Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Greek God Hades: The Unseen One


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I know that most of us think that Hades, a Greek god is bad or an antagonist because he is the "God of the Underworld" but no, he is one of the Greek god who is kind and trustworthy according to our Social Science III teacher. Before I compare my personality with the Greek god Hades let me tell you something about the Greek god Hades.

Hades was the King of the Underworld, the god of death and the dead.The name Hades is also synonymous to the word "Hell". He presided over funeral rites and defended the right of the dead to due burial. Hades was also the god of the hidden wealth of the earth, from the fertile soil with nourished the seed-grain, to the mined wealth of gold, silver and other metals.

Hades was devoured by Kronos as soon as he was born, along with four of his siblings. Zeus later caused the Titan to disgorge them, and together they drove the Titan gods from heaven and locked them away in the pit of Tartarus. When the three victorious brothers then drew lots for the division of the cosmos, Hades received the third portion, the dark dismal realm of the underworld, as his domain.

Hades desired a bride and petitioned his brother Zeus to grant him one of his daughters. The god offered him Persephone, the daughter of Demeter. However, knowing that the goddess would resist the marriage, he assented to the forceful abduction of the girl. When Demeter learned of this, she was furious and caused a great dearth to fall upon the earth until her daughter was returned. Zeus was forced to concede lest mankind perish, and the girl was fetched forth from the underworld. However, since she had tasted of the pomegranate seed, she was forced to return to him for a portion of each year.

According to what I have searched in a website, Hades or Pluton (Haidês, Ploutôn or poetically Aïdês, Aidôneus and Ploutens), the god of the underworld. Plato observes that people preferred calling him Pluton (the giver of wealth) to pronouncing the dreaded name of Hades or Aides. Hence we find that in ordinary life and in the mysteries the name Pluton became generally established, while the poets preferred the ancient name Aides or the form Pluteus. The etymology of Hades is uncertain: some derive it from a-idein, whence it would signify "the god who makes invisible," and others from hadô or chadô; so that Hades would mean "the all embracer," or "all-receiver." The Roman poets use the names Dis, Orcus, and Tartarus as synonymous with Pluton, for the god of the underworld.

But when Hades was in his own kingdom, he was quite unaware of what was going on either on earth or in Olympus, and it was only the oaths and curses of men that reached his ears, as they reached those of the Erinnyes. He possessed a helmet which rendered the wearer invisible that's why he is called the "Unseen One", and later traditions stated that this helmet was given him as a present by the Cyclopes after their delivery from Tartarus. Ancient story mentions both gods and men who were honored by Hades with the temporary use of this helmet.His character is described as fierce and inexorable, hence of all the gods he was most hated by mortals. He kept the gates of the lower world closed, that no shade might be able to escape or return to the region of light. When mortals invoked him, they struck the earth with their hands, and the sacrifices which were offered to him and Persephone consisted of black male and female sheep, and the person who offered the sacrifice had to turn away his face.

According to what I have understand in our Social Science III class, there are three places in the underworld namely; Elysium (Elysiam Fields), Asphodel Meadows and the Tartarus. According to our Social Science III teacher, the Elysium is like the version of "heaven", the Asphodel Meadows is a place where it is not like the "heaven" nor the "hell" while the Tartarus is the version of "hell". You can also find the pet of Hades in the underworld named "Cerberus" a dog with 3 (three) heads. Cerberus also serves as the guard in the gates of the underworld. There are also 5 (five) rivers in the underworld namely; Acheron (sorrow), Cocytus (lamentation), Phlegeton (fire), Lethe (oblivion), Styx (hate). Hades is also described as strict and passive.

Now we already know who Hades is and now it's time for me to compare my personality to Hades. Just like Hades I can describe myself as a serious person and a trustworthy person. You can trust me with everything and I'm sure I can handle it with care and even your secrets or anything that you can count on me. Hades is also described as the "Unseen One" because just like him I am not that noticeable enough because I tend to be quiet all the time but in case there is an important event I am there in case you need me.

I also learned while writing this article that you don't need to judge other people unless you fully understand their real life story or you already know their persomality. Because just like Hades, all of us might think that Hades is bad just because he is the Greek god for the underworld and the underworld is sometimes described as a scary place, but no, Hades is the most serious Greek god just like the Greek goddess "Hestia". That's why I chose the Greek god Hades.

Contributed by: Belle Angelica Rolle

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