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Essay About Creation Myths

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    ZhitaoWang, Heath




    Creation Myths

    Ovid begins the Metamorphoses by invoking the gods. He represents a new world which is different from the world in traditional myth. Ovid describes the birth of the world like that: Before the oceans, the land and the sky covered everything existed, the face of nature was round and the same everywhere, called chaos. Then, a creator separated earth from heaven, sea from land, and lighter air from heavier air. After doing this, the creator arranged different climatic zones, geographical environments and various animals on the earth. But there was still a lack of a kind of creature, which is more spiritual than all things, is good at abstruse thinking, and can govern all things, so human beings were born. Then four ages were followed. The age of gold was a time of trust, moral goodness, and fruitfulness. In the age of silver, people had to work for a living. The age of bronze saw the first wars, but some semblance of morality persisted. In the age of iron, however, nothing is sacred. Even family ties lead to bloodshed. In the iron age, the gods appear and witness human impiety.

    This work focuses on the depiction of Gods. Ovid depicts a group of gods who are as immoral as they are irrational. For example, Jupiter’s one reason for causing the flood is his desire to make the world a safer place for lesser divinities that do not inhabit the heavens: nymphs, fauns, satyrs, and mountain-dwelling divinities. As the epic continues and we read about the brutal behavior of the gods—Apollo’s pursuit of the anguished Daphne, Jupiter’s rape of Io, and so on—we realize that the gods don’t have the moral authority to police the world. Indeed, the lesser divinities need to be protected from the gods, rather than protected by them.

    The whole world described in this article is a world without morality, full of irrationality and God’s abuse of power. From my point of view, I think he satirized the ruling class in the society at that time by describing the image of God. Those rulers never care about the people at the bottom of their lives. They are obsessed with power, but they don’t know that the source of their power is the people, just like god gets the worship of believers. They wantonly use power and power to get everything they want, just like primitive, evil animals. For example, the description of Lycaon’s changes in the article: his clothes turned into hair, her arms turned into legs, he turned into a wolf, but there are still some original traces, still gray hair, ferocious face, shining eyes. Their fight for power is described as the battle of giants. Endless fighting and desire for power bring only the grief and death of innocent people. However, the innocent people just accept all this in silence, because they have no strength to resist, and they also receive the inculcation of the people in power. They are like beasts crawling on the ground when the God comes. They are weak and scared, unable to fight, but they are full of fear in their bones.

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