Aphrodite :

Bullfinch once said Mythology is the handmaid of literature. That means that mythology is necessarily subservient or subordinate to literature. I personally think that is not true. Let me introduce myself. My name is Aphrodite, goddess of beauty and sexual desire. Mythology is important and interesting. In fact, I think I may be the most interesting of all the gods. Well, at least the most beautiful. In this autobiographical paper I will reveal to you who I am, how I relate to mythology and a famous story about myself.

Let me start with my birth. Many think I was born out of murder. They say that when Cronos butchered his father he flung the dismembered body into the sea where it floated spouting blood and foam. From the foam rose me - a tall beautiful maiden with long blond hair the color of daffodils. Other legends say that I am the daughter of Cronos and Rheia or Jupiter and Dionne. I am married to Hephaestus - god of fire and metal work. Shortly after birth my poor husband was cast out of Olympus because of his deformities. My son is the famous arrow shooting Cupid. We are almost always together and Cupid is always shooting darts of desire in to the bosoms of Gods and men. I hate to admit it but in a way I am responsible for the Trojan War. One day Discord threw an apple on to Olympus to be given to the most beautiful goddess. Hera, Athene and I all tried to claim the title. Each of us tried to persaude the judge - Paris in our favor. Hera told him he would be a powerful ruler, Athene promised him that he would receive great military fame and I guaranteed him Helen of Troy's hand in marriage.

He then declared me the fairest of all and abducted Helen of Troy thus beginning the Trojan War. I have also inspired many paintings, sculptures and poetry. The most famous painting featuring me is the Birth of Venus. It is a very famous painting from the Renaissance. As you can see I am one of the most important goddess and have influenced mythology immensely.

I relate to mythology by being the goddess of love and beauty. My Roman name is Venus. My work is my pleasure, my profession and my hobby. I think about nothing but love and nobody expects any more from me. My job is to make other gods and goddess fall in love with each other. I am ashamed to say that I have had many lovers and have had children from these other men. They are Lyrus, Eryt, Beroe, Herophilus and many others. It must be that darn magic girdle. It enables the wearer to have any man or god she chooses under her spell just by him saying her name or catching a glimpse of her. As you can see it causes me a lot of trouble and embarrassment. I think being the goddess of love and beauty was an important role in mythology that left its effect on the rest of civilization.

One of the most famous stories about me is one that includes my lover Ares. One day Helios the sun god who sees everything noticed me and my lover Ares lying side by side. He told my husband Hephaestus who said nothing. Later that night he prepared an invisible net which he spread around my bed. When I went to bed with my lover the net closed around us and we found ourselves completely immobilized. My husband then summoned all the gods to come and view the spectacle. When he released me I ran off in shame and embarrassment. Another one of my famous stories is about me starting the Trojan War which I already mentioned. Being a goddess can be exciting but also scandalous!!

Revealing to you who I am, how I relate to mythology and famous anecdotes about myself was the main theme of my paper. Now you know a little about me and mythology. Mythology is an important part of our history and understanding mythology will help you to understand many works of literature and poetry. This paper is only a brief piece of all the parts of mythology and I encourage you all to go out and discover about the Greek gods and goddess of long ago!


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