Hera was the Goddess of marriage and the wife of Zeus. Her and Hercules became enemies when Zeus cheated on her with a mortal and produced Hercules. She wasn’t only a villain, although she did try to kill Hercules on basically a daily basis, she was not regarded as evil. She was worshipped all throughout Greece, for far longer than her husband Zeus was. Despite her attempts to kill Hercules, she was actually a good person and goddess. “Hera aided the hero Jason, who would never have retrieved the Golden Fleece without her sponsorship” (MythWeb).
Bastet was a lunar goddess, with the head of a cat. She was an Egyptian Goddess, an the daughter of Ra, the god of the sun. She was also called Bast. She was the goddess of fire, cats, the home and pregnant woman. She watched over them and made sure they were safe in their pregnany. Bastet and many other Egyptian goddesses were involved in the pregnancy of women, in some way or another, and many were also the keepers of homes and families. This is because women were regarded as sacred and powerful, in their ability to rear children, which is something man could never be taught or made to do. Only women were capable of this. For this reason, goddesses were often in charge of keeping women and children safe and sound throughout the course of their lives. Bastet was sometimes referred to as a lion, because she has two very distinct sides to her personality. She was either very docile, like a housecat, or fierce, like a lion. “Her docile and gentle side was displayed in her duties as a protector of the home, and pregnant women. Her aggressive and vicious nature was exposed in the accounts of battles in which the pharaoh was said to have slaughtered the enemy as Bastet slaughtered her victims” (Ancient Egyptian Myths).
In Sumerian mythology, the goddess Ereskigal was queen of the Underworld. Her time of worship extended from about 3500 BC to 200 BC, or later. Her mother is Anu. By some texts she was once a sky-goddess who was abducted by the monstrous deity Kur, who was the first ever dragon. She resides in the palace of Ganzir, the doorway to Irkalla, the land of the dead. Ganzir is guarded by seven gates, each bolted and guarded by a porter. Debatably, Ereskigal may be seen as the dark alter ego of the goddess Inanna, and in some texts the elder sibling. Inanna is the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility, and warfare, and goddess of the E-Anna temple at the city of Uruk, her main centre. In legend Ereskigal is challenged by Inana but following judgment by the seven Anunnaki, the underworld goddess renders her a corpse for three days until she is revived through the intervention of Enki, the god of wisdom. In western Semitic pantheons Ereskigal becomes Allatu, an underworld goddess.
Hercules was a roman hero, born from Zues, the god of the sky and the ruler of the Olympians, and the mortal Alcmene. Zues was married to Hera, the queen of the Gods, but he was never very faithful because he could do whatever he wanted. When Zues impregnanted Alcmene, Hera hated it and despised the child. When it was named Hercules she was angered even more, because Hercules means glorious gift of Hera in Greek. She swore to make Hercules’ life miserable when he was born. She sent snakes to the crib to kill the baby, but he strangled and killed them all. From this point on she knew it would be harder to make his life miserable, but she swore to it. Hercules is now famous for his strength and also for his great and plentiful adventures.
The most common of which have become known as the twelve labors. When Hercule had grown and married, he committed a sickening crime. His wife, Megara was very upset and threw a fit of rage, which upset Hercules. In his rage, he killed both his wife and their two children. When he realized what he’d done, he felt very guilty and asked the God Apollo to rid him of his sins. Apollo said he had to complete the 12 Labors, listed below:
1.Slay the Nemean Lion.
2.Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra.
3.Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis.
4.Capture the Erymanthian Boar.
5.Clean the Augean stables in a single day.
6.Slay the Stymphalian Birds.
7.Capture the Cretan Bull.
8.Steal the Mares of Diomedes.
9.Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.
10.Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon.
11.Steal the apples of the Hesperides.
12.Capture and bring back Cerberus.
However, today Hercules is most known from the children’s movie, Hercules, made in 1997 by Walt Disney. In the movie, it is said that Hercules has had his power taken away and must complete certain quests to get it back.
“What does mythology mean to you? What experiences or interests lead you to this moment, when you have to answer this question? Why are you interested in the study of the world’s most ancient stories? Is this a quest you’re undertaking intentionally, or is it something that you were thrown into?” -Mrs. Neal.
Mythology to me, is a senior english credit, an experience and an intriguing quest. I didn’t initially want to take this class, I wanted to take Teaching Academy, so I could experience working with kids, but that class wasn’t offered third period. Sorry, Mrs. Neal 🙂 Now that I’ve been “thrown into” this class though, I truly enjoy it. Throughout my twelve years of school, I’ve been expected to understand, remember and interpret history. And regardless of how many times the history of our world, the universe and the country have been reiterated to me, I cannot remember or interpret what I’ve been told happened before now. Mythology for some people seems like common knownledge, at least that’s the way it looks to me. But for me, I have to read and reread the stories of our ancestors, whether its the Greeks or the Civil War. So, for me, mythology is a look into the past that I can’t remember. The past that I believe will repeat itself. Did you know many scholars have said that the things that are happening in our American “empire” mimic the events that lead to the fall of the Roman Empire almost exactly? That makes me want to know everything there is to know about history. I think Mythology can help with that.
“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.” -Neal Gaiman
I agree with this quote. I think that this translates to the idea that if all their young life, children are told that they are fully capable of slaying a dragon, then when they grow up, that confidence will transpire. It teaches them they are capable of achieving their goals and really should reach for the stars. The prince wants the princess, so he slays the dragon in order to save her. And he can always do it. Everytime, if that prince wants something he goes out and gets it for himself. In the process, doing whatever is necessary. It teaches kids that if they persevere, and really try, they will reach their goals. It teaches them that even if that dragon looks really big, and seems impossible to slay, they have to try.
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” -Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was such an insightful man. He was capable of many things. Fairy tales teach kids moral values. They also teach them how to behave, right from wrong and many time instill certain fears in them. I think something that is often overlooked about fairy tales are the psychological effects. For example, if a parents reads their child a fairy tale each night, rather than watching TV, that’s bonding time that child needs. It could be said that this time makes the child more confident in the abilities and therefore tries harder and does better in school- translating to a more intelligent child in the long run. I think it’s sensical that if a child spends more time with their parent, learning about the way life works and reading stories the child finds fun, they’re going to perform better and feel better. At least, that’s my analysis of it.