Zeus

So, many people take the stance that Zeus is generally a “douche” toward the other gods and completely dislikeable, but I think I must disagree.  I was explaining a couple of sections of the Iliad to my parents in the car earlier:

First, the section wherein Athena and Hera attempt to meddle in the war even though Zeus specifically warned against it, and his subsequent scathing message to them delivered by Iris explaining that if they tried anything, he would strike down their chariot and they would pretty much be banned from Olympus.  The second scene was Zeus returning to Olympus to sit on his throne.  At this time, Hera and Athena won’t look at him, talk to him, or sit near him, like two children who’ve been chastised even though they thought they were right.  He then proceeds to mock them.  “Hey, what’s wrong guys?  Surely, you’re not tired from your war, are you?”  Oh Zeus, you beautiful bastard.

My mother’s response was, “Kind of an ass, isn’t he?”  My response?  He’s just poking their buttons, and they really kind of deserve it.  Frankly, this whole thing actually kind of sounds like something I would do, and perhaps that is why I enjoy it so much.  He simply seems to have no patience for the BS the other gods present him with and I think I can understand that.  He is the overseer of this battle, as well as all things, and is attempting to ensure that the armies succeed and fail where they are meant to, all the while, the other gods are simply working for their own gains (or for the sake of personal grudges).  I’ll be fair, I don’t know much about him in other contexts, but so far, I’ve found his unwillingness to sympathize with the other gods’ emotional suffering pretty delightful.

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3 thoughts on “Zeus

  1. Hey. When you’re top dog like Zeus you have a lot of responsibility and you have to keep all the other gods in line while you manage the world. The gods are clearly personified by the Greeks – something all cultures and religions like to do. What a book, though. Unmatched in my opinion.

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    • I enjoy the idea that while Zeus rules over the Gods and treats them all like annoying children who bother him too much (including his wife), he’s still subject to his own flaws and vices. I realize that the stories that have been told about him, have been told over a great length of time across an entire culture of people, and so the God that is Zeus has been up to the interpretation of a country’s-worth of people, but I like to take a step back from that idea and just look at what the character has become. There’s something semi-realistic about it (godliness aside), and I like it a lot.

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