Magic is something we’ve all seen in Disney movies and have heard of in fairytales. There is no doubt that I sometimes think that life would be much more easier with magic at our disposal then going through a struggle. Unfortunately such a force does not exist. However In antiquity, people were constantly using magic to manipulate nature for their benefit. This is done because humanity as a whole is constantly trying to become masters of every situation they find themselves in.
In the Greek mythology we hear countless stories in which some kind of magic is used to control nature. In the story of Orpheus and the Underworld, we have a musician named Orpheus who is such a great musician that trees would uproot themselves and follow him. He was so good that he even convinced death to bring back someone from the dead, as long as he followed Hades’s terms. The theme of using magic to manipulate nature can also be seen in works such as the Odyssey. In the Odyssey, Odysseus and his men had found themselves in the land of lotus eaters. It was in this strange land where Odysseus’s men mingled with some of the locals and began eating lotus plants the land had to offer. Little did they know that these plants were magical and forced anyone who ate them to become attached to the land and cause the victims to never want to leave.
With such a heavy of influence of magic in classical antiquity, it comes to no surprise that people would actually try it out in real life. People actually tried concocting potions and elixirs that could cause someone to “fall in love” or whatever the person was trying to invoke in the victim. Its interesting to see the lengths at which people go to in order to get what they want. Seeing how antiquity relies upon magic to control situations that are out of control of man further shows how humanity is constantly trying to control its surroundings to come up on top. Love was a popular place for people to turn toward magic for help. The people in antiquity viewed love in a completely different way than we do now. Back then they viewed love as something lustful, very sexual, and erotic. With such an intense view on love, it is difficult for one to be sane if events don’t turn out well for both parties. Even in our world today, living with a broken heart is difficult for one to live with. With this in mind, it makes sense for people back then to rely on magic for love because if it doesn’t work out, then it is easy to blame the magic for not working properly. This is much less painful than looking introspectively and trying to cope with a failed relationship. Love is just another force of nature. Nature is just art. Art is just an expression of a feeling. However, the thing about art is that it doesn’t always have to be beautiful, it just needs to make you feel something. This is why people in antiquity tried to control nature with magic because they don’t understand it, but they wanted to.