The Myth Of Sisyphus: Revealing Of Human Nature

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The myth of Sisyphus is about a king who confronted the gods and chained Death, so no one could die. After Death was freed and it was time for Sisyphus to die, he escaped from the underworld. When the gods eventually caught him, they sentenced him to an eternal ounishement. Sispyphus had to push a boulder up a mountain, but when he reached the top, the boulder fell down the other side, and Sisyphus had to start again. Camus desribes Sisyphus as the ‘absurd hero’, someone who is able to acknowledge the truth and accept the freedom it gives him. Living in a place with no real meaning, Sisyphus is able to create meaning and reason for his actions and therfore feel joy.

We can compare this myth to ‘The Allegory of the Cave’ by Plato. This theory identifies the people who see the truth and the people who think empirical evidence is the truth. There are three prisoners in a cave who have been there for their whole lives. They are bound in such a way that they are unable to move their legs, arms or heads. They are placed in front of a fire and are looking ahead at a wall. Behind them people are walking in front of the fire carrying objects like animals and plants. These prisoners think that the shadows cast on the wall are the ‘real’ objects, since they have never seen the objects. Plato implies that they start a guessing game of what object comes next, and if a prisoner guesses correctly, they are praised and names a ‘master of nature’. One day, a prisoner manages to escape the jail and discovers the outside world. He is shocked and amazed at how wrong his view of reality was. He recognizes that his old life and the game he played was useless. The prisoner returns to the cave so he can free his friends and show them the world. They don’t belive him and say they will kill him if he sets the prisoners free. The parable shows how people are wary of change, and fear the unknown.

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Both of these parables are ways of explaining human nature, and they depict the same concept that without thinking and change, people think less and become ignorant. The myth of Sisyphus is more relatable to us in a school or work environment. Each day we try our hardest to do something with the knowledge that we will have to do the same thing the next day, and the one after that. We are somehow able to create a reason to do these repetitive tasks and still find joy in completing them. 


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