5 Most Tragic Stories of Greek Mythology
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When we think of Greek Mythology, we often conjure images of the twelve main Olympian Gods and Goddesses. However, Greek mythology is about so much more than that! There are also some memorable stories that are part of it, and not all of these stories actually involve the gods and goddesses. Some of them involve humans and maybe even monsters.
Not only that, but not all of the stories are happy ones. There are a lot of tragic tales that are part of it. Here’s a look at some of the most tragic stories of Greek Mythology:
Icarus was a mortal who had famous parents. His father, Deadalus, was a famous inventor who also made the legendary labyrinth that entrapped the Minotaur. His mother was Naucrate, one of King Minos’s female slaves. Icarus was absolutely convinced that he could fly, so he invented a pair of wings that took him up into the heavens and beyond. His story is a tragic one because he ultimately flew too high. When he approached the sun, the heat melted the wax holding his wings together and he fell to his death.
Medusa is known for being a dreaded monster with snakes instead of hair. She could turn you to stone if you looked into her eyes. She met her end when Perseus slayed her. However, she wasn’t always a monster. She was a young, beautiful girl who was turned into a monster by Athena. It is largely believed that the goddess did this act out of jealousy for the young girl’s beauty and her suitors.
Prometheus is considered to be a god and is listed as existing around the same time as the Titans. However, he isn’t officially listed is one of the main Titan gods. Rather, his mother was Clymene, a Titan Goddess, and his father was one an Oceanid, or one of the sea nymphs. Prometheus is most known for giving mankind the gift of fire. However, his act was punished by Zeus, the king of the Olympian gods. He captured Prometheus and chained him to a rock on a mountain where eagles came daily to eat his liver. He was eventually freed from him imprisonment.
Zeus was known for having constantly cheating on his wife, Hera. Occasionally, he would have children with one of his mistresses. Hera was never happy with this and was often vengeful against the mistress and sometimes the children. Hercules was one of the children of one of Zeus’s lovers. Hera was especially unhappy with Hercules because it is said that Zeus loved his mother, Alcmene, and this angered Hera. She spent a lot of time trying to make Hercules’ life miserable. He even caused Hercules to go mad, which caused him to murder his wife and children.
King Midas saved the life of one of Dionysius’s revelers, a satyr named Silenus. As a reward, Dionysius granted King Midas a wish. He chose that everything he touched would turn to gold. The wish was granted and he was happy at first because he was able to greatly increase his wealth just with his touch. This happiness turned to sadness, however, as he realized he could no longer feel the same pleasure in life that he used to. He could no longer touch a human being, touch the food he eats, or even experience the world in the same way. The gift had become a curse.
As you can see, there were moments of real tragedy in Greek Mythology. These sad stories, however, top the list as being amongst the most tragic.
Categorized in: Greek Mythology
This post was written by GreekBoston.com