6 pages/≈1650 words
Literature & Language
Human hardship and suffering (Essay Sample)
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Human hardship and suffering
Stories engage our emotions and we learn about the different cultures from the different myths told in different parts of the world. We are able to understand the society’s way of handling different situations based on the characters behavior in the themes such as revenge and heroism that are common triggers of human suffering in the myths (Hogan 22). This paper discusses human suffering in three myths namely Mwindo, the Odyssey and Lament for Ur from Congo, Greece and Mesopotamia respectively. It shows that human suffering produces wisdom in all three cultures.
Mwindo originates from parts of Zaire now called Congo has all the characteristics of a Greek or Roman epic such as Homer’s Odyssey or the tales of Hercules. The epic records the culture and beliefs of the Nyanga people of the Republic of Congo. The myth has supernatural beings and metamorphoses of human being. This story is comparable to the trials of Odysseus or his son Telemachus (Myth Connections n.p.).
Mwindo’s father was Shemwindo and his mother was his father’s favorite wife. Mwindo is the hero who has a miraculous birth and he possesses magical powers with which he performs Herculean tasks. He is born with supernatural powers, the gift of premonition and has a magical scepter. At birth, Mwindo could walk and talk, destroy evil forces, move underground, fly and move underwater. Mwindo is also able to interact and cooperate with superhuman beings and elements like lightning, spiders and bats (Lynch n.p.).
His father tried to kill him because he was afraid that he would compete with him. He also did not want his wives to bear sons that would compete for his power as a king. He made numerous attempts to kill Mwindo but they kept failing. At some point, he instructed his counselors to lock him up in a drum and throw him into a river. He was later rescued by Iyangura his sister, who was married to the great water serpent (Lynch n.p.). Mwindo and his sister decided to revenge for his father’s action. They sought help from his father’s uncles in Baniyana in attacking Tubondo where his father lived. Unfortunately, his father killed all his uncles and fled to the underworld. Mwindo was able to bring his uncles back to life and then pursued his father in the underworld. While there, he faced many trials before the subterranean beings gave up his father to him. He brought his father back to Tubondo and restored the lives of all those that had died. He received kingship over a part of Tubondo while his father ruled the other part (Lynch n.p.).
Mwindo and the dragon were allies of Lightning and Mwindo killed the Dragon when it swallowed his followers. Lightning was annoyed by his action and purposed to teach him a lesson. Lightning took Mwindo to the sky world where he suffered much in the realm of the sky gods. Lightning also took him to the moon, sun, rain and hail...
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