The Olympian Gods: Another Perspective


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The Olympian Gods: Another Perspective Extra Credit Journal for Latin 3 6/6/2007

What I Learned

This passage provided a psychologists interpretation of the male Olympian gods, and how they relate to our collective subconscious.

It starts out commenting on how there is a connection between humans and the gods. The gods display human characteristics and humans hold the personalities of the gods. Also the number 12 is special and represents the number of core gods and goddesses.

Also Mount Olympus represents what we now call heaven. In fact, most cultures represent the sky as the pure and residence of the gods.

Zeus is the father figure and supreme authority of the gods. He is the purveyor of justice and creates the comic relief as Hera gets mad at his sexual transgressions. This has similarities to the Annunciation church and a Chinese tale. Zeus’ lessons relate to mortal’s experiences and to deciding right or wrong. These might have helped to establish, or rather bring out, our deep sense of right and wrong and law and order.

Poseidon and Hades are the Zeus-es of the underworld. They both rule with concrete power, not intellectual or spiritual power. This is unlike other polytheistic societies model their head gods.

Apollo represents the sun, light, clarity, and truth. He shoots the arrows of life and death, and is like an angel in modern myths.

Hermes is the messenger god. He represents the link between the boundaries. He is like a magician with something which sort-of represents a wand.

Ares, the god of war, is interesting. He is connected to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. They capture the raw energies of aggression and lust and bring them to light in our consciousness.

I liked the ending analogy of the gods launching a rocket. Apollo planned it. Hephaestus made it. Ares had the courage to be in it. Hermes grabs the meaning of it all.

Personal Response

I sort of liked this article. I liked how they related the archetypes of the gods. They are like sitcom characters. Each one has a subset of human characteristics, and humans reflect many of the characteristics of the gods. I guess modern shows tell the same stories and the same basic conflicts which we told thousands of years ago.

However, I did not like the deep psychology and consciences aspects of it. I doubt that these links exist. These are just people guessing at our minds work.

Also, how was this all designed so nicely? I doubt that this was all intentional. These stories were made up at separate times by separate people. This wasn’t centrally planned. Even the creator of Star Wars, an epic made-up environment, wasn’t designed completely in the first place. Even George Lucas has trouble keeping everything straight will all of the moves, games, and books.