how are mythology love stories important to love

mythology love stories

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The seemingly indefinable notion of love is an important agent in much of Mythology, the source for many rewards, punishments, motivations, and deceptions. The myths treat love in a way that is different from most of our modern-day ideas of love. In creation myths, love is described as a force, and it is out of love that Earth arises. There are actually very few ordinary love stories, at least in our traditional sense of the word, with a man and woman bonding in romance and living happily ever after. There are, rather, several tragic tales, as those of Pyramus and Thisbe or Ceyx and Alcyone, as well as many stories of unrequited love, such as Polyphemus and Galatea or Echo and Narcissus.

Broadening the myth’s exploration of love and lust are tales of kidnapping and rape, such as Hades and Persephone or Apollo and Creusa. There are instances in which one party—always the woman—loves so strongly and under such false premises that it spells disaster for her. Such are the cases of Medea, Ariadne, and Dido, all of whom give themselves over to love, heart and soul—betraying their own families—only to have the men whom they love heartlessly move on after the women’s usefulness is expended. These tales perhaps imply a cautionary warning that blood is thicker than water and that a bride’s family by marriage is never as trustworthy as her birth family, to whom she truly owes allegiance.