How does the ending of the Myth of Sisyphus of Albert Camus differ from Homer's Sisyphus?
In Homer's version, Sisyphus is punished to an eternity of pushing a rock up a mountain for it to fall back down again. This is the same fate the main character receives in Camus' version, but Camus says that it is necessary to believe that Sisyphus is happy. Consequently, his punishment ceases to be a punishment.
Why was Sisyphus sentenced to pushing a rock up a mountain for eternity only for it to fall back down again?
Sisyphus stole secrets from the gods, blackmailed Esopus, and captured Death who was later released by Pluto. Sisyphus is sent to the underworld where he is given permission to go back to earth to confront his wife, agreeing that he will return to the underworld. When he does not want to return, Pluto issues the king his punishment.
How does the philosophical theory of existentialism that Camus believed in change the fate of Sisyphus?
Existentialism entails taking responsibility for one's actions. Camus believed in the absurd, which is the relationship between man who searches for meaning in a meaningless universe vs. the universe without meaning. Camus thought that in order to overcome the anguish that comes with the realization that life has no meaning is to instead create one's own purpose. In terms of Sisyphus, Camus stated that he must be happy. If Sisyphus is happy with his fate, then his destiny is no longer a punishment, and instead becomes his purpose for existing.
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