Mercurial Essays

Free Essays & Assignment Examples

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Have you ever thought about some of the so called criminals in the world? And how some of them were convicted of a crime they did not do? Greek Mythology demonstrates the idea that sometimes it is the innocent, not the guilty, which are punished unjustly. The stories of Heracles, Prometheus, and even Persephone and Demeter, support this notion. The character Heracles, also known as Hercules, was the son of Zeus and one of his mortal wives. He was an extremely powerful, almost invincible, demi-god, even as a baby.

Hera, Zeus’ jealous wife, was angered that Zeus had had a child with another wife of his. She was furious that Zeus son was from someone else besides her, which made her try to kill him. She sent out two snakes to kill the child, but Heracles strangled them with ease, killing them and stunning everyone else. Hera drove him to madness, causing him to accidentally kill his children and wife, thinking they were enemies and not the people he loved. He had to then perform 12 labors to take the guilt off of him, and then killed another person, causing him to go straight to Hera.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

It may not have been a conventional kind of punishment, but it was punishment because she caused him much anguish in his life, all because he was not her child. In the story of Prometheus, Zeus assigned him and his brother, Epimetheus, to create man. They did so, but Prometheus was wondering about something. One day, though he knew Zeus hated him, he said to the god of the sky “Tell me why you refuse to give man the gift of fire” (Evslin 56). Prometheus decided to give men, the beings he and his brother created, the gift of fire that Zeus refused to hand to them.

Zeus felt threatened by the fact that they had fire, and that they might become stronger than him, an immortal and king of the gods. Because of this paranoia, Prometheus was condemned and tied to a large boulder, at the mercy of a pair of vultures who tore open his stomach and ate his liver every day. That is, until a hero came and rescued him. The least likely to fit in with this idea would be Demeter and her daughter, Persephone. They were punished in a unique way, different to what one would consider a punishment.

Persephone, a goddess said to embody innocence, was picking flowers one day in a meadow. All of a sudden, she found herself swallowed up by the earth, taken captive by Hades and made his queen without her consent or Demeter’s. Both Demeter and Persephone are punished, Persephone being captured against her will and Demeter having her daughter being taken from her. But perhaps the one who is punished most is the humans. In the story, Demeter, acting impetuously, says that “if I suffer then everyone else shall suffer too.

For the months that you spend with that scoundrel, no grass will grow, no flowers blow, and no trees will bear. So long as you are below, there will be desolation everywhere. ” (Evslin 29) This is the explanation for why there is summer and winter, and why they are the way they are. So the 6 months that Demeter is away for her daughter, the humans will suffer from desolation. There is one thing that all 3 of these stories have in common: people who have not actually committed a crime are unfairly punished.

Heracles goes mad because of Hera, Prometheus has his liver eaten every day, and Persephone must stay in the underworld, setting off a chain of events. Today, many people are put in jail, even killed in some cases, for crimes that they never committed. Our race is not perfect, we make mistakes and accuse other people of things, but we also are quick to believe something, even if not true. This can lead to bad consequences, like an innocent person dying. So how many people out there are the real criminals, running free while others suffer in their place?


I'm Belinda!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out