Classical Greek Mythology

The Greek Gods and Human Life

Did the Greeks see these myths as religion or as entertainment?

For some Greeks, many of the myths of the Olympians had religious significance: the myths contained in the tragic dramas clearly did. But there is the obvious element of soap opera in many myths. Myths served the Greeks as moral instruction in some cases and primarily as entertainment in others. Infidelity, husbands tricked by wives, inappropriate affairs of children, fights between brothers and sisters, political intrigue, and struggles for power, remain to this day staples in the creation of family drama.

The story of Zeus and the young Ganymede reflects the Greek culture in which homosexuality was accepted, especially with regard to a kind of mentor/student relationship (circa 485 B.C.E. pottery on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City).


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