Friday 7 August 2009

Sisyphus: a tale of greed and punishment

I opened a page at random in my Dictionary of Classical Mythology to find The Bad Witch's God of the Week. But instead of turning to a god, I found Sisyphus, mythical King of Corinth, the archetypal greedy trickster.

According to the book:
"He promoted navigation and commerce but was fraudulent and avaricious. For his wickedness, he was severely punished in the lower world, being obliged to roll a heavy stone to the top of a hill, on reaching which it would roll back down again, thus rendering his punishment eternal."

In a week of news that Wall Street and Square Mile bankers and traders bailed out by Governments have been awarded huge bonuses, that is perhaps a story worth telling.

I do hope the banks have learnt their lesson but, just in case they haven't, perhaps we should get some huge stones ready so next time the punishment for greed can be a little bit more eternal.

Dictionary of Classical Mythology (Brockhampton Reference Series (Art & Science))

No comments: