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Mythology Essay Research Paper Introduction

Mythology Essay, Research Paper Introduction This project will focus on the adventures of Dionysus and his interactions with other people. I will also show what Dionysus

Mythology Essay, Research Paper

Introduction

This project will focus on the adventures of Dionysus and his

interactions with other people. I will also show what Dionysus

stands for and is depicted by. You will learn about his lifestyle and the

way he affected others? lives. I will explain his family and birth and I

will tell the story of the few who dare to oppose Dionysus.

Family

Dionysus? father was Zeus(Jupiter), king of the gods. Zeus played a

very important role in Greek mythology as he was the father of many

significant gods. He was the ultimate ruler of Heaven and Earth and

had control over meteorological phenomenon.

In most legends, Semele was the mother of Dionysus while Orphic

legends recorded Persephone as being Dionysus? mother. Semele was

the beautiful daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia. Her affair with

Zeus was strictly secret and later caused her death. Hera(Zeus? wife)

found out that they were having an affair and made Zeus kill Semele.

As an adult, Dionysus rescued Semele from the underworld and made

her a goddess known as Thyone.

When Semele died, she was still pregnant with Dionysus in her

womb. Zeus came along and rescued Dionysus from Semele?s ashes

and sewed Dionysus into his hip until he was ready to be born.

Basic Information

Dionysus was mainly recognized as the god of wine. He was

almost always drunk, and he made people happy with his wine.

He traveled around teaching the art of wine making and the

cultivation of the vine. Dionysus was also fairly well known as an

artistic god. Most of the plays and dramas were in his honor. Drama

and poetry both play an important role in the worship of Dionysus.

His symbols were grapes, rams, thyrsus, and serpents. His

domain was vegetation, pleasure, freedom, and civilization. Dionysus

is sometimes referred to as Bacchus and in Roman mythology

Dionysus was known as Liber. Dionysus could make people light-

hearted and happy or he could make them sad and unhappy.

Stories

Dionysus? Kidnapping

This is a story of which I have found in many different books,

however, only two versions were somewhat different. One version

containing the character of Acetes, and the other without Acetes.

Some pirates saw Dionysus and they assumed by his appearance

that he had rich parents, so they decided to capture and sell him

for ransom. They took Dionysus onto the ship and attempted to bind

him with ropes, however, the ropes broke as soon as they touched

Dionysus. One crew member pleaded to let him go, for the breaking

of the ropes convinced him that Dionysus was a god, but the other

crew members were stubborn and ignored him. The crew members

soon found out that Dionysus was angered when he turned into a lion

and fragrant wine started flowing down the ship?s deck. Soon after,

vines and ivy spread around the ship and the terrified pirates began to

turn into dolphins. One by one they leaped into the sea. END.

A group of pirates see a strong, and healthy young man and they

figure they could make a good profit selling him as a slave in Egypt.

One pirate, by the name of Acetes, urged the other crew members to

sail wherever the visitor(Dionysus) wished. The pirates were greedy

and set sail toward Egypt when all of a sudden lions appear and

crouch at their feet. In the background, sounds of flutes were heard

and each pirate(except for Acetes), gradually transforming into

dolphins, leaped into the water. Dionysus told Acetes to sail toward

the island of Naxos and Acetes eagerly obeyed. It is on the island of

Naxos where Dionysus meets and falls in love with Ariadne.

Dionysus? Romance With Ariadne

After Dionysus was kidnapped by pirates, he was dropped off on

the island of Naxos. While in Naxos, Dionysus met Ariadne who had

been abandoned on the island. He took pity on her and they soon fell

in love. When Ariadne died, Dionysus took the golden crown he had

given her and placed it among the stars. END.

Dionysus met Ariadne on Naxos, he quickly wooed her and won

her over. Soon after, they got married and during the wedding

celebrations Dionysus took Ariadne?s bridal garland and threw it into

the sky where it became a glowing cluster of stars, known as the

Corona.

Fate of Lycurgus

This short story shows how passive Dionysus could be and it

proves that Dionysus does know people in high places.

While Dionysus was in Thrace, King Lycurgus opposed Dionysus?

worship. Dionysus took this as a great insult but he did not take any

action towards it, however, Zeus was angered and struck Lycurgus

blind, Lycurgus died soon after.

King Midas and his Golden Touch

This is probably the most entertaining of the stories involving

Dionysus.

King Midas entertained and looked after poor Silenus, Dionysus?

friend. Dionysus offered a reward to Midas, he allowed Midas to

choose any one wish. Midas? wish was to have anything he touched

turn to gold. Dionysus granted the wish and everything Midas

touched was transformed to gold. This wish soon became a terrible

burden to King Midas. He could not eat because his food would turn

to gold before reaching his mouth. He hugged his daughter and she

turned to gold. Midas, detesting his new ?ability? returned to

Dionysus begging to be delivered from this terrible spell. Dionysus

sent King Midas to the River Pactolus. The river sands turned to gold

but Midas rid himself of the golden touch. Midas dwelt in the country

thereafter, and worshipped the god of fields, Pan.

Dionysus and Nymphs

This story explains a similar phenomenon as the story with

Ariadne.

After the death of Dionysus? mother Semele, Dionysus was sent

to live with Semele?s sister. After Dionysus no longer lived with his

aunt, he was raised by Nysaean nymphs. The nymphs nourished and

brought up Dionysus. To show his gratitude, Zeus took the nymphs

and placed them among the stars.

Return of Dionysus? Mother

Dionysus got in a fight with Perseus. Wounded, Dionysus jumped

into Lake Lerna and sank down into the underworld. Zeus called

Dionysus to come back to Olympus. Dionysus took with him his

mother Semele. He put Semele in a palace he had made for her in

high heaven and made her a goddess, known as Thyone. Dionysus,

now back on Mt. Olympus, was given a place as one of the 12 high

gods at Zeus? right hand.

Conclusion

In this project I have attempted to show what kind of person

Dionysus was. He had two completely different sides. He could make

people joyful or he could make them gloomy. He could enrich or ruin

their lives. I also added some interesting stories which explain

phenomenon such as the story of Ariadne and the story of the

nymphs which explain stars in the sky.

Bulfinch, T. (1979). Bulfinch Mythology New Jersey: Crown Publishers.

Hamilton, E. (1942) Mythology Boston: Little, Brown, and Company

Grolier Inc. (1995) Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia 1995

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