Why are these two gods the only passionate lasting truly romantic lovers in all of Greek and Roman mythology?
Why was Ares the true love of the Goddess of Love? Bloodthirsty Ares, Ares the destroyer, despised Ares, Ares god of war. Ares hated by Olympians, distrusted by all except Aphrodite. Why? Good Male Passion.
He was not considered the strongest god — even Aphrodite’s legal husband Hephaestus, patron of blacksmiths, might have been stronger. Most gods were physically fit: Apollo beat Ares at Olympic boxing; the physically strongest was Hercules. Ares is never portrayed as a hulking giant.
Rape is a constant theme in mythology. Isn’t it strange there is not a single attribution of non-consensual sex to him. That is important. It is exceptionally unusual. Character defining.
The friends of Ares with whom he walks through Thracian woods deep in thought are Themis, the personification of Divine Law, and Dike, the personification of Justice and Fair Judgement.
There are other names for this misunderstood archetype — portraits now forgotten in popular culture: Leader of Righteous Men, Defender of Cities, Father of Victory, Ally of Divine Law, Friend of Justice. Bold Ares. Courageous Ares. Loyal, Trustworthy Righteous Indignation Incarnate.
Prayers to Ares ask for help avoiding the folly of personal hubris and blind arrogance, weaknesses attributed to this archetype. Ares was expected to marry Aphrodite. In mythology Zeus offered her to anyone able to open her cage. Ares’ over-confident raw passion failed, rendering Aphrodite and Ares heart-broken; the cunning inventions of Hephaestus, blacksmith to the gods, won her legal marriage.
These personifications of Male and Female passion nevertheless had six children: Harmonia, Eros, Phobos, Demos (Dread), Adrestia (Revenge), and Anteros (Requited Love). They continued their love despite her husband.
I am fascinated by this undomesticated hero, this bane of tyrants, leader of rebels, maker of civil unrest. I am also disgusted this personality-type which once served as an ancient noble role-model has been blasphemed as bloodthirsty, impetuous, and unkind.
Ares personifies the difference between a Good Man and a sycophantic Nice Guy. The former stands up for brutal virtues, leading to depth of character, responsibility, and passion-filled life purpose; the later submits to whims, purposes of others — everything: his soul, his heart, his goals, his love…always approachable, endlessly patient, a polite woman with ED. (It’s interesting the sister of Ares, Athena, goddess of wealth, wisdom, strategic warfare — is a virgin.)
Aphrodite loved Ares. His person, spirit, sense of self. In Strong Hearted Ares she met a man with a beautiful mission unswayed. Ares could speak to the most irresistible goddess as a person. He could care for her interests apart from his physical desire. Ares’ strength was to see her beauty while retaining his. Upon Aphrodite other gods fawned, lost composure, flattered and grasped. They became meek and mild: pristine, clean, smooth, soft, unscarred, flatterers — dishonest hypocrites. Pleasant. Unconfrontational.
In Ares, Aphrodite found the archetypical male, a man pursuing his own righteous interests. She found a friend who would place her “inside the shield,” someone who would stand up for and protect her, but also tell her the truth, encourage her potential, and withstand shallow pleas and supplications. Aphrodite found a friend. Ares Gravitas. A companion. Theirs was true love.
Friends of Ares:
Children with Aphrodite:
To isolate and pinpoint factors that contribute to the “magic” of Rembrandt’s portraits, computer-rendering programs were used to recreate four of the artist’s most famous portraits. Replicating Rembrandt’s techniques, scientists placed a sharper focus on specific areas of each model’s face, such as the eyes.
Working with a team from the Vision Lab in UBC’s Department of Psychology, Dr. DiPaola tracked viewers’ eye movements while they examined the original photographs and the Rembrandt-like portraits.
“When viewing the Rembrandt-like portraits, viewers fixated on the detailed eye faster and stayed there for longer periods of time, resulting in calmer eye movements,” DiPaola said. “The transition from sharp to blurry edges, known as ‘lost and found edges,’ also directed the viewers’ eyes around the portrait in a sort of narrative.”
The study is the first to scientifically verify the impact of these “eye-guiding” techniques on viewers and to attribute its origin to Rembrandt. Viewers also preferred portraits with this “eye-guiding narrative” to the original photographs with uniform details across the tableau.
First, the most obvious argument for Ellie: she exists as a proven character created by artists still working together at the most successful animation studio in the frickin’ universe, Pixar. She would be hard to screw up. Second: Ellie radiates virtues and passions difficult for any of us to evoke whatever our gender, age, or calling; she can show humanity worldwide how to make everyday life fun, meaningful, and authentic — while being entertaining and adorable.
This is especially important when independent, expressive, ambitious young girls, women, and the men who adore them (and who are made stronger by them) are under attack so explicitly on cultural — not economic — fronts, worldwide. As bizarre as it may be, we share a world with fathers who pay physicians to cut the clitori off their daughters — at a rate of over 2 million girls every year; amazingly, we are also sharing our God-forsaken planet with parents who kill — solely because their children are girls — nearly 100 million Ellies before they are born every year. Neither of these direct assaults against female humans are due to economic reasons. How is this possible? These attacks are motivated by ideas which can be changed for free — at no cost — even while temporarily psychotic minds undergoing change pay to be altered and entertained.
Then there are the glass ceilings of our open-air global madhouse: the incompetent uneducated men throughout the world who are somehow dependent upon women to calculate, translate and basically transact everyday business for the companies these men supposedly manage.
Dowries, arranged marriages, veils, chadors, mandatory headscarfs, required overcoats, full body swimsuits, hajibs, niqabs and God knows what else to hide and sequester feminine beauty — round off this cultural attack on all humanity. We do not need to make societies wealthier to change these ideas. We can change expectations by teaching lifestyles embodied in entertaining, fun, endearing characters everyone wants to watch everywhere.
Pixar could run with this opportunity as quickly and as far as Ellie’s spirit will take them — with little risk, with the virtual assurance of profitable accolades, and, with the satisfaction of having woven deeply into our global social fabric the most important female spirit thus far recognized. She does not need to be a freckled red-headed cartoon, either; Ellie’s spirit could be embodied in an animated caterpillar, carrot, or gigantic monster — who can imagine what: with a vibrant sense of self-respect, a fun uninhibited exuberant drive for self-expression, and an uncompromising straightforward sense of oneself as a unique female person.
The following are comments by National Public Radio’s Linda Holmes about Ellie from an article titled “Dear Pixar, From All The Girls With Band-Aids On Their Knees“:
“Please make a movie about a girl who is not a princess […] Of the ten movies you’ve released so far, ten of them have central characters who are boys or men, or who are anthropomorphized animals or robots or bugs who are voiced by and imagined as boys or men. […] And Up…oh, Up has Ellie, who I could have watched forever. Seen only in flashbacks to the main story, Ellie is warm and hilarious, ambitious and fearless, and then gone for most of the movie. She provides the engine for the story, in many ways, but it’s an old man and a little boy who actually get to hit the gas.”
Congratulations to Peter Docter, Bob Peterson, Ronnie del Carmen and the entire Pixar story crew for boarding such a precious positive role model.
O Ellie, Ellie! Wherefore art thou!!!!!!!!!!