Hera Essay

Hera was the queen of Olympus and the wife of Zeus. Hera was known as Hera Teleia (the married woman) because she presided over marriage ceremonies which took place in her temples, where brides asked Hera for help, and bridal chambers were decorated with her likenesses.

Hera also protected women during childbirth.(1) Hera was the protector of women and marriage because Hera was a goddess who kept women and marriage together. Hera was one of the few divinities worshipped by all Greeks.(2) Hera was also known as Hera Basilea (the queen) Hera Kyria (the lady), Hera Herkeios (protector of the home), Hera Hodegetria (she who shows the way), Hera Teleia ,(married woman).

Hera, Goddess of Marriage

Zeus entrusts Thetis to Hera’s care when he goes to fight in the Trojan War. Zeus felt that for his son, Achilles, to be raised properly, he needed a woman around him. He selected Hera because he knew she would raise his child well.(3) Hera was the goddess of marriage because Hera had power over all married women. Hera patronized all girls who were to be married and protected their transition from girlhood into adulthood. (4) Hera presided over the wedding ceremony, ensuring that the bride became a wife in every sense. Hera blessed bridal chambers with her presence and ensured marital happiness. (5)

Hera’s Charge to Women Hera passed on this charge to women through two myths. The first myth told how Hera taught young girls how to weave by means of the shuttle. She wanted them to learn how important it was for them never to weave crookedly or badly, or Zeus would take back their birthright as his wives. (6) This tells women that they must work hard at whatever they do, and Hera will make sure that they are rewarded for their efforts. Hera also gave a charge to women through a myth about how Hera helped Pandora, the first woman. (7)

Hera was angry at Zeus’s creation of the first woman because Greeks believed that if a woman was created then men would be outnumbered by women. (8) Hera never forgave Zeus for creating the First Woman. Hera set up an urn as an apparent wedding gift for her sister-in-law, Pandora with instructions from all the gods except Hera not opening it. Only Prometheus knew the secret of opening the jar so he warned his brother Epimetheus not to accept gifts from Zeus.(9)

He ignored his brother’s warning and brought home this urn that Hera had given. Hera’s plan for revenge was successful because when Pandora opened the jar, all evil contained in it escaped and spread throughout the world.(10) Hera eventually forgave Zeus for creating a woman so she set up an urn as a wedding gift for her sister-in-law Pandora. Hera gave Pandora a specific instruction not to open the jar but Hera didn’t give this same warning to Zeus. Hera wanted revenge on Zeus by getting back at him through his creation of a woman which angered Hera even though that woman was going to be married into their own family.

When Hera discovered that that jar must have been opened because nothing ever stayed closed, Hera got angry with Prometheus’ brother Epimetheus who accepted Hera’s present from Zeus without Hera’s permission. Hera was going to punish Pandora for opening the jar but Hera didn’t have a chance to find out what actually happened because all evil escaped from that jar and Hera can’t punish an empty jar or Pandora since Hera doesn’t know who opened the jar.

Hera had given orders not to accept any gifts from Zeus even though Zeus hadn’t been informed of Hera’s orders, Hera blamed Zeus for giving people free will which caused all of the world’s problems. Hera then set up a wedding gift for her new sister-in-law Pandora knowing that it contained all of the world’s evils.

Hera and Zeus had a lot of children together, and Hera has always been very protective of them. Hera was known as the patron Goddess of marriage, and she is known to be one or the most faithful wives in greek mythology. Hera is also said to be one of the most beautiful women in all Greece.

She is often described as wearing her long dark hair swept back in a knot at the nape of her neck, with translucent white silk wrapped around it. Hera wore this distinctive headdress because she was given a lock of Nereus’ [sea god] hair and promised not to ever unpin it unless someone proved useless to her. Hera’s symbols were:

– Lion

– Golden crown

– Scepter

– Peplos [a large piece of pleated style, hanging as clothing]

– Hera’s chariot drawn by peacocks. Hera was the protector and special counselor of marriage. Hera is according to some accounts, Zeus’ first wife. Hera is known to be a very jealous and vain goddess, and she often gets into arguments with him about who has more beautiful children and who rules Olympus better. Hera always wins these arguments though; because Zeus can’t bear to witness his beloved Hera crying.

Hera wasn’t only married to Zeus; Poseidon was married to her too – he however never won an argument against Hera like Zeus did, because Hera would make him feel bad about it for days on end if he tried anything funny. Hera is also the sister of Aphrodite, Ares, Apollo, Artemis, Dionysus, Eileithyia [goddess of childbirth], Hermes and Hephaestus. Hera’s children are:

– Ares

– Anteros

– Eileithyia

– Hebe

– Hephaestus

– Heracles [better known as Hercules]

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