Allegorical Lessons In Mythology Essay

805 WordsOct 20, 20094 Pages
The myths of ancient Greece and Rome taught valuable lessons to the citizens, each providing lessons to help the ancient peoples lead proper lives. The myths made clear three distinct things: never insult or challenge a god or goddess, pay proper homage to the gods and goddesses always, and crimes will always be punished. The ancient people strove to appease the gods and goddesses; however, as it can be read in Ovid’s Metamorphosis, The Usborne Book of Greek & Norse Legends, and The Theogeny of Hesiod, those who did not were considered wicked, and led highly improper lives. If there was one rule that ancient peoples never wanted to break, it was that one should never insult or challenge a god or goddess. It bade unwell for those who did, as this was an act always met with grave punishment. There were, however, many hubristic people in myths that served as lessons to all: do not anger the gods. A fine example of hubris is the legend of Arachne. Arachne challenged Athena, the goddess of wisdom, weaving, and war, to a weaving competition. Athena warned Arachne in the guise of an old woman, but arrogant Arachne defied the warning. Athena then cast away her disguise and engaged into the competition. Athena’s weaving pictured victory, as Arachne’s pictured the cruel deeds of the gods. Athena, nor Envy, could find any fault in her work, and Athena became so angered that she struck Arachne’s head. Arachne then hung herself and Athena, moved to pity, turned Arachne into a spider to weave wonderful webs for eternity. Even after this warning to all peoples, there were some who still continued to defy rules set by the gods and goddesses in ancient times. There were many temples throughout the ancient world dedicated to specific gods and goddesses, and the people were expected to pay proper homage to the gods and goddesses of these temples. One of the

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