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Thesis statement - Essay Example

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The ancient Greeks used their myths to teach a particular lesson for the populace such as how men should not succumb to temptations or otherwise they will perish. This had been a theme in Odyssey…
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full Greek and Roman Mythology (Ancient history) 07 November – estimated word count: 600 There is a substantialdifference between Greek mythology and Roman mythology. The ancient Greeks used their myths to teach a particular lesson for the populace such as how men should not succumb to temptations or otherwise they will perish. This had been a theme in Odyssey wherein Odysseus was held captive as a sex slave (although unwillingly at that) in the secret and remote island owned by the goddess Kalypso. There are many other instances where the Greeks used their mythology to impart some important life lesson and also as a way to entertain the people while at the same time, warn the people of any risks or dangers to their way of life. This latter theme of using a story as a form of warning has been explored in the story of the lost continent Atlantis where its rulers were very cruel and unjust (Forsyth 54).
Almost without exception, Greek myths are told in an entertaining style so audiences will pay close attention to the lesson that a mythical story contains. This lesson is usually in the form of a parable or a riddle to encourage audiences to discuss, debate, and detail all the twists and turns that a hero goes through in that myth. These Greek myths are intentionally to be shrouded in controversies so there will be no easy answers or solutions for an audience. It was the intent of the storyteller to foster further interest in the myth by using various forms of telling the myth about gods and heroes such as through epics, poems, parables, or riddles.
As mentioned above, the story of the lost world of Atlantis continues to endure even up to the present time and this ensuring durability of the story, whether myth or not, achieves the main purpose of the Greeks which was to tell a story that will last for generations to come and yet at the same time, impart a valuable lesson for the population, including the politicians. As it happens, Atlantis was claimed to have been lost due to the cruelty of its rulers and Plato (427-347 B.C.) warned the rulers of Greek city-states like Athens to rule with justice always.
Roman mythology is basically just a duplicate copy of Greek mythology but with a big difference. This is because Roman mythology does not contain the distinguishing feature of Greek mythology which was to impart a life-long lesson to audiences; rather, this Roman version of the Greek mythology contains a lot of embellishments designed to conform to the more war-like nature of the ancient Roman culture. While Greek mythology is preponderant on divine themes and on questions about the universe, the Roman mythology is anchored on the more mundane human existence by detailing the travails of ordinary secular existence like human hopes, physical pains, romantic longings, maidens to be won, and wars to fight. In the Roman mythology, their pantheon of gods was concerned with the acts of ordinary mortals (Parker, Mills, & Stanton 16) although Greek mythology does the same but to a lesser extent.
So there is a dichotomy between the Greek versions of mythology when compared to the Roman mythology in this regard. On another aspect, the Greeks emphasized in their myths the things that are mysterious or supernatural in their world while the Romans were likely to point out the historical origins or nature of their myths. This is probably because the Romans can be considered as more practical people compared to the Greeks who were philosophical. It is a subtle distinction which can be fleshed out in much deeper studies of mythology.
Works Cited
Forsyth, Phyllis Y. Atlantis: The Making of Myth. Montreal, Canada: Mc-Gill Queen’s University Press, 1980. Print.
Parker, Janet, Alice Mills, and Julie Stanton. Mythology: Myths, Legends, and Fantasies. Johannesburg, South Africa: Struik Publishers, 2007. Print. Read More
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