Monday, March 24, 2014

Mythology Monday: Ares

 Flickr Credit: cookbookman17

I’m going to talk about Ares today. I will admit, there is one reason in particular that I like having Ares around in mythology, and only one.

Yes, Ares is god of war, among other things.

But his symbol is that of a wild boar.

Wild boars are pigs.

Pigs are made of bacon.

Bacon is elation condensed.

So, by extended logic, Ares is the god of bacon, and who would not want to be friends with that god, I ask you?

(There is a picture of bacon because while I could not find a really good picture of Ares, I did for bacon. Ta-da.)


Name: Ares
Culture: Greek
Responsibilities: War
Symbols: Wild boar, dog, war gear

Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera, and, duh, the god of war. He’s bitter rivals with Athena, as her strategy and his violence embody two aspects which they cannot reconcile. Throughout the stories he is often remembered as Aphrodite’s lover, which also did not make him friends with his brother, Hephaestus.

He was also patron of the Spartans. Go figure.

What I Like About Him

I really like Carolyn Hennesy’s take on Ares. Sure, he’s always covered in blood and he is exceptionally cold, but he is firm in his ways and he has a sense of moral justice which allows him to fight against formidable enemies with some sense of morality about him. He protects what is his, and guards it jealously.

In that particular story, he stands up against Hera, the villainess of the series. (I have some words to say about that as well, but here is not the time.) As a whole Ares represents violence, but at the same time Ares spent the ages in a relationship with Aphrodite—the goddess of love.

I find it a fitting relationship. Devastation, violence, and war amplify a person. Some are bad, and war corrupts them further. Others are good, and hardship hones them to be someone even better. The strongest of emotions spring from danger—and I think Ares shows that our struggles can enhance or pervert our beings. We simply have to remain in control.

(Also the bacon thing mentioned above.)

(Plus Sparta, which means 300, and I adore that movie.)

What I Dislike About Him

The nature of war veritably sucks. I admit that. I frequently remember Ares as something of a jerk (Percy Jackson, anyone?), which doesn’t give him any extra brownie points, and I think the most disgusting aspect of Ares is the disregard for life. A regard for other people and their skills in battle has always been the fabric of honor, though what people do with that honor has varied. In a way, Ares also seems the god of waste, because the destruction of civilizations seems so petty when their construction is so much more beautiful.

I think Ares is an interesting character. If you look at war from every perspective then you have to see Ares from those perspectives as well. Maybe that’s not how the Greeks saw it exactly, but that’s always been my take on it. To war.

What do you think of Ares? Share below!

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