Mythology is found in every culture that a person can image. From the Greeks,
to Egyptians, to the Celtics. According to The American Heritage Dictionary,
mythology is: a body of myths about the origin and history of a people. Although
each culture's myth's are different, they are also alike in ways. Characters may have
different names and back rounds but they do a lot of the same activities and rituals.
However, in each of the myths told, each region, whether it be Greek, or Celtic, there
are also main differences in the characters. In Greek mythology, one of the hero's is
a man named Oedipus. He is a hero in the Greek culture because of his strong mind
and wisdom he holds. On the other hand, in Celtic Mythology, there is a hero by the
name of Cuchulainn. He is a hero because of his strength and power. Celtic and
Greek mythology also differ in some of there endings of there myths. In Oedipus'
case he is on top of the world and fights these mental games then in the end he is a
ruined man. The Greek hero's have more human emotion involved in the endings, as
for the Celtic endings the hero comes out on top and ready for more.
Oedipus, a hero in all of his stories, is not the hero because he can kill
everyone, but simply because he can out think everyone. Don't misunderstand, he is
also very physically strong. "He was the strongest and most athletic of the youths of
his circle and aroused the envy of many" (Gray 48). He could fight with the best of
them, but he is mostly remembered for his wisdom, his wit and his intelligence.
When he became king of Thebes, he did so not by fighting for it with a sword or his
fists but with his mind. The town had just lost there king and was endanger from the
monstrous Sphinx, who had taken over the town. Oedipus came and saved the day
by solving the riddle that no other man could. The riddle was:
A thing there is whose voice is on,
Whose feet are two and four and three.
So mutable a thing is none
That moves in earth or sky or sea.
When on most feet this thing doth go
Its strength is weakest and its pace most slow.
(Grant 221)
Because he solved the sphinx riddle, she knew that she had come across some one
much smarter than her and so she left and died because of her own rage. To the
entire town Oedipus was known as a hero and was crowned King of Thebes.
Cuchulainn, a Celtic hero, on the other hand was more noted for his strength
and brute instead of his intelligence. Cuchulainn is famous for his battles and how
he overcame so many odds in order to be victorious. "We are told that the young hero
Cu Chulain wished to appear older to attract worthy opponents in battle" (Lincoln 94).
Cuchulainn loved to fight and would do anything in order to look older so he could
fight older people. In one attempt to look older Cuchulainn took some berry juice and
grass and made a beard out of it.
It is said that, by the time he was five years old, he had the strength any man
and one story said that he had seven toes on each foot, seven fingers on each hand and
seven pupils in each eye, that was why he could kill so easily. People had there first
taste with his strength when he was five and found out about the "boys corps" that
lived with his uncle Conchobar. He went to test them, bring his weapons and he
started to play uninvited and the boys were not one bit pleased. They started to fight
him and he took care of fifty of them.
He fought all over the place and was famous around his land. He fought in
many contest that other great men of the time didn't have the guts to fight. He went
places no other men would go because of various reasons. "Dormolla caused a vision
of Emain to rise before Cuchulainn's companions, which made them so home-sick that