Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Art of Chaos

Greek myth is full of fun stories really, 
So I'm going to be Greek story-telling to you guys today.
Sing all this to me, Muses, you who dwell on Olympus: from the beginning
tell me, which of the gods first came to be.
—Hesiod, Theogony (114-115)

In Greek mythology, Chaos is said to be the beginning of all things. Hesiod doesn't say what he truly means by Chaos, but it's widely understood as a chasm (or gap), the opening from which all other primordial beings emerged. The children of Chaos includes Gaea (Mother Earth), Tartarus (some place below earth), Eros (attraction), Erebus (darkness) & Nyx (night), Moerae (fates) & Nemesis (retribution), and Aether (radiance) & Hemera (day).

And from Gaea, Uranus (sky) & Pontus (sea) are produced asexually. Gaea then, in a sexual union with her son Uranus, bore the Titans & other stuff (this is where things get really fun in Greek myth).

Uranus hid all his children in the dark womb of Earth & refused them light. So Gaea invented an invincible sickle and offered it to any one of her children brave enough to slice the genitals of their father —where the dark night sky touches the Earth— so they could all exit into light.

Only Cronus (a Titan), answered his mother's call. Cronus (time) ambushed his father, severed off his father's genitals and threw it over his shoulder. However, freedom came at the high cost of deceit & violence of son against father. Uranus cursed his treacherous son, and from the drops of blood that fell from his wounds onto Earth created the Erinyes (the Furies) —ferocious female spirits that haunt & drive into madness anyone who sheds kindred blood.

As you can see, Greek myth is littered with symbolic meaning which is just too entertaining to miss out on discovering.
The Austin Sketch Squad drew this for the Chuck Norris in Greek Mythology Week in 2009. Personally, this is exactly why I love Greek Mythology. It's just an enduring & entertaining collection of stories that has been re-told innumerable times in so many different ways. This sketch is of course not at all close to the story of Perseus & Medusa, but it's still very funny. We must remember that Chuck Norris always wins. Haha!
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