The Powers Above Essay Research Paper The
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The Powers Above Essay, Research Paper The Powers Above Lana Fourdyce Classic Civilization 115: Section G The Powers Above The relationship between gods and mortals in mythology has long been a complicated topic. The gods can be generous and supportive, and also devastating and destructive to any group of humans. Mortals must respect the powers above them that cannot be controlled. The gods rule over destiny, nature, and justice, and need to be recognized and worshipped for the powerful beings as they are. Regardless of one’s actions, intentions, and thoughts, the gods in Greek myth have ultimate power and the final decision of justice over nature, mortals, and even each other. Justice is a very important ruling power for both gods and mortals. For instance, in Sophocles’ tragedy, Antigone, justice prevails over king Creon’s actions. He sentences his own niece to death for giving her deceased brother, a pronounced enemy of Thebes, a proper burial. In return for his rigid ruling he loses his wife and son to tragic deaths. Creon puts his own city’s justice before the determined justice of the gods, and pays dearly for it. Antigone also receives justice for her actions even though she dies. She did go against the law of her mortal king, but did obey the law of the gods, and therefore died a hero and martyr. The laws of the gods gives dishonor to those who do not properly respect their family members. In order to keep her honor and self-respect, Antigone had to break her city’s law, even if it meant death. “Justice” can also be associated with the goddess of Earth, Justice. Antigone follows the laws of the gods that will live on forever, not Creon’s mere proclamations of power. Antigone will not let her sister die with her because Justice does not allow people to die heroes if the do not deserve it. Order is more important than justice to Creon, and it is one of the causes of his eventual downfall. Zeus and the other sky gods like order and law. Antigone looks to the gods and goddesses of the earth that live in the underworld, and will not take a mere mortal man’s rules over the gods. She says the she does not fear any mortal’s words enough that she “would pay the price the gods demand from those who break their laws” (Antigone, 458). The gods do recognize courageous and just people, but these people do not always come to a happy end, as in Antigone’s case. Justice may not rule the gods as entirely as it rules mortals, because the gods ultimately decide what is just or unjust. Antigone also speaks of the power of Hades when she refers to her brothers. She tells Creon that Hades will apply equal laws to both, even though one is an enemy of Thebes. Antigone realizes that Thebes’ laws and enemies are not necessarily the laws and enemies of the gods. Creon’s regard for the laws of the city causes him to abandon all other beliefs. He feels that all should obey the laws set forth by him, even if other beliefs, moral, or religions, state otherwise. Antigone, on the other hand, holds the beliefs of the gods in high reverence. She feels that the laws of the gods should be obeyed above all others, especially when in respect to family. Her beliefs in “The sacred laws that Heaven holds in honor” are for more important than those set by the king (Antigone 78). The king cannot, and should not in the gods’ eyes, override her belief in the God. Mortals that hold state law over devine law in Greek myths always come to a dreadful doom, usually by being punished by the gods. The gods have power over the weather, which in turn rules over humans. Zeus, the king of all gods, rules over storms, thunder, and lightening. He and other gods can produce earthquakes, tornadoes, and other devastating natural disasters at any moment if they see fit. In Euripides’ The Bacchae, Zeus’ power creates a lightening bolt that burns down Semele’s house and kills her.