection. Nothing human is alien to them – lust, pride, jealousy, envy, rage, fear, deceit. You are welcome to mention Zeus’s endless love affairs (frankly speaking, that is why many other gods, goddesses and heroes were born) and his mistresses suffering from the terrible Hera’s revenge, an apple of discord story, Hermes’s constant tricks and the plethora of other things.

Surrendering to Fate

One more moment that makes Greek gods similar to the mortals is their powerlessness in the hands of destiny. In classical mythology even if one knows that he or she is to encounter a big life tragedy, no matter how you try to avoid it, nothing can be changed. It would be good to for you to look for some information about the incorruptible Fates or Moirai. Three old women - Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos – spin the thread of everyone’s life and only they know if it is long or short, what lots one is going to draw. You may mention the history of their relationship with Zeus to convince your reader in their unquestionable authority.

In short, ancient Greeks showed great presence of mind in all things and the phenomenon of human nature was of the greatest interest for them. Using examples from mythology, you will be able to show that gods are reflections of human beings with all their merits and demerits. In such a way people wanted to understand themselves, to live their lives under the laws of harmony and beauty.

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