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Essay Good and Evil in Greek Mythology

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Light and dark, heaven and hell, winning and losing, victor and defeated, they all share something, they are the balance of good and evil, and glory and shame in a hero’s journey; for every light, there is darkness; for every heaven, there is a hell; for every win, there is a loss; and for every victor someone is defeated. This constant battle of good and evil, and glory and shame is seen through many cultures mythology, especially in ancient Greece, men were to have glory associated with their name, and there were to fight for good; their mythology reflects this, with their battling Gods, and warring cities. The true question for the hero in Greek mythology is which side is good, and who deserves the shame? In many Greek stories, the line between good and evil is not clearly defined; however those who were closer with the Gods were viewed as the good and any who went against and angered the Gods were evil. Glory and shame had a much stronger definition, those who stood and fought were rewarded with glory, and any who cowered and hid away from battle were shameful and week. The hero’s journey, especially in the Iliad, is to find the line where they belong, being good and full of glory, but not so celebrated that they become conceited and vain, crossing that line from good to evil. When Greek gods duel, the winners are the good and the losers are seen as evil; when Greeks go to war those who stand and fight are rewarded with glory, those who fear the battles are filled with shame and ridicule, the hero’s journey is always a balancing act with the scales of good and evil, and glory and shame.
In ancient Greece, though there may not have been a clearly defined good and evil, one side always seems to portray the morally correct side, ...


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... the hero tends to follow similar moral codes. Also glory and shame tend to dictate actions and events, if one stands for what is “right”, they are glorious, though if one cowers away, they are shameful. A hero is supposed to stand tall in the face of danger, and charge through for what is right. It becomes the hero’s journey to understand what is good, and what earns you glory in his society. Heroes are supposed to be glorious good doers through hard times, and across many challenges, and their journey tends to consist of the hero finding the proper balance between good and evil, and glory and shame; for if a hero is to fall too far to one side, a distribution is upset, and chaos may ensue. Across many cultures and through many years, a hero’s journey is always a balancing act, to keep good and evil, glory and shame, and their wants and the people’s needs in check.



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