Greek and Norse Mythology Have

Greek and Norse mythology have many things in common but they also have many differences. Greek mythology was mainly all about glory and the male divine would just care about himself and family did not matter. Norse culture in my opinion was more about glory because they did things to protect their people and they were looked up to. Both of these cultures shaped humankind in numerous good and bad ways and I think that is what myths are all about explaining why we are shaped the way we are.

These two cultures have presented standards of honor and glory that have impacted our society and these involved violence and bravery.

In my opinion, I enjoyed Greek mythology more than Norse mythology. In this culture to have glory and honor you had to get that through violence which influenced human behavior. Honor and glory to the Greeks meant to maintain all the power and for others to fear you. Having these two characteristics helped them maintain at the top and to keep their great power.

“Honor and glory are central to the Greek character. Since heroes are the essence of the society from which they come, Greek heroes live their lives according to honor and glory, in all their varied forms. Honor and glory trigger an epic war that takes the lives of numerous men, and shape its development at every stage” (Texin, Cheryl).

Revenge was seen a lot throughout Greek mythology and when they seek vengeance the answer was violence.

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If they got their victory as they were honored because they got their revenge. For example, Kronos said, “Mother, I promise I’ll finish this since I don’t give a damn about my father, as he was the first to plan these shameful things.” In my opinion in this myth Kronos received the glory because out of all his brothers he stood up to the evil, which was his father, and wanted revenge and what was fair since his father started it. We can see here the revenge took over his soul that he did not care about his father and looked at violence for an answer and it also proves that he was the only one willing to do something and that’s why he is so important in Greek culture.

This impacted society because it started wars, killings, but it was all a way to gain honor and respect as in no one could cross you or they will pay if they did. Selfishness in the Greek mythology was just a way to keep your power, so in order to maintain your power you had to be selfish and do anything you can. For example, “Gaia and Ouranos warned Kronos that one of his children would eventually overthrow him and become the foremost Immortal. To prevent that possibility, Kronos decided that he would swallow any children that Rheia bore” (Kronos). Because of this Zeus got revenge on his father and got all his brothers and sisters by, “kicking Kronos in the stomach with such violence that the elder god vomited up the stone and the five children”(Kronos).

Kronos rejected his children because he knew one would overthrow him, so he only thought if himself not even about Rheia because she was against swallowing her children. Know a day’s parents tend to want what is best for their children and pass along all the good to them. They were selfish because they wanted the glory and didn’t want to give that up not even to their own kids. In there heads they were doing what was right because the children were a threat and gods would have many children and they usually didn’t seek to care about them. This impacted human behavior because this says that you must do whatever you have to in order to get what you in life no matter who or what comes in your way. This lesson could be a good thing but it could also turn into a bad thing because sometimes people will be doing bad things in order to get what they want, for example, a poor person wants money and in order to get that they go rob a bank.

The male superiority was shown in greek mythology though violence. Every male divine just thought they ruled over everyone and no one would come in their way. We see in the Demeter and Persephone myth that the son of Cronos just comes and kidnaps Persephone without no one saying anything or helping her because all that mattered was that the son of Cronos had power and was a male superiority. “That I plucked in my joy; but the earth parted beneath, and there the strong lord, the Host of Many, sprang forth and in his golden chariot he bore me away, all unwilling, beneath the earth: then I cried with a shrill cry. All this is true, sore though it grieves me to tell the tale” (Hymn to Demeter). Zeus which was God of all gods knew and didn’t do anything he knew it was affecting the weather and he tried to not say anything until he could take no more.

This taught a lesson throughout the world unfortunately because males still think they are superior and use their power thorough violence. “Glory was gained by great, heroic actions and deeds and was conferred upon an individual by others who witnessed and acclaimed the glorious actions. Major battles provided an opportunity for many to find glory at once. Honor was similar to glory, but while the public had to view actions and deem them glorious, each individual maintained their own sense of personal honor which did not always coincide with honor as defined or perceived by the masses. Honor was gained through heroism in battle, but also through compelling speechmaking, loyalty and other noble qualities that a person might demonstrate. Having honor and glory allowed a Greek to gain influence in their society”.

