The Greek Myths - Chapter 6, More Deities Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 6, More Deities Summary and Analysis

In Hephaestus's Nature and Deeds, Graves observes that, "...the smith was something of a sorcerer," (p. 87) during the era. He further explains that there was a connection between the smith-god and sun worship, as well as to science, and as such, Hephaestus and Athena often shared their Temples in the city of Athens. Hephaestus has some basic disadvantages. He is ugly rather than beautiful and he was born a weakling. He ends up disfigured. He is the son of Zeus and Hera. Hera abandoned him because he was such a weakling, and he was taken in by those who viewed his as pathetic, but nurtured him and gave him access to metalsmithing equipment. It turned out he had artistic design abilities and was able to perform as an impressive jewelry smith as a result. This was so good that his mother found him through his artwork. Goddess Hera restored her son to Olympus and provided him with a superior smithy. Not only that, but she went so far as to arrange for him to marry the incredibly popular goddess of love herself, Aphrodite, with whom he naturally fell in love. He survived her chronic infidelity - but preferred it when he could be oblivious to it so he was not upset by it. He later thrown out of Olympus again, and is severely damaged. He survives using prosthetics after that but becomes once again able to produce the finest smithwork known to humanity and continues to have the goddess of love for his wife.

Demeter is not monogamous, nor does she marry in the myths. She has a goddess daughter by her brother Zeus. Her daughter is called Core, according to this Robert Graves version of the story. Zeus's brother Hades - next closest in age and King of Tartarus asks to marry Core. For political reasons, Zeus can neither refuse Hades nor can he sanction, or give permission to Hades to marry Core against Demeter and possibly also against Core's wills. Hades takes Core by force in a kidnapping. Persephone is a title, rather than actual name. Core is somehow tricked into eating a little food of the dead. Hades releases her because Zeus has warned that Demeter's reaction has been extreme and they have no hope unless Hades relents to Demeter. Nothing will grow and everyone will die otherwise. So, he does. It turns out that there was a cultural rite that went along with this. It involved how to preserve the generations of corn through the winter; and by rediscovering the miracle of the continuation of life with the new Springtime. This is the only case so far in the mythology when Zeus goes to his mother Rhea and begs her to sort the problem out with Demeter.

This section contains 473 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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