[NEW] A Summary and Analysis of the Myth of Sisyphus | the myth of sisyphus – Pickpeup

the myth of sisyphus: คุณกำลังดูกระทู้

The poster-boy of existentialism, Sisyphus has become associated with laborious and pointless tasks, because he was condemned to roll a boulder up a hill, only for the boulder to roll back down to the bottom just as he was about to complete the task. He was thus doomed to repeat this action forever.

However, there’s a lot more to the story of Sisyphus than this snapshot, so let’s take a closer look at the Sisyphus myth, who he was, and why he was so important to ancient Greek civilisation.

Summary of the Sisyphus myth

Although he’s best-known now for rolling a stone up a hill, Sisyphus did lots before he was doomed to repeat that (literal) uphill struggle. He was the mythical founder of the city-state of Corinth (called Ephyra at the time) and was viewed as the successor to Medea – she of the doomed relationship with Jason, of Argonauts fame. He was also credited with founding the Isthmian games, which were held both the year before and the year after the Olympic Games (the second and fourth years of an Olympiad), from around 582 BC (nearly two centuries after the first Olympic games were held).

Sisyphus is credited with siring, among others, Glaucus, Bellerophon, and even – in one version – wily Odysseus himself. The story goes that Autolycus had stolen Sisyphus’ flock, but Sisyphus, viewed by many as the most cunning of all men, had taken the precaution of branding his name onto his animals, so he could prove the stolen flock was his. Autolycus’ daughter Anticleia was due to marry Laertes the next day after this thwarted act of farmyard theft took place, and Sisyphus, to get his revenge, slipped into Anticleia’s bed the night before her wedding and seduced her. She conceived Odysseus as a result.

But because Autolycus was impressed by Sisyphus’ cleverness, he happily gave up his daughter to Sisyphus, because he wanted to have a wily and quick-thinking grandson. Odysseus certainly grew up to be just that, as Homer’s Odyssey attests. Laertes, in this version of the Odysseus’ story, wasn’t Odysseus’ biological father, then.

But how did Sisyphus end up being condemned to roll a boulder up a hill, for all eternity? That, too, depends on which version of the myth you read.

For instance, according to one account, Sisyphus ended up rolling that rock uphill because he snitched on Zeus during one of the god’s various acts of abduction involving young and beautiful women. When Zeus made off with Aegina, Sisyphus saw him. Aegina’s father, Asopus, found out that Sisyphus had witnessed it and he asked Sisyphus to tell him who had took his daughter. Sisyphus, ever the wily man, made him a deal: he’d tell Asopus who had made off with his daughter if Asopus made a spring gush onto the citadel of Corinth. Asopus agreed to this, and Sisyphus dropped Zeus right in it.

Zeus, whose short temper was as legendary as his penchant for running off with maidens, wasn’t too happy about Sisyphus dobbing him in like this, so he struck Sisyphus down with a thunderbolt. Transported to the Underworld, Sisyphus was condemned to roll a boulder up a hill, for all eternity.

Homer, however, tells the story quite differently. Here, Sisyphus’ ‘crime’ was refusing to die when the gods decreed it. So, Zeus sent Thanatos, the spirit of Death, to carry the stubborn Sisyphus off to the Underworld. But Zeus had underestimated how wily Sisyphus was, and Sisyphus was waiting for Thanatos when he arrived, chained up this deathly agent, and in doing so, suspended death across all of the world. With Thanatos in captivity, nobody – including Sisyphus himself – could die.

But you cannot cheat death forever, and Sisyphus was forced, by Zeus, to unchain Thanatos so that the daily business of death could resume.

Unfortunately for Sisyphus, his name was first on the list.

But once again, Sisyphus tricked his way out of it. He hatched a plan with his wife, telling her that when they carried him off to the Underworld, she shouldn’t observe the funeral rites usually accorded a dead person. When Sisyphus arrived before Hades in the Underworld, he complained that his wife had refused to honour him when he died, and Hades agreed to let him go back and chastise his rude widow. The trick worked, and Sisyphus somehow got away with living for many more years.

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When he did eventually die, the gods made sure he couldn’t trick his way out of the Underworld again, by setting him the endless task with which he is now so closely associated: rolling that massive rock forever up a hill, only to find – when he reached the top of the hill – that the rock rolled all the way back down to the bottom and he had to start all over again.

