Anthropomorphism in Greek Myth Essay

Words: 2306
Pages: 10

Paper #1: The role of anthropomorphism in Greek mythology.

"God created man in his image, and man, being a gentleman, returned the compliment."
-Mark Twain

In his beginning, man was part of nature. He knew little about the causes of natural phenomenon and certainly knew of no way to control them. This is perhaps the reason for his creation of ritual and later religion. As man evolved he began to consider the possibilities of gaining some type of control over his environment. If nature was simply a random set of events ruled only by chaos than this wouldn't be possible. However, if something or better yet someone was in control, one could acquire what they desired by pleasing this entity. In the beginning, according to some
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Gods are also human-like in that they posses a circulatory system, however this system is not filled with the inferior human blood, instead inside flows a divine fluid called ichor (Powell 153). In addition, this ichor can be spilled during injury much as the humans, however this injury and loss will not result in death, as the gods are immortal. Although the gods are sometimes smarter, stronger, better looking or possess superior weaponry, it is the immortality which truly sets them apart from the humans. Death is perhaps the greatest worry on the mind of a human. Freed from this burden the gods are free to live their lives in a more happy state of mind. According to Powell this creates an environment which is light-hearted and comedic. It allowed the gods to perform extreme, humorous, or even burlesque acts which to a human would be wrought with consequence (Powell 153). This can be compared to the entertainment of today, soap operas for example are filled with deviant acts of love and betrayal which the normal person wouldn't dare perform, for fear of the consequences. The original deities were based off of natural phenomenon such as the sun, mountains, sea or wind. However if the deities were limited in such a way, the stories which could be produced using them would be also be limited. This was the case in earlier belief systems, however, the Greeks took their deities to a higher