Who is a contemporary person who would be Zeus' counterpart today?Who is a contemporary person who would be Zeus' counterpart today?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is going to be difficult.  It's challenging to identify a person who would be Zeus' counterpart in the modern setting.  Part of this is because the comparison does not work well if one is comparing mortals and immortals.  Zeus was able to do what he did, carry himself in the manner he did, and demonstrate what he did because he was immortal.  He was an Olympian.  Who would challenge him?  He killed his father and usurped his position as authority figure.  To put this in context, when Oedipus does this same thing, he ends up sowing the seeds of his own destruction.  This contrast highlights how difficult it is for a mortal to be considered the same as an immortal.  It also brings to light that while the gods might behave as humans in their demeanor, it is their blessing (or curse) to always have immortality as the ultimate trump card to escape any judgment or harshness.  When humans do this, they suffer irreparable damage.  The hubris demonstrated by the Gods is because they are Gods.  When humans do the same, they swiftly are punished by fate, design, or divine ego.  In the end, this is why it is so very difficult to find a person who would be the counterpart to Zeus or any God.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I must admit the first time I saw this my immediate thought was Arnold Schwarznegger, but perhaps not... :-) I think #3 makes a number of excellent points about the characteristics of Zeus - he clearly needs to be an important public figure but someone who is not afraid to show us how petulant they are when things don't go their way. He was also of course a serial adulterer, much to Hera's disgust. I can't think of anyone who fits all of these categories however whose name I can put in print without getting sued....

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is a certain mundane immortality--if you will pardon the oxymoron--to Donald Trump who has made fortunes, lost fortunes, made fortunes, lost fortunes, made fortunes.  Indeed, he is never afraid of any situation and displays great petulance, often enjoying his angry encounters with those he obviously considered inferior beings such as Rosie O'Donnell and Joan Rivers.  Having survived financial disasters and disastrous marriages, "The Donald" continues to reinvent himself--very godlike.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Aside from the basic issue of immortality and mortality, there are several characteristics of Zeus which could be applied to contemporary people.  He may have been chief of all gods, but Zeus was also arrogant, a philanderer, and rather petty. He got angry when things didn't go his way, and he came down from his Olympus perch when the mood (or the girl) tempted him.  I don't have any one contemporary person in mind, but there surely are some who fit the bill.