Free The Homeric Hymns Essay Sample
“The Homeric hymns” is a collection of spiritually oriented poems that were written in the praise of classical Greek gods. These poems existed thousand of years ago and acted as a solid foundation by which clear understanding of classical Greek theosophy takes place. The central thematic intention of these poems has persisted despite failure of the numerous scholars to define the authors of each poem. Also, several translations and publications of these poems have been made without a definite order. Homeric poems serve as a reminder of the existence of the power of gods and offer an avenue by which relationship between humanity and gods can be explored. Generally, the collection “Homeric hymns” praises, glorifies, and advocates for the classical Greek gods.
Homeric hymns depicted gods as not being infinitely omnipotent and omnipresent, but manifested with human foibles like drinking, philandering, obsessive jealousy, and feasting. For example, real city of Thebes, the home of the supernatural Hercules and the birth place of goddess Aphrodite, is located in an ancient tourist spot which any tourist can visit. This manifestation serves as an acknowledgement of the beauty and mystery of humanity in a universe characterized by unpredictability and rationality. According to the Homeric hymns, Greek heroes manage to defeat the horrible magic creatures. This illustrates a connection existing between modern American society and the Homeric poems where heroes and heroines are determined by their virtue of bravery and strength. Homeric myths can be equated to modern day proto-scientific theories intended at explaining natural phenomena.
Homeric poem to Demeter indicates that in ancient Greece marriages were often arranged by the fathers in most cases leading to daughter’s union with a virtual stranger. Such occurrences were considered to oppose mother’s wishes and this shows the mother/daughter relationship that was considered unique and strong as opposed to other relationships in ancient Greece. For example, when Persephone was abducted, her mother experienced great anguish. This is an attribute that can be traced in modern societies where the mother is expected to teach her daughter of the roles expected of her in the society. A girl’s values are perceived to be similar to that of her mother thus providing the unique relationship between them.
Women of Greece lacked the opportunity and power to stop such arranged marriages. On the contrary, Demeter had the power and opportunity to let her opinions to be heard and managed to get her daughter for the better part of the year. Also, Demeter and Persephone were overpowered by Hades obliging her to stay with him for one third of the year after secretly giving him her sweet pomegranate to eat. This is an evidence of the connection between modern American society and the Homeric Hymns. In today’s American society, women have been empowered to make their voice to be heard in a male-dominated society. Civil rights among other legislations ensure that women contribute to making family decisions, thus, limiting male dominance in the control of family matters.
Despite of Demeter having her opinions heard and obeyed, Zeus, a male figure, had the final say. She had power over the earth and the fertility of its soils, but she was forced to be obedient to Zeus whose will made the earth grow. This is an occurrence common with the American stereotyping of female roles where the male figure is perceived as the ultimate decision maker. This illustrates a connection between sex roles of women in ancient Greece and those in modern society. Daughters and wives were expected to ‘keep house, spread master bed’ and to fetch water for their fathers. The society in ancient Greece was male-dominated and women had stereotyped roles, a similarity it shares with modern American society. In “Homeric hymns”, women were not viewed as being completely powerless and men feared them because of their power to reproduce and ensure continuity of human race. For instance, when in despair, Demeter could cause cruel and dreadful famine that threatened to destroy the whole human race. In the modern society, women have become a threat to male dominance as a result of empowerment that comes with their education, civil rights and other feminist activists.