The Greek civilization formed their gods and goddesses in the form of mankind. Why would they do this?
Ancient Greeks had pride. They knew that the human race had come a long way to be where they were, and they saw no reason why humans were not appreciated. The human is a miracle, its strength, courage, endurance, looks, emotions, intellect, everything! Why would not one choose the most intelligent life form on the Earth to represent what might rule us as well? They should be at least equal in intelligence if not significantly smarter, and much more powerful at least. The Greeks were living in the immediate world surrounding them. They wanted to fulfill themselves with what actually was possible. If happiness meant catching a plentiful harvest of fish because a god blessed them it, why would not they be happy? Things in life were what the Greek valued, because they knew what was life, but not necessarily what lay in wait for ...view middle of the document...
The Greeks would look upon athletes in games and see beauty. They were able to see exquisiteness in man. They look upon the youth and see the delicate beauty of which is bestowed upon them. The human, in the eyes of the other humans, are truly the fulfillment of splendorous attractiveness that we all look for. The Greeks chose the human for its beauty. The Greek gods were magnificently beautiful in appearance, even more so than any mortal person could ever possibly be. They were awesome in all their power and beauty, and no better vessel was the appearance of them as the human.
There is comfort in what is known. By choosing the form of mankind, the gods were given a sense of familiarity. Not only did they seem familiar, they seemed friendly, and almost closer to the humans themselves. Because of their similarities to the human race, the Greeks felt at home with them. They knew where they ate, what they ate, their entertainment, a lot of the gods’ lives were known. They knew that the gods had feelings, and that they were easily angered, and yet, they were content with befriending their gods, laughing at their rash decisions, because they knew how to stay on their good side. Their knowledge and similarity to humans made it a bit easier to understand that God’s actions, whether they are rational, punishing men for sins, with a plague befalling on the people, or they are the nonsensical fallouts of love and lust, their actions were comfortably like humans’.
Not only did they resemble the humankind of Earth, they shared many character traits as well, strong emotions being the most prominent that the gods showed to have. Zeus liked women; he often had his way with them. Hera did not like this, and she got angry. Even the king and queen of the gods had their marriage quarrels. Hera was the jealous wife, and had the right to be, with Zeus following his lusts so readily. They laughed at Zeus; laughed at the situations he got himself into. They liked their gods even more because of their imperfections to relate to. Hera, being his wife, punished her competitors, amusing the Greeks furthermore. How human is such a feeling as jealousy! Having the gods in their likeness made them all the more closer to them.