It's All Greek to Me

Comparing Greek Gods to the Great Writers

Hangman is just America's excuse for a public execution though much less popular. I admit it. That thought is morbid, but as a plucky middle schooler, I wrote that sentence and thought myself to be clever. I considered myself at that moment to be the god of writing.

Now, before you get on me about thinking so highly of myself, I never specified which god. I could have been alluding to Hestia or Eos. I wasn't, but how could I be so belittling as to name myself after the goddess no one remembered? I wanted to be special. I wanted to be Zeus. I mean, everyone wants to be Zeus, but who can actually make it that level of power? Now thinking about it, Shakespeare was probably more Zeus level than myself.

Shakespeare is on a writing level where none of the rules matter anymore. Shakespeare can do whatever he so pleases. Shakespeare can make up words, grammar, and when all else fails, and he is out of ideas, Shakespeare can have a character exit pursued by bear when, in fact, I may add, there was no bear seen until the moment it was needed (Yes, it was genius, and I’m ignoring the historical context. Don’t think about it).

Thinking on it, reading Shakespeare in high school did seem like some god was holding a magnifying glass over my head, ready to smite me out of being at any giving moment. Read Shakespeare for the first time, and your brain starts to feel like it's been struck by lightning. The cogs in your head stop turning for a second, and you have to relearn to read because somehow through all your years of English class, you never learned how to comprehend the immeasurable astonishing, riveting language in which Shakespeare writes in. You look at A Midsummer Night's Dream, and you realize it is your English teacher's wet dream, yet you don't see the big deal. Yes, definitely, Zeus.

Shakespeare made-up words and could get away with it. I could do that. Reginle, morsojoyce, spelunking. Actually, I think that the last one was a real word. Okay, so maybe I'm not Zeus.

Hades, on the other hand, is the god of morbid. I suppose I could be him. I am a morbid wreck of a person. The only problem with that is I don't see any writer who emulates Hades more than Edgar Allen Poe, and considering how terrible his life was, I don't want to take that away from him. In his time here on earth, Poe got the short end of the stick and was thought to be a raving mad man. Like Hades, only after he tasted the sweet sting of death did he get any praise. Also, Edgar pinned over a girl almost obnoxiously so, in which he couldn't always have. Did I say, Persephone? I meant Annabelle Lee.

Long story long, I do not want to be Edgar Allen Poe. Dying, going crazy, not getting credit until it was too late, while all wonderful, and practical options for a career path, doesn't seem like a target I'd want to shoot for. Who I'd want to emulate would be someone who knew how to shoot.

Artemis, for instance, was a great shot. Though I see no one more like Artemis than the incomparable Jane Austen. Austen was like Poe in the aspect that she also wrote about things no one else had had the guts to write about before. However, while Jane Austen wrote with a feminist ideology that was ahead of her time, our sweet Mr. Poe wrote about actual guts.

Austen was tactful, a hunter. She knew how to lace her bow and stab society right through the eye, yet somehow convince them that they wanted it that way. Jane Austen was the moon goddess of the writing world. While everyone wanted her to marry and fulfill her role as a woman, Austen wanted to write and never married. Instead, she leads a swarm of strong females ready to hunt. You spend too long reading Jane Austen, and you'll have an unparalleled urge to fall in love, and fight all men in existence simultaneously. I think I am going to scratch Artemis off my god's list just because I'm not very good with a bow, or the whole act of piercing. I need a target that I can look at, but still shoot with my mediocre aim.

The ideological person I could aim for would be J.K. Rowling. I grew up on her books. I'm still obsessed with Harry Potter. I admit it. I may not be reading the most sophisticated novels, but I could probably tell you Harry Potter's birthday, grandfather's name, and social security number. Unfortunately, J.K. Rowling has stated she is done, kaput, over it when it comes to Harry Potter*. Like Pan, the god of the wild who realized he couldn't die, so he instead stopped being at all. J.K. Rowling has stopped writing about wizards and given the creative license to another, and like the satyrs that Pan looked over who refused to admit that he was gone, the Harry Potter fans refuse to admit it is over. Okay, maybe I'm more of a satyr.

Still, I have the mission to find which Greek god relates to me the most. Considering this is all about me and the divine nature of my writing, I could say I was Narcissus. I admit it I am full of myself, but he's not a god. He's stupid. He is an example of a human who doesn't follow the rules and ends up dead. Just because the gods can do it doesn't mean we can.

For instance, Rowling has a character in her book named Remus Lupin. He is a werewolf. Remus is also the name of a character from Greek mythology who was raised by a wolf. So, his first name is more or less related to a wolf. Lupin comes from the word Lupine, which means something that is like or related to a wolf. So, put together, Remus Lupin's name is the equivalent of Wolf Wolf. Remus Lupin is Wolf Wolf, the werewolf. Now, I wish I could do something like that.

She probably got away with it, because children do have the tendency to not know obscure Greek mythology and Latin root words. However, I know in the pit of my ever-churning stomach that if I named a character in one of my books Malus Kiepski I would not have gotten one foot out the door before someone called me out it. I digress. I am bitter.

Away from my tangent, I tread on. All I ever wanted was to be a god of writing. I wanted to be like Poseidon (C.S.Lewis). I wanted my words to flow like the placid touch of a wave in the summertime. I yearned to take my spear and pierce it into the hearts of my readers and watch as they fall to my feet full of bittersweet nostalgia. I wanted to be like Athena (Emily Dickenson). I wanted every word to be a careful design of architecture. Every word was a tactic, a move in the battle against my reader's inhibitions. No word or soldier would be used without purpose. I wanted to be Hermes (Mark Twain). I wanted to make my audience laugh so that they don't know I am changing them until it is too late.

Now I have come to the unfortunate and final conclusion. I am not one of the big three. I am not a well-known god or goddess. If anything, I am a mere mortal looking up at the greats, and dreaming about something that could be. However, if I had to be distantly related to any god or goddess (a demi-god of writing? Is that less vain?), I would be the daughter of Persephone. Thinking about it, being the person who disregarded everyone's warnings and rules, and ended up dragging herself down to hell for half of the year every year, does seem to hit the nail on the head when it comes to my writing style. I have a wonderful tendency to not listen to a word anyone says.

My teachers used to tell me I had run-on sentences; I would ask them where do they think it had run off to. I was terrible, and I should have paid more attention to where things go because now I am going on and on with an inconceivable lack of any rules in which I should follow. Anyhow, I am now out of writing ideas, and since I am lacking in the rules anyway, I am going to channel one of the greats. Exit, pursued by the gods.

*this was written for my creative writing class prior to Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them