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The Most Satisfying Revenge Stories In Greek Mythology

Updated April 19, 2019 5.1k votes 1.1k voters 99.1k views9 items

List RulesVote up the most satisfying stories of revenge from Greek mythology.

Greek mythology is full of stories about justice and vengeance. More often than not, the gods dealt with the transgressions of mere mortals by serving punishments that far outweighed the misdeeds. Hera's anger about her husband's illegitimate son, Hercules, for example, led her to send two snakes to destroy him (she didn't succeed). Still, there are a few satisfying revenge stories in Greek mythology.

The most justified punishments doled out by mythological characters are often a result of someone's extreme arrogance, infidelity, or attempt to eat their own children.

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    Artemis Turned The Peeping Actaeon Into A Stag

    Artemis Turned The Peeping Actaeon Into A Stag
    Photo: Anonymous / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Artemis, the Greek goddess of chastity, as well as the harvest, moon, and hunt, commonly sought revenge against various mortals who offended or disrespected her. Actaeon was one of those unlucky mortals. While out on a hunt, he unintentionally became a victim of one of Artemis's revenge plots.

    The young man came upon the goddess bathing and took a peek. Artemis, angered at being exposed against her will, turned the man into a stag. Actaeon was then hunted by his own dogs.

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    Poseidon Delayed Odysseus's Voyage After He Blinded The God's Son

    Poseidon Delayed Odysseus's Voyage After He Blinded The God's Son
    Photo: Arnold Böcklin / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    In Homer's Odyssey, Poseidon sought revenge against Odysseus for blinding the sea god's cyclops son, Polyphemus. When Poseidon learned Odysseus had tricked and blinded Polyphemus, he decided to make Odysseus and his men's journey home as arduous and challenging as possible.

    The trip stretched for years on end and, at one point, their ship got ruined.

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    Antigone Disobeyed Her Uncle Out Of Respect For Her Brother

    Antigone Disobeyed Her Uncle Out Of Respect For Her Brother
    Photo: Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    In Sophocles's play Antigone, the titular protagonist seeks to provide her brother Polyneices's body with a proper burial. Her uncle Creon, the ruler of Thebes, wishes for the rebel brother to be shamed and left to rot. In secret, Antigone gives her brother a proper burial, but she gets caught and brought to Creon.

    Antigone tells her uncle she has acted morally and, before she can be buried alive in a cave, she takes her own life. Creon loses his entire family as a result of his arrogance. 

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  • 8

    The Furies Chased Orestes For Slaying His Mother

    The Furies Chased Orestes For Slaying His Mother
    Photo: Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Orestes was only a child when his father Agamemnon went off to the Trojan conflict. Before he left, Agamemnon sacrificed his young daughter, Iphigenia, to the goddess Artemis to gain favorable winds to take his ship to Troy.

    In her husband's absence, Agamemnon's wife, Clytemnestra, took a lover named Aegisthus. When Agamemnon returned, Clytemnestra and her lover slew him and seized the throne. When Orestes grew up, he took his revenge by offing his mother and Aegisthus.

    Some stories praised Orestes for the act, while others claimed the female spirits of justice, the Furies, chased him until Apollo and Athena called them off. 

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