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Brief Overview of All Other Pages
Which Character Are You Most Like?
Why Bother with Greek Mythology?
Ancient Greek Burial Rituals
Greek Concept of Fate
Greek Drama and Theater
Greek Inventions That Benefit The World Today
Greek Mythology vs. Roman Mythology
Living in Ancient Greece
Other Greek Arts
Greek Gods and Goddesses
Zeus—God of Gods
Myths and Plays:
The Oedipus Cycle
Gender Roles in Antigone and Greek Mythology
Oedipus in Depth
Plot, Background, and Characters of Antigone
Greek Mythology Survey Video
Greek Mythology - Creation Video
Greek Overview Video
Why Bother with Greek Mythology?
On this page you will see why Greek myths are important, why we should study them, and how they mirror what we are or warn what we should not be. We will also see why we can learn lessons, from these myths as well. The myths each tale tells helps us with what we struggle with now days.
You have studied it, you have been tested on it, you have also had to do projects on it, and you may even remember some of it. These stories are thousands of years old and yet we still learn about them. Why? They do not all have the happy fairy tale endings that we hope for but instead usually have a tragic ending. However, if you analyze these myths you see the true lesson that they were intended to teach. Learning about this will help you in the future.
Why are Greek myths important?
There is no possible way to completely understand the basics of literature, performing, and fine arts without knowing at least some parts of Greek mythology. Myths are an extremely important part of the Greek culture. These stories that were passed down from one generation to the next have so much to tell in them. They inform people how to think and live, even giving examples of those who suffered, gained wisdom, and fell into the category of heroism throughout their life. They help us to learn moral values and know the difference between what is right and wrong. Like history, Greek mythology expands our aspects and beliefs. They allow us to learn from another perspective and the outcome of their mistake.
Why study them?
We study them for the same reason that we study any culture, to learn from it. We study to learn and gain wisdom, but unknowingly for everyday use. These myths bring forth ideas and choices that we are easily mistaken by. However, since ancient Greece is said to be the origin of western culture, it has a special place in history. It is extremely important to study Greek mythology since both modern and classic literature base ideas and items in Greek myths as symbols. All of these myths have entertained and inspired the cultures for ages and long after. There have been several people such as artists and writers who have been inspired by such stories and imagery over time. They continually give everyone a new perspective in life.
The Greeks believed that their gods and goddesses formed the world with their extraordinary actions that seem bizarre to the modern world. They are an extremely important part of their culture, and people must respect every cultural and religious beliefs that countries have.
These myths and stories give us—as a culture—a way to learn moral lessons. In all of the Greek myths there is a moral to the story. The morals in these myths give us the insight on right things in life. The stories show us what the human mind thinks and how we need to make the right decisions. For example, in the myth of Pandora's box, the moral of the story was to not let curiosity take control of your actions and to always do what our heart tells us is right to do. If we listen to these myths, they can help us understand how to deal with the everyday challenges that we—as humans—encounter. Another example of a myth is Hercules. Hercules was an ordinary man born from the gods and had the ability to do extraordinary things. He used his powers for good—not evil—and helped out not only himself but others as well. We can all learn from this experience and see that we all have the ability to do something great and that we just have to be able to realize it. Even though these myths have been written hundreds of years ago, the people who wrote them were still human and experienced the same problems that we experience today. Although they might not be the exact same problems, they are—in general—the same kind of ideas.
How do these myths mirror what we are or warn what we should not be?
Though these myths are thousands of years old, sometimes we can compare ourselves to the characters in these myths. These myths allow us to see how sometimes there are no second chances in life and how one mistake can destroy us and eventually lead to our own downfall. In a way, it lets us see what kind of consequences may be in store for us if we chose to not listen and do as we please. When reading these myths, we can see the connection between the characters' lives and our own. For example, by Antigone honoring her family we learn that things may be hard but as strong people we can overcome great obstacles. This allows us to learn from their mistakes and make sure we do not make the same ones.
These myths demonstrate the folly and stupidity of people. They show us that if we abuse power or act a certain way eventually it will catch up to you and affect you in a bad way. They give us a visual example of what karma is and how effective it can be in allowing people to realize what is right or wrong. They demonstrate of the mistakes that we decide to follow, but are shared to better our choices. It allows us to understand the common mistakes and how we should handle issues.
The ironic thing is that when you say that these myths are warning us about our actions, we still act exactly as—or even worse—than the people in the myths. Like history, we continuously study but seem to only gain a story that a moral. We make mistakes ,but as humans this is natural. Some may say that we have not evolved since these times, but other disagree. Like every mistake, it is one's choice to follow these stories or choose a different path. Either way, everyone gains something ,but its our choice to do something with these morals. Some people may think that these stories are weird and we do not do things like that anymore, but that is not the case. Today people all make the same kind of mistakes like the characters in Greek myths did which is why we read and analyze them today. We realize over time no matter how old you are or where you come from that all humans have the same flaws such as: hubris, temptation, curiosity, anger and other flaws.
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