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How the Homeric Hymn on Aphrodite Defines the Power of the Goddess - Term Paper Example

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How the Homeric Hymn on Aphrodite Defines the Power of the Goddess

Aphrodite was a great Greek goddess of love and beauty. She is also said to be the personification of nature and as the bearer of all things living. Homeric Hymns describe her more as the diva of love, which ignites the hearts of gods and men alike with passion and, thus, get a strong hold over them through her enchanting and bewitching appeal. She is also believed to be the goddess of great beauty and grace, which she herself possessed and was capable to grant others as well. When she came out of the foam of the ocean, she was dressed and adorned with beautiful jewels and brought before the gods. Seeing her, the gods became joyous and each of them wanted to ask her to be his wife. Lines that suggest her beauty are:
(II.19-21) “Hail, sweetly winning, coy-eyed goddess! Grant that I may gain the victory in this contest and order you my song. And now I will remember you and another song also” (White Par. 2). She was also believed to be the goddess of great beauty and grace which she herself possessed and was capable to grant others as well. When she came out of the foam of the ocean, she was dressed and adorned with beautiful jewels and brought before the gods. Seeing her, the gods became joyous and each of them wanted to ask her to be his wife. Lines that suggest her beauty are: (II.19-21) “Hail, sweetly winning, coy-eyed goddess! Grant that I may gain the victory in this contest and order you my song. And now I will remember you and another song also” (White Par. 2). She was also believed to be the goddess of great beauty and grace which she herself possessed and was capable to grant others as well. When she came out of the foam of the ocean, she was dressed and adorned with beautiful jewels and brought before the gods. Seeing her, the gods became joyous and each of them wanted to ask her to be his wife. The Homeric Hymn begins with the opening lines that speaks of her great powers say, (I.1-5) “Muse, tell me the things done by golden Aphrodite, the one from Cyprus, who arouses sweet desire for gods and who subdues the races of mortal humans, and birds as well, who fly in the sky, as well as all beasts all those that grow on both dry land and the sea” (Nagy par. 1). A woman of irresistible beauty, all men and gods were in love with this goddess who was a lover of smiles. Throughout The Homeric Hymns, Aphrodite’s power has been accredited as her ability to make gods unconsciously mate with mortal females. Apart from this her powers allowed her to make everything lovely and beautiful. She is also said to have carried a magical girdle, which had the power of enticing love for the one who wore it. There have been instances revealing the power that Aphrodite possessed and claimed that while she looked after and favored her subjects, she punished those who failed to surrender to her power or showed any negligence in worshipping her. It is believed that she was born out of the froth of the sea and, therefore, she also had her control over it. There have been tales in Greek mythology that suggest about the relationships between gods and mortal women as well as those between mortal men and goddesses. Though such an association was neither encouraged nor looked upon by the Greek historians, the history carries substantial tales of such love. One of these tales narrates that when Aphrodite became too proud of her sway and power, she often made gods fall in love with mortals. However, in order to teach her a lesson for her wanton ways, Zeus made her fall in love with a common man. The 293 lines of the Homeric hymn to Aphrodite is a mythical tale of love written in thirty four poems, wherein the goddess builds a relationship with a mortal man called Anchises to produce a heroic offspring, Aeneas. Amply loved and appreciated by intellectuals for a millennium and a half, the hymn tells its tales in a tone that is not only captivating but also written in a mesmerizing language and bear religious connotation. In a way, the Homeric Hymns celebrate Aphrodite’s inadequacy over her power of sexuality. It depicts her defeat and her humiliation by the hands of Zeus when she falls in love with a mortal male. This was Zeus’ ...Show more
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Summary

Greek mythology and myths are primarily focused on explaining about the Greek history and the legends it encompasses. It is the originator of famous Greek Gods and Greek heroes. Popular to the world as Hellenismos, these beliefs form the Greek religion and also come under Greek literature. …
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