Bravery was what gave you a good status in the Greek culture. For example, Brave and powerful Hercules is perhaps the most loved of all Greek heroes. “Hercules returned to Cleonae, carrying the dead lion, and found Molorchus on the 30th day after he’d left for the hunt. Instead of sacrificing to Hercules as a dead man, Molorchus and Hercules were able to sacrifice together, to Zeus. When Hercules made it back to Mycenae, Eurystheus was amazed that the hero had managed such an impossible task”(Perseus project). Of course to be brave you have to use violence in these myths to get the honor and respect you want. It causes humans to see that violence could be used in a good way because you need to fight for other people to keep them safe and they will look up to you.

Many of these brave hero’s died being brave and they were talked about and people wanted to be like them. For example,” If Hercules died trying to kill the lion, Molorchus agreed to sacrifice instead to Hercules, as a hero” (Perseus project). The afterlife could also mean great honor and glory because they knew that they died trying and people would admire that and love them. The afterlife would be violent but worth it because they would die knowing they did good. Like it has been said before there is a good and bad violence and if you use it for bravery to do good that’s great but if you think being brave means killing a lot of innocent people then that’s bad violence.

Norse mythology is still talked about today and is very much part of society. Norse culture is mostly all about violence and fighting each other. The violence in the Norse culture is different than the one from Greek culture because the Norse culture know that one day they will be defeated and the Greek think themselves as invincible. “Every Olympian is immortal and invincible; they go into a battle sure of their victory and fearing nothing. A drawback to this great advantage is that the Greek gods never know the exhilaration in overcoming astounding odds, or the adrenaline that comes from confronting danger. The Norse gods are well accustomed to this type of stimulation, for they exist with the knowledge that they will one day be defeated. In the end, when the forces of good and evil fight the final battle, evil will succeed over the Norse gods. There is nothing the gods can do to prevent their fate. The gods do not give up, but will put up a strong fight until the very end” (Pitland Magazine).

Revenge in the Norse myths in my opinion not carried out as much as in the Greek culture but revenge was carried on in the Norse culture with violence. For example, “Vidar, a son of Odin by the giantess Gr??r, immediately set upon the wolf to avenge his father’s death. He wore a shoe that had been crafted for this particular moment. It was the strongest and sturdiest of all shoes, and surely also charged with magical properties. With it, Vidar kicked open the wolf’s lower jaw, and then, holding the beast’s upper jaw open, he sliced Fenrir’s mouth to pieces with his sword, killing the monster and ending his devastating rampage” (Vidar). You can see how seriously they took revenge that Vidar was born to avenge his father’s death. This affects our human actions because we see revenge played out so much and we know that isn’t good because it can consume a person and you will live for that revenge like Vidar did.

Selfishness was seen in Norse mythology because they needed to know who was in command and needed reassurance to know this. We see in Thors’ myth that his father went out to look trouble for him and found him a battle to fight and put Thor in danger because of violence. For example, the myth starts out saying how Thor’s father saw everything that happened but was still not content and put his son in danger. This can relate to us because sometimes we become selfish and do something wrong and don’t want to take the blame for it so you blame it on someone else and become selfish.

Bravery was seen through out all Norse mythology because they were all about battles and defeating evil that would damage their world. Fighting for a war in the Norse mythology was often good because you were fighting for good and against evil. A huge example of this is Thor. He was looked up too because he took care of his people and fought for them. He defeated the greatest of all giants which was a big victory. “Norse heroes are always destined for doom, but face their fate fearlessly. Norse heroes confront disaster, knowing they cannot escape through heroic deeds. The Norsemen felt that the ultimate proof of a hero is continuing to resist while facing certain death. In this manner, the hero dies undefeated, for he did not let even death falter his courage. Signy, a Norse heroine, embodies these ideas. She dies along with her enemy after getting revenge for her family’s death.

Her heroic death is more of a triumph than avenging the wrong done to her” (Pitland Magazine). The afterlife meant a lot as long as you were died fighting for what you wanted just like Signy. Society see that as a great act of bravery and that gives them all the honor and glory they want. Regardless of how you view these two cultures you can see how imperative it was to have honor and power. You could do everything to get this for either selfish and bad reasons or for the good and for the heroism.

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Greek and Norse Mythology Have. (2019, Nov 15). Retrieved from

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