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Transcript of Sisyphus
The story of Sisyphus is a story of a man who tried to cheat death. All versions of the story tell that he was a king of a region called Ephyra. He was known as the craftiest men from Homer and onward.
In life Sisyphus promoted things like navigation and commerce, but he was truly cruel and killed many travelers and guests. Therefore violating laws set forth by Zeus. He greatly enjoyed killing these people because it allowed him to show his power as a ruler. He even plotted against his brother by seducing his daughter and having her murder him for Sisyphus. He even reviled one of Zeus secrets by reviling the secret location of the river gods daughter.
Angry with Sisyphus Zeus sends Thanatos a personification of death to chain Sisyphus up in Tartrus. But Sisyphus outwits him and Thanatos is trapped there for no one can die. This angers Ares because his wars are no longer interesting because no one is dying. Ares then finds Thanatos and frees him. Hermes is then sent to capture Sisyphus and bring him to Hades.
In another version of the story, it is Hades who is tricked and captured. There for no one could die and sacrifices to the gods could not be completed. The Gods grew angry and demanded the release of Hades.
Sisyphus had no intentions of staying trapped in Hades and came up with a plan to escape. He had his wife give his a disrespectful burial and begged Persephone to go back and scold his wife to which she agrees. Except he never comes back and is brought back forcibly by Hermes.
Sisyphus Escapes Hades
As a punishment for his crimes Sisyphus is forced to push a large boulder up a steep hill everyday only to have his days work tumble back down and he must start again, he suffers this fate for all eternity.
References and Art
One of the first things that pop up when you search Sisyphus is the name Albert Camus who believes that Sisyphus is an absurd hero.
Titan painted the portrait of Sisyphus shown here.