Perseus: Symbol of Ethical Values.

Topics: Morality, Greek mythology, Value Pages: 3 (916 words) Published: May 27, 2003
Perseus: Symbol of Ethical Values

When I think of what a hero represents to me, I think of an individual who fights for family values and the ethics of a good human being. Greek mythological heroes have many attributes that can be related to positive traits in society today. One such ancient hero is Perseus. During his exploits Perseus set standards, which people of ancient Greece could follow and which people can follow today. The myth of Perseus shows that he acts within the social and ethical boundaries of ancient times, that are similar to the values of today's society.

As a child Perseus and his mother were abandoned in a trunk and left afloat in the ocean. A fisherman found them and accepted them into his family. The fisherman's brother was an evil dictator named Polydectes, who fell in love with Perseus' mother, Danae. In order to have Danae all to himself the king plots to get rid of Perseus. He does this by telling Perseus that the head of a gorgon is a gift he craves more than anything else in the world. Polydectes knows that this is an impossible task and will most certainly cause death to anyone who attempts it. Despite the difficulty of this assignment, Perseus decides to go on this journey because if he accomplishes it Polydectes will leave his mother alone. He feels obligated to protect his mother because she is the only blood relative that he knows of. In ancient Greece the bond between children and their parents was looked upon as being sacred. Even today, strong bonds between family members are seen as a positive way people can grow emotionally. Like Perseus, many sons and daughters today strive to protect and care for their parents when they grow older.

On his quest, the goddess Athena and the god Hermes help Perseus achieve his goal. They are sympathetic to him because they see that he is doing this for the worthy cause of protecting his family. Without the help of the gods, completing his mission would be impossible. The divine...

Cited: Grimal, Pierre. The Penguin Dictionary of Classical Mythology. London: Penguin,
Hamilton, Edith. Mythology. New York: Little, Brown and Cmpany, 1942.
Harris, Stephen L, and Platzner, Gloria. Classical Mythology: Images and
Insights. Mountain View: Mayfield 2001.
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