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Comparison of Ares and Aphrodite in the Greek Mythology

The civilization of Ancient Greece marks one of the most important chapters in the history of the world. This period has provided humanity with an array of important achievements, including the principles of democracy, theater, art, and sciences. These accomplishments have had an immense impact on the development of the global civilization, and many of them remain relevant in the current environment. Among numerous pagan pantheons of history, Greek mythology occupies a special place. It has acquired particular significance across various spheres of human activities and rightfully remains one of the best-known mythologies of the world. Greek deities and legends have served as the foundation for classical plots and became a source of inspiration for people of art. The prominent figures of this mythology are famous, as their names continue to be heard in the 21st century. As such, the analysis of certain deities’ representation in the Greek myths appears instrumental in establishing a better understanding of the deep meaning behind the stories of Olympus. This paper focuses on Aphrodite and Ares as some of the key figures within Ancient Greek mythology and draws a comparison between their attributes.

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Aphrodite has earned the status of one of the most famous Greek gods. According to the legends, she was born out of foam that appeared when Cronus threw the body of Uranus into the sea. Aphrodite is traditionally represented as a woman of unparalleled beauty, which corresponds to her primary status as the goddess of love and fertility (Albert 62). As these concepts were universal, the range of Aphrodite’s followers was rather wide, as most people felt the innate urge for love and kinship. Accordingly, different social groups considered Aphrodite to be their goddess. In fact, some legends point toward her status as the goddess of seafarers, which corresponds to the deity’s origin. At the same time, one of the main plot points of Aphrodite’s myth concerns her unhappy marriage. As the legends recount, the goddess was forced by Zeus to marry Hephaestus, but their relationship was not a good match (Albert 66). Aphrodite repeatedly philandered with Ares, another prominent deity of Greek mythology. Therefore, it appears possible to conclude that Aphrodite knew the value of a happy relationship, and worshippers expected her to provide it for them.

On the other hand, her lover Ares demonstrated dramatically different features. He was portrayed as a strong, brutal man with an urge for combat, reflecting his status as the Greek god of war. Ares represented the spirit of the battle with all its frequent gruesomeness. In the myths, it is often implied that Ares caused dismay among other gods, who may have seen him as excessively brutal and even dangerous (Albert 81). However, war occupied a position of paramount importance in many regions of Ancient Greece, namely Sparta. Consequently, Ares was a prominent deity in these communities, as people made human sacrifices to earn his blessing for the coming battle. In the eyes of the ancient civilization, Ares, as well as his Roman counterpart Mars, reflected the perception of a perfect warrior capable of defending his land and people.

As the analysis of myths shows, Ares and Aphrodite are opposite in terms of personalities and entities they serve to represent. The latter was a gentle goddess of love, which is a concept widely associated with inner peace and comfort. For many, the search for true love remains the ultimate purpose of life, and Aphrodite is the manifestation of this feeling. At the same time, Ares reflects a different side of existence, which is filled with disconcerting images of warfare. He is the opposite of tender, as the god of war is expected to be strong and ruthless to his enemies. Nevertheless, despite the inherent differences between the deities, they remain equally important parts of one whole. Their union depicted in the myths forms a unity of traditional understandings of male and female aspects. While this perception has become obsolete in the progressive environment of the 21st century, it held special importance in Ancient Greek society. Being profoundly different in terms of worshipping, representation, and actions, Ares and Aphrodite complemented each other and formed a strong union. In a way, this connection represents family, which remains one of the fundamental notions within society.

Ultimately, the myths of Ancient Greece provide a substantial source of interesting information related to the very core of humanity. Historically, each deity of pagan pantheons served to represent an important aspect of life. In some cases, gods’ myths were created to explain complex, abstract ideas, which were easier to fathom in a familiar, humanized form. In this regard, Aphrodite and Ares reflected two fundamental aspects of human existence – love and war. Despite their difference and against the will of Zeus, these deities managed to establish a loving relationship. In this comparison, life itself is described as a combination of inherently different elements forming a unity. In the end, the ideas behind Greek mythology remain relevant in the current environment due to the eternal nature of its core concepts. Even though some values may have undergone profound changes, these aspects continue to exist at the heart of humanity, albeit in different forms.

Work Cited

Albert, Liv. From Aphrodite to Zeus, a Profile of Who’s Who in Greek Mythology. Adams Media, 2021.

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