SparkNotes Blog

The 10 Most Brutal Punishments in Greek Mythology, Ranked

In Greek mythology, the punishment hardly ever fits the crime. It would be like your mom punishing you for stealing a cookie from the cookie jar by chucking you into an active volcano. Not everyone in Greek mythology is innocent, of course, but a lot of them are guilty of nothing more than greed, hubris, and throwing up a middle finger in the general direction of the gods. You’d think a stern talking-to would be sufficient.

For me personally, the worst part of being punished by the gods would be the idea that Athena thinks less of me. But this isn’t about me or my compulsive need to be liked by virtually everyone. No, this is about the shockingly over-the-top punishments those wacky Greek gods were always dishing out. Here are ten of those punishments, ranked from “not so bad, comparatively” to “the stuff of nightmares.”