Respond in 125 words each.
The Minotaur is a mythical creature with the body of a man and head and tail of a bull that ate human flesh. The beast was kept by the King Minos of Crete in the center of “labyrinth”, an elaborate maze-like construction which was designed by architect Daedalus (Minotaur). The Minotaur is an offspring of the Cretan Queen Pasiphe and a majestic bull.
As legend has it, the bull was sent to Minos as a sacrifice from god Poseidon, but instead of sacrificing it, he kept it. As punishment, Aphrodite (as favor to Poseidon) made Pasiphe fall in love with the beast and eventually became impregnated (Garcia 2013). Not only did the king decide to lock away the child to hide his shame, but he demanded the city of Athens to offer up seven young men and seven young women annually to feed it due to the slay of his only human son (which he blamed the Athenians for) (Minotaur). Theseus, the son of Athens King Aegeus, had volunteered for the third tribute of youths in an attempt to save Athens and kill the beast (Garcia 2013). He was successful at his attempt and rescued the rest of the Athenians who were thrown into the maze for consumption.
When I think of this mythical creature and the story of how he was kept, I can’t help but think about the movie The Hunger Games. I imagine it as the same philosophy of the human sacrifices sent to the Minotaur each year who were dropped into the maze the beast was housed. Instead of one winner, however, there were none (typically). But the moral of the story remains, that you don’t want to end up in the realm of the beast. However, the hope is that there will be a hero to save you.
I think humans need an “other” to normalize negative attributes in their own world because as humans, we are not perfect. Our flaws and limitations can make us feel bad or shameful. An “other” allows us to reflect that our nature is not “as bad” as someone or something else. It allows for hope and with hope lies resilience. The example of the Minotaur shows us that although the beast was bad because it ate people and people had to be sacrificed to keep it alive, we feel empathetic for its existence because it wasn’t at fault.
Medusa is a mythical being found in Roman myth. Medusa is one of three sisters, unlike her two sisters, she is mortal. Medusa and her three sisters were gorgons. Gordons are described as being so hideous, that anyone who would gaze at a gorgon would be turned to stone. Gordons were grotesque, featuring sharp teeth, wings, claws, serpents on their head instead of hair, and a snake like tongue. In the myth of Perseus and Medusa, Perseus, the son of Danae and Zeus, was told to ring Polydectes the head of Medusa. Perseus found the cave Medusa was living in and cut her head off while she slept.
The role of the other in Roman myth appears to be to serve as opposition for the heroes of myth to overcome. The other are often depicted as monsters in Roman myth, monsters such as giants, harpies, gorgons, hounds, and others.
The other in Roman myth are very relatable to the other that we see in modern times. As a society, we still use monsters and villains as an enemy in our stories. The modern-day version of the other often takes different forms compared to roman myth. While many of the monsters took the form of Giants, Satyrs, harpies, and hounds; many modern-day depictions of evil are often supernatural. The other of the current times range from concept as abstract as demons, the dead, and spirits to people who have lost their way and turned to villainy.
Readers and listeners of stories must always have the hero and the villain present to demonstrate the primal forces of good and evil. As Caroline Myss stated, we cannot get enough of the bad guys being beaten by the good guys. When there is a clear line between the hero and the villain in a story, the reader knows who to cheer for and who to route against. This have been true throughout the ages and will remain true until the end of storytelling.