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Classical Mythology: Herman, Apollo, Dionysus Essay

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Updated: Dec 23rd, 2021


Classical mythology is a description of some of the renowned heroes that were celebrated in the years past. Even though there is no clear evidence of their existence, they are cherished for what is believed to be an impact that they have made on societies. They are looked at as superior individuals that had the ability to overcome what can not be overcome in the natural. They are mostly stories that are told especially to young people with the aim of encouraging them to dare to be extraordinary in their undertakings.

Even though some of the events that are recorded by such heroes are not practical in normal circumstances, they serve as good lessons that can be a target to be achieved by those that desire to go to higher levels in society and be remembered for their deeds. In this discussion, we are mainly to focus on distinct characters to find out how their stories relate to their environment and the impacts they have had on society.


Herman is a youthful character who is mostly referred to as a god of the youth. He acts as an intermediary between the gods and the people. He has also been described as a cunning person following an incident where he took Apollo’s herds. He is related to other tricksters that have ever been known in other writings. The reason that he is mostly associated with teenagers is because of the fact that he displays all the characteristic nature of a teenager (Morford & Lenardon, 238). He is a legendary who seems to be involved in certain devilish staff but seems not to realize the impacts that they are having on him and the society around him.

He displays the state at which a young person will feel that they have all the freedom to do what they wish and deserve not to be questioned about their conduct. During such a stage, the parents will usually have a rough time and times being forced to make up for the mistakes that have been done by their teenage boys and girls. Hermes’ father is forced to repent on his behalf for taking the herds and insisting that they be returned back to Apollo. The recognition that Hermes receives from the youth is a reflection of a daring nature that does not have to be accompanied by fear of any kind.


Apollo is a character of mixed contradictions whose conduct is subject to change at any time. He has displayed a number of distinct characters where he is seen both as a human and an inhuman being. He has adapted a certain kind of loyalty towards a specific group of people which makes him engage in actions that may be looked at as displaying disloyalty towards others (Morford & Lenardon, 275). Apollo exhibits the character of a musician, on the other hand, he is associated with medicine and also as an individual that easily burns with anger. Anger is displayed when he destroys the Greeks and also assists his sister to stage revenge on the children of Niobe. The revengeful nature is accompanied by the loyalty that Apollo has towards his sister. His religious nature is revealed in Olympia at the temple when he is observed imposing orders.


Dionysus is viewed as apposite in character to Apollo; he is a god that is described to be slow to anger and always willing to help those that are in need. Dionysus intervenes on various occasions and tries to help out those that are in need. His kind and compassionate nature seem to draw more people to his side. His followers can always benefit from his acts of kindness even though it can get severe if they don’t follow his directives. There have been instances whereby individuals have had to bear the painful consequences of taking their directives for granted. The duality that is expressed by the deity is seen to be in contradiction to other Christian practices.

It is considered that Judaism and Christianity can not be mixed and that a deity is to display one true nature and character. When the purpose to display goodness, such good should not be compromised by their need to stage revenge on the people that take their services for granted. Such a thought may be revealed through the nature of Jesus Christ who did well even to those that wronged him.

Analyze the contradictory natures of both Apollo and Dionysus

Apollo and Dionysus are two contradicting characters that display natures in accordance with the circumstances that surround them. For instance, Dionysus remains to be good and calm to the people that come to him for help. He is willing to help and show kindness to the people that are in need. He will not stage any kind of revenge on anybody except the dire consequences upon the people that take his kindness for granted.

This is in opposition to Apollo who will not compromise on anybody that instantly displeases him. The anger may not be directed towards him but also to any other person close to them. Apollo revenged on the enemies of his sister due to anger that arose in him towards them. He cannot control his anger towards people that show no concern for humanity and will ultimately make them face a similar kind of punishment.

The character of Hermes as presented in the Homeric hymn to Hermes the archetypical trickster figure

Hermes’ character as described in the Homeric hymn Hermes displays a youth with a daring nature. He is a fun character to be with considering his lively entertaining nature. The youth seem to be mostly attracted to him as he entertains and excites them. Hermes is also very rowdy and crafty, he takes away herds and makes his father not only apologize for the mistakes but also plead with him to return the herds to the owner.

He seems to care less about the dignity of his family and does things according to what his heart pleases. He cautions his mother against treating him like a child. He considers himself a mature person who should be left to do what seems to be right for him (Morford & Lenardon, 160). It is this character and nature that makes Hermes gain a lot of popularity from the teenagers. The teenagers seem to be inspired by the way he is handling the challenges that come with his growth and how he handles the adults around him especially when his character is questioned. He displays the nature of parents to not accept the fact that their children are growing up and hence need to be given the freedom to choose what they feel.

Variant versions of a myth or mythic character in different sources

Myths come in different forms and natures and are used to display various characters. The importance of myths is to draw certain lessons that are to be learned and adapted by individuals. They are usually a display of what happens in the real world and at times are not admitted by the people. They are usually to bring forth a reality that people have been denying its existence. A myth story may have different meanings to different people.

It basically depends on the context at which it is looked upon and the cultural beliefs of the people that read the story. Some mythical stories that are of significant to certain communities may have no meaning to others who will only relate to them as feeble stories. As much as some people ignore the existence of mythical deities, their captivating nature and character still has a lot of significance in the modern world. For instance, Apollo is a deity that has gained a lot of recognition in the field of medicine and science that most hospitals and clinics are being named so. Apollo is a name that has a lot of significance among medical practitioners and the mere mention of the name draws patients to such services.


Classical mythology takes us through some of the ancient deities and the significance not only to the past society but also to the current world. It is simply an interaction of the spirit world and the physical world where the mysteries of nature are displayed. It is believed that such characters existed, and whether it is true or not is not up to us to debate. The fact remains that they are cherished for their exemplary displays and narrated among the people that needs such an inspiration. They have a bunch of lessons that can be adapted and learned by people of all ages as they get to understand the reason behind their conduct.

Works cited

Morford, Mark P.O., & Lenardon, Robert J. Classical Mythology. 8th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

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