Narratives based on the theme of love often depicted rapes of mortal women by male gods. Such interactions led to the conception and subsequent birth of heroic offspring. When analyzing rape in heroic narratives from its references in art, it is seen that rape was used to develop and project social normality or otherwise. Moorti observes that rape is a central theme in Greek mythology (203). The degree of importance given to rape shows the elements of patriarchy and male supremacy as well as the normality of violent acts with women. The narratives that have been written after 5 BC show that rape was increasingly used as a means of blurring and comfortably transgressing the boundaries between the divine and the mortals. It was also used as a way of expressing identity and personal limits. It served a heuristic purpose, trying to provide solutions for questions relating to existence, religion and politics. Moorti contends that the metaphorical use of rape for taking into consideration major issues should not be regarded as an atavistic practice or linked to a recurrence due to genetics (203). On the contrary, its use shows how legal and illegal issues related to sexuality are addressed. The liberal use of rape in Greek and Roman mythology raises questions regarding the intention behind it. It is observed that one of the reasons why rape was used commonly was that it depicted power and rank. The tales of narratives were in fact representations of the lifestyle and ways of living of the Greeks and the Romans. The social and cultural norms of the civilizations were such that men had the authority to rape women to punish them or simply to assert their control and authority over them. Rape was also carried out by gods for the same reasons. Gods used rape as a tool for asserting the connections and importance of familial relations between them. Despite the fact that the Romans and the Greeks were cultured people, rape was inflicted by men on women on a common scale and the same element was portrayed in heroic narratives. When studying Greek mythology, one can conclude that most of them are largely patriarchal and served to facilitate the image and position of the males in the society (Harris and Platzner 850). By showing that gods also raped, the males were able to justify their actions and prove that they cannot be wrong if they were carried out by gods too (Xanders). Rape in heroic narratives did not have any stigma or negative consequences associated with it. A similar claim is asserted by Smith (12). Smith is of the point of view that drinking and sexual abuse were rampant in the ancient times. Men used to carry out such acts without any remorse or fear because they were characteristic of religious elements and did not embody the disgrace of any misconduct. One such behavioral analogy representing alcohol-induced rape in Greek mythology can be found in the conduct and character of Satyr. Satyr was a forest being which was related to the god of wine, Dionysus. Satyr indulged itself in excessive wine consumption and rapes of women (Smith 12). Other instances of rape in Greek mythology are seen in Helen’s kidnapping from Sparta, the rape of Alcippe and the rape of Protogeneia by Zeus to name a few (Simon 4). Woodard is of the perspective that when looking at the study of causes, there is an apparent pattern of seeing the human status as that of a victim (366). This is manifested in the supremacy of the gods over the mortals. The early narratives of
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Narratives based on the theme of love often depicted rapes of mortal women by male gods. Such interactions led to the conception and subsequent birth of heroic offspring. When analyzing rape in heroic narratives