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Mythology

Mythology

3. In Greek and Roman myths, warriors often display heroic traits of character. They are often courageous and fearless, but even these brave heroes have some human weaknesses. The brightest examples of audacious warriors are Achilles and Hector. Achilles was the son of the sea nymph Thetis and King Peleus. When he was a baby, Thetis bathed him in the Styx River to make him invincible. It was impossible to harm him; the only unprotected place was his heel. In Greek mythology, Achilles is considered as half-god. He often prays to gods, obeys them, and listens to his mother’s advice (Homer 11). He was Hera’s and Athena’s favorite, and that was one of the reasons why they supported Greeks in the Trojan War. Unlike Achilles, Hector was a son of mortal humans ‑ King Priam and his wife Hecuba. Hector was the bravest hero of Troy. The main goal of his life was to fight for his homeland and Trojan people. He is the bright example of a loving son, husband, and father who is ready to die on battlefield to protect his family.

Unlike Achilles, who does not accept the authority of King Agamemnon, Hector respects his king and father Priam. Achilles refuses to help Agamemnon and fight in the war, because he took Briseis from him. He returned to the battlefield after Patroclus’s death.

Achilles acts like immortal gods. Life has no value for him, he knows that his destiny is to die with glory in the Trojan War, and this knowledge does not stop him from fighting in it. Nevertheless, his attitude to his own life and life of his comrades changes after Patroclus’s death. He feels remorse, because he let Patroclus fight instead of him, and now Achilles wants to take revenge and kill Hector (Metsovitis). Hector, unlike Achilles, was dedicated to his comrades; his goal was not to win glory in this battle but to protect his people. He realized that Troy would nevitably fall, but he still tried to resist the Greeks. He knew that he would die in the combat with Achilles, he was afraid, and still he did not refuse to fight and accepted the challenge.

Unlike Achilles, Hector is a good husband and father. In Book 6 of Iliad (Homer 123), the author describes the scene of Hector going to battle. Here the reader can see how strong his desire was to protect his family and to keep them safe. Achilles, on the contrary, was not married. He was so handsome and brave that he enjoyed great success among women. During the war, he could take any Trojan woman as a winning prize. Even when Agamemnon took Briseis from him, he was enraged, but not because he loved her. Achilles was angry, because his dignity was damaged. He refused to fight and did not care that the Greeks will lose the war without him, since ambitions were more important for him. Hector tried to think about what is good for Troy, its people and his family, and only then he thought about his own fears, desires, and ambitions. He could have been a wise king for Trojan people after Priam.

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Characters of Achilles and Hector represent images of powerful warriors and honorable men. Images of handsome and courageous men were favorable at all times and are relevant in 21st century. Hector is nobler and shows more resemblance to a real person, but Achilles is a better fighter, he is almost immortal. The image of Achilles is more popular and is associated with the saying “Achilles’ heel” that means “a weak point”.

5. Everything in this world changes with time. There was a period of history when mountains were covered with water, and now scientists find seashells in their solid rocks. Rivers run into seas, and seas flood flat plains that once were deserted. Greek and Roman myths that include metamorphoses remind the reader about thiis ceaseless transformation that is happening in the world every single moment.

The myth about Narcissus describes a young and beautiful man who represents a selfish and egoistic person. Narcissus once saw his reflection in the river and was impressed by his own beauty. He fell in love with his reflection, but surely this love was not mutual, so he killed himself. In metaphorical sense, this myth depicts a person that does not care about anyone except for himself. Nowadays, there are many people like Narcissus, so this myth is still topical in the 21st century. After death, Narcissus transformed into a tender and beautiful flower that was named in his honor.

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One more example of human transformation is the myth about Apollo and Daphne. Apollo madly fell in love with a beautiful nymph Daphne. He wanted to talk to her, but she was frightened and tried to escape from him. To save his daughter from Apollo, Peneus turned Daphne into a laurel tree. After this transformation, Apollo made laurel an evergreen tree as a symbol of everlasting beauty of Daphne, and since that time Apollo always wore a laurel wreath. Later laurel leaves were used to decorate a winner after some sports competition. It is interesting how a symbol of Apollo’s defeat in love later transformed into a symbol of human victory (Shmoop).

Love that is mixed up with the feeling of sharp esthetics distinguishes the myth about Pygmalion among the other myths with transformations. In this myth, the transformation of an inanimate object into a human is described. Pygmalion is a sculptor who made a female statue of ivory. The woman was extremely beautiful and Pygmalion, who was disappointed by women by that time, fell in love with his creature. Aphrodite saw how deeply in love Pygmalion was and decided to bring the statue to life. This myth is about the creation of th

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