European Art

7 Things That Could Only Happen to You in Greek Mythology

Ania Kaczynska 3 October 2023 min Read

Thinking your luck couldn’t get any worse? Well, brace yourself for a humorous journey into the world of Greek mythology, where even the mighty gods and goddesses had their fair share of bizarre and unfortunate encounters. From outlandish transformations to peculiar punishments, being a Greek god or goddess wasn’t always a walk among the roses. So, sit back, relax, and prepare to have a good laugh as we unveil the peculiar and downright absurd situations that could only happen if you were e a divine deity of ancient Greece. Get ready for a dose of mythical mishaps and misadventures that will make your own troubles seem rather tame in comparison. Welcome to the whimsical realm where gods and goddesses face the most peculiar predicaments imaginable!

1. Become Foie Gras Like Prometheus

Prometheus Bound painted by Peter Paul Rubens, 1612
Peter Paul Rubens, Prometheus Bound, 1612, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Ah, Prometheus, the defiant titan who dared to challenge the divine order. If you were Prometheus, prepare to cringe at the peculiar punishment you would endure for your audacious act of stealing fire from the gods. Picture this: each day, a relentless eagle swoops down upon you, tearing at your liver, as if it were an eternal buffet for the feathered predator. Just when you think the torment is over, your liver regenerates overnight, setting the stage for yet another agonizing encounter with the insatiable bird of prey. So much for defying the gods and thinking you could outsmart them! Prometheus’s fate serves as a chilling reminder that even the most brilliant and cunning minds must face the consequences of their actions.

2. Experience a Neverending Gym with Atlas

Farnese Atlas, sculpted ca. 150 CE
Farnese Atlas, ca. 150 CE, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, Italy. Photograph by Lalupa via Wikimedia Commons.

Atlas, the colossal titan burdened with an unimaginable weight. If you were to assume the role of Atlas, brace yourself for an unparalleled sentence. Imagine the weight of the entire world pressing down upon your shoulders, a ceaseless load that knows no respite. With each passing moment, you would bear the weight of continents, oceans, and all of humanity’s collective existence. The ceaseless strain and unbearable pressure would be your constant companions, a perpetual reminder of the consequences of defying the gods. The mere act of standing upright would become an arduous task, as the weight threatens to crush every bone in your body. Atlas’s eternal struggle serves as a stark reminder that defying the divine order carries consequences beyond comprehension.

3. Get Challenged Like Zeus

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Zeus and Thetis, 1811, Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence, France.

Step into the shoes of Zeus, the almighty ruler of the gods in Greek mythology, but be prepared for the challenges that come with such godly power. As Zeus, you would hold dominion over the heavens and earth, commanding thunderbolts and lightning at your will. Yet, with great authority comes great responsibility, and you would find yourself entangled in the intricate web of divine politics. The weight of maintaining order and justice in the cosmos would rest upon your divine shoulders, as you navigate the delicate balance between power, love, and a relentless pursuit of dominance. Your actions would shape the fates of mortals and immortals alike, for better or for worse. So, while the powers of Zeus may seem awe-inspiring, remember that being a deity of such magnitude demands an unyielding resolve to uphold cosmic equilibrium.

4. Become a Tree Like Daphne

greek mythology daphne and apollo
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Apollo and Daphne, 1622–1625, Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy. Photography by Paul012 via Wikimedia Commons.

We already know that Greek mythology is full of questionable love affairs (or rather men harassing women, dryads, goddesses, and young boys!). After being chased by your way too eager admirer, you could turn into a laurel tree, forever rooted in the ground. No longer would you suffer the advances that caused distress, but instead, you would find solace in the sanctuary of nature. Your branches reaching skyward, forever out of the reach of unwanted love. No more annoying men approaching you! Not too bad, right?

5. Look Like Medusa

Caravaggio, Medusa, 1597, Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.

You could be like Medusa but beware of the dreadful curse that accompanies her mesmerizing gaze. As Medusa, your once enchanting beauty would be transformed into a horrifying visage of venomous serpents coiling around your head. Anyone who dared to look upon your face would be turned to stone in an instant. Imagine the isolation and heartache of knowing that your very existence poses a perilous threat to those around you!

6. Get Eaten by Saturn

Francisco de Goya, Saturn Devouring One Of His Sons, 1819-1823, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

Or, even worse, you could end up as one of Saturn‘s children. Imagine being one of Saturn’s ill-fated children, destined to endure a fate more harrowing than one could imagine. Saturn, consumed by his fear of being overthrown, devoured each of his offspring at birth. But if you were to find yourself among the unfortunate few who escaped this gruesome end, your existence would be marked by an eternal struggle for survival.

7. Have a Life-changing Experience as Leda

Michelangelo, Leda and the Swan (copy after a lost painting), 1510, The National Gallery, London, UK.

As Leda, you would become the object of Zeus’s affection, a god known for his insatiable desires. In a moment of divine intervention, Zeus would assume the form of a magnificent swan and approach you with an irresistible allure (very common in Greek mythology!). The encounter would lead to an extraordinary union, but it would also set in motion a series of events that would forever alter your life. From this union, you would bear two sets of twins, each with their own divine and mortal lineage.

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