META: What do the RACC Readers think is the best?
arspitzer at aol.com
Wed Jan 5 16:39:05 PST 2005
Martin Phipps wrote:
>Hmm. That's the mythology in which there's a male father figure with a
>wife who he's always cheating on and produces many offspring and
>there's also Gods of war, the ocean, love and death, right?
>Hey... wait a minute... that's the same as Greek, Roman, Egyptian,
>Babylonian and Hindu mythology. Hmm.
I think saying that Norse and Greek Myths are the same is sort of like
saying Superman and Batman are the same because they both are white
males, both have a cape, both wear their underwear on the outside, and
both their third and fourth movie sucked.
In greek myths the protagonist usually is a human blessed by the gods,
or has a god for a parent. In norse myths the protagonist usually is
one of gods. There's a sort of fatalism in norse myths with all the
gods knowing that they're doomed. I don't think there's a twilight of
the gods in greek mythology. Zeus is going to live for ever. Odin
knows he's going to be killed by Fenrir the wolf one of these days.
There's a tragic element for the Norse Gods. Odin loses an eye for
knowledge. Tyr loses a hand for binding Fenrir. Balder is killed by his
own brother Hod who is tricked into killing him by Loki. Unlike the
Bible where Good triumphs over Evil, everyone pretty much dies in the
end of Ragnarok. I think of all the mythologies, the norse one feels
the most like a superhero comic which is probably why I like it better
than the rest.
If you want to read a real good book on Norse Mythology you should check
out The Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland. This is a really well
done and easy to read retelling of the various stories found in the
Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, and a variety of other sources. It's a good
read and probably the best book on any mythology that I've encountered.
There's also a certain absurdity to Norse Myths that you just have to
love like the fact that a cow frees the first god from ice by licking it
out. Or that the giant's offspring came from its armpits. There's also
some pretty sick and twisted stuff that's even more depraved than the
sick and twisted stuff that happens in Greek Myths.
Arthur "That's why I read it" Spitzer
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