Analysis of the Sisyphus myth

Not all Greek myths have a ‘moral’ as such, but it’s clear, when we look at a fuller summary of the story (or stories) of Sisyphus, that his punishment – rolling that rock endlessly up a hill – was contrived by the gods in response to Sisyphus’ legendary craftiness and cunning. You really can be too clever for your own good: Sisyphus was.

The story of Sisyphus is so well-known in modern times thanks to Albert Camus, whose essay ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ (1942) is an important text about the absurdity of modern life (although it’s often described as being ‘Existentialist’, Camus’ essay is actually closer to Absurdism). For Camus, Sisyphus is the poster-boy for Absurdism, because he values life over death and wishes to enjoy his existence as much as possible, but is instead thwarted in his aims by being condemned to carry out a repetitive and pointless task. Such is the life of modern man: condemned to perform the same futile daily rituals every day, working without fulfilment, with no point or purpose to much of what he does.

However, for Camus – and again, this part is generally misunderstood by people who haven’t read Camus’ essay but only heard about its ‘argument’ at second hand – there is something positive in Sisyphus’ condition, or rather his approach to his rather gloomy fate. When Sisyphus sees the stone rolling back down the hill and has to march back down after it, knowing he will have to begin the same process all over again, Camus suggests that Sisyphus would come to realise the absurd truth of his plight, and treat it with appropriate scorn. In a sense, he is ‘free’: not from having to perform the task, but from performing it unquestioningly or in the vain hope that it will end. He has liberated his own mind by confronting the absurdity of his situation, and can view it with the appropriate contempt and good humour. As the old line has it, ‘you have to laugh …’

Of course, the Greek gods were capricious, and weren’t always justified when meting out their punishments to mortals, but Sisyphus’ determination to cheat death is obviously doomed to failure, in the long run. Indeed, the ancient Greeks knew, as every civilisation worthy of the name has known, that death is an inevitable and even desirable part of life: for people to live forever would be unbearable, a hell on earth, with no room being made for the next generation. In all the various versions of the myth of Sisyphus, he is not merely cunning (a quality we can applaud), but self-interested.

He sleeps with Laertes’ bride-to-be as revenge for Autolycus’ attempted theft of his flock, and, one suspects, because he fancied the girl himself. He dropped Zeus in it with Asopus, not because he believed it the morally right thing to do, but because there was something in it for him. And he tried to cheat death because he didn’t want to face his own end. We might admire Sisyphus for his quick-thinking skills and his guile, but what makes him a compelling Greek ‘hero’ – if we can use that word of him – is his selfish streak that makes him flawed, and, therefore, more human to us.

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About Greek mythology

The Greek myths are over two thousand years old – and perhaps, in their earliest forms, much older – and yet many stories from Greek mythology, and phrases derived from those stories, are part of our everyday speech. So we describe somebody’s weakness as their Achilles heel, or we talk about the dangers of opening up Pandora’s box. We describe a challenging undertaking as a Herculean task, and speak of somebody who enjoys great success as having the Midas touch.

However, as this last example shows, we often employ these myths in ways which run quite contrary to the moral messages the original myths impart. The moral of King Midas, of course, was not that he was famed for his wealth and success, but that his greed for gold was his undoing: the story, if anything, is a warning about the dangers of corruption that money and riches can bring. (Or, as the Bible bluntly puts it, the love of money is the root of all evil.)

Similarly, Narcissus, in another famous Greek myth, actually shunned other people before he fell in love with his own reflection, and yet we still talk of someone who is obsessed with their own importance and appearance as being narcissistic. And as William Empson pointed out about the myth of Oedipus, whatever Oedipus’ problem was, it wasn’t an ‘Oedipus complex’ in the Freudian sense of that phrase, because the mythical Oedipus was unaware that he had married his own mother (rather than being attracted to her in full knowledge of who she was).

And this points up an important fact about the Greek myths, which is that, like Aesop’s fables which date from a similar time and also have their roots in classical Greek culture, many of these stories evolved as moral fables or tales designed to warn Greek citizens of the dangers of hubris, greed, lust, or some other sin or characteristic. The messages they impart are therefore timeless and universal, and this helps to explain why, more than two millennia after they were first written down, they remain such an important influence on Western culture.

Image: by Carole Raddato, via Wikimedia Commons.

