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Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature


Scott Richardson


Irish mythology presents a world rich in the heroism of a warrior culture. Much like its Greek counterparts, however, it also possesses the intricate dimensions of the psyche. These dimensions surface clearly in the myths surrounding the Irish hero Cu Chulainn. For Cu Chulainn, a short but heroic life awaits him, and he charges into his fate like young children into Christmas presents. Yet, since he grasps the warrior ideals too tightly, he loses the ability to face other challenges in life with anything except force: especially the challenge presented in women. Similar to Greek mythology's Jason, Cu Chulainn refuses to respect women and their might. This ignorance leads Cu Chulainn to his inevitable downfall at the hands of the feminine force, just like Agamemnon at the hands of Clytemnestra. Through the examination of the symbols, the turbulence of Cu Chulainn's minds gleams out from behind its heroic mask.