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THE ANCIENT MYTH OF SISYPHUS
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Sisyphus.

When someone has a repetitive task that must be completed, it’s often referred to as a Sisyphean task. This dates back to the story of Sisyphus and his seemingly meaningless chore.

Sisyphus was the king of Corinth and he was most known for being very deceitful and vicious. He often killed the visitors that came to his country and it’s said that he enjoyed killing them, as it would secure his place as king. Sisyphus was responsible for many wrongdoings including seducing his niece, stealing his brother’s throne, and telling of Zeus’ secrets. The biggest secret of Zeus’ that he told was of the time that Zeus abused Aegina, the daughter of the river god, Asopus.

Zeus was enraged that Sisyphus would tell of his secrets and so he ordered Hades to take Sisyphus prisoner in the underworld Tartarus. But being so sly, Sisyphus had a plan of his own. As he was about to be chained, he pretended to be fascinated with the contraptions, Sisyphus asked Thanatos, the god of death, to show him how the handcuffs worked. Thanatos tried the handcuffs on and Sisyphus took him and placed him in his closet.

This placed the entire universe out of balance, as there would be no deaths until Thanatos was set free. Ares, the son of Zeus, needed to eventually free Thanatos from Sisyphus and Sisyphus was sent to Tartarus. Before his death, Sisyphus told his wife not to offer the usual sacrifice that was traditional upon any deaths. After he was sent to Tartarus, he told the Queen of the Underworld, Persephone that his wife was not carrying out her obligations. He asked her if he could be permitted to travel back up to the upper world to ask his wife to carry out her obligations. Persephone allowed this and Sisyphus returned.

However, Sisyphus would not return to the Underworld once he had gone back to the upper world. He eventually needed to be returned by Hermes. His sins were not to go unpunished. The gods were angry that he had tricked them and for this, Zeus punished him to a life of frustration. Sisyphus was condemned to live a life forever trying to push a boulder to the top of a hill. Every time he neared the top, the boulder would roll back down and Sisyphus would need to start over again.


Sisyphus mythology.

 The myth of Sisyphus.

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