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[MV] 에일리(AILEE) – ‘My Last Love (In Paradisum)’ 〈시지프스 : the myth〉 OST Part.3 ♪ | JTBC 210311 방송


[MV] 에일리(AILEE) ‘My Last Love (In Paradisum)’ 〈시지프스 : the myth〉 OST Part.3 ♪
시지프스 에일리 MyLastLove

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[MV] 에일리(AILEE) - ‘My Last Love (In Paradisum)’ 〈시지프스 : the myth〉 OST Part.3 ♪ | JTBC 210311 방송

The Myth of Sisyphus | Albert Camus


The Myth of Sisyphus is a philosophical essay by Albert Camus and is considered as one of the most popular existentialist works of the 20th century. It gave rise to the philosophy of Absurdism, sharing some concepts with Existentialism and Nihilism.
The fundamental concern of the book is the notion of the Absurd, which is best described as “the conflict between the human tendency to seek inherent value and meaning in life, and the human inability to find any in a purposeless, meaningless, and irrational universe.”
Camus draws from the absurd three consequences: revolt (we must not accept any answer or reconciliation in our struggle), freedom (we are absolutely free to think and behave as we choose), and passion (we must pursue a life of rich and diverse experiences).
The Myth of Sisyphus explores the value of life in a world devoid of religious meaning. His work can be seen as a reply to Dostoevsky and Kierkegaard.
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2:43 The Problem of Suicide
5:30 Revolt
6:52 The Absurdity of Existence \u0026 The Myth of Sisyphus
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The Myth of Sisyphus | Albert Camus

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ANALYZING Sisyphus The Myth K-Drama | ENDING EXPLAINED


In this video, I compare the time travel theories in this Korean drama to other scifi shows, speculate the story from a timeline we don’t see, and expand on the ending regarding Han Taesul and Kang Seohae’s fate.
Table of Contents
00:00 Intro
00:39 Popular Fictional Time Travel Theories
02:25 Three Different Timelines
02:49 Flickering Theory
04:43 Catalyst Theory
05:19 Sisyphus According to Kang Seohae
10:35 Sisyphus According to Sigma
13:08 What Are Each Character’s Catalyst?
15:50 Sisyphus According to Han Taesan
18:21 The ENDING Explained
19:43 Themes and Conclusion

ANALYZING Sisyphus The Myth K-Drama | ENDING EXPLAINED

[ENG] Sisyphus: The Myth (2021)ㅣK-Drama Trailersㅣ1ㅣCho Seung-Woo x Park Shin-Hye’s Fantasy Mystery


KDrama: Sisyphus: The Myth (시지프스)
Genre: Fantasy Mystery Drama
Release Date: February, 2021
Runtime: Wed \u0026 Thu, 21:00
No. of Episodes: N/A
Translation by Kmoovy
Network: JTBC Drama
Director: Jin Hyeok
Writer: Lee JeIn, Jeon ChanHo
Starring: Cho SeungWoo, Park ShinHye, Sung DongIl, Tae InHo, Lee JaeWon, Lee JuMi, Jeong HyunJun, Seo YiSoo
Sisyphusthemyth Sisyphuskdrama Sisyphusparkshinhye
Synopsis by Asian Wiki: A time travel story between a genius engineer Han TaeSool (Cho SeungWoo) and his savior from the future Kang SeoHae (Park ShinHye).
Han TaeSool is a genius engineer and the cofounder of Quantum and Time Company. He is handsome and he produces innovative results. Thanks to his efforts, Quantum and Time has become a worldclass enterprise. He is known as a miracle worker and a hero in Korea, but reality is a little different. After his older brother’s death 10 years ago, he has exhibited eccentric behavior. The company’s stock price has fluctuated accordingly. One day, Han TaeSool learns of an unreliable truth behind his brother’s death. His dangerous journey begins.
Kang SeoHae is an elite warrior. She can take down the biggest men with just her bare hands. She is also a sharpshooter and able to make bombs. She learned these skills to survive in a world that is dominated by gangsters and military cliques. One day, after a long and dangerous journey, she comes to Han TaeSool to save him.
KDrama Articles on \”Sisyphus: The Myth\”
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https://www.soompi.com/article/1445009wpp/watchchoseungwooandparkshinhyejoinhandstosavetheworldinteaserforsisyphusthemyth
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[ENG] Sisyphus: The Myth (2021)ㅣK-Drama Trailersㅣ1ㅣCho Seung-Woo x Park Shin-Hye's Fantasy Mystery

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