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Apollo and Dionysus Dichotomy in Greek Mythology

            Dionysus and Apollo are two Greek gods who, when studied and compared today, strongly highlight Greek and sometimes non-Greek ideals. They each play a specific role within the hierarchy of Olympus and have different things associated with each of them. Despite their subtle similarities, one may view the god Apollo as nearly a direct antithesis of Dionysus1 as they represent contrasting qualities and principles to the Greeks and even reflect differing concepts of human psyche, as portrayed explicitly in the myths themselves or teased out through interpretation using allegory. .
             The two gods do share some qualities in common: they are both offspring of Zeus and they share their father's will power and creative drive. Also both are born under difficult circumstances. Apollo's mother, Leto, have wandered far to find somewhere to give birth but no place would accept her for fear of offending Hera until she finally came to the desolate land of Delos, "an island that is rocky and barren," 2 who accepted the goddess and was promised that Apollo, "will build{there] his original, gorgeously beautiful temple to be a famous oracular shrine for mankind," 3. Semele, a mortal and also one of Zeus' mistresses who mothered Dionysus, could also not escape the jealousy of Hera. Disguised as a an old lady, Hera persuaded her into asking Zeus to reveal his true divine form and as a result, she was burned by the extreme radiance of the god of lightning. Zeus rescued Semele's unborn baby and "enclosed him in the recess of his thigh," and from him, the bull-horne god" was born.4.
             Both Apollo and Dionysus gods established cults; they had a number of followers and demanded they be worshipped. Apart from hi sacred homeland Delos, Apollo also laid out his sanctuary at Crisa, under the snowcapped mountain of Parnassus and recruited Cretans as his priests "to serve as guard of his temple and welcome the nations of mankind gathered together at Delphi.

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