The myth of Sisyphus is a very famous Greek myth. In this myth Sisyphus was punished for his cunningness and betrayal by God King Zeus. King Sisyphus did not like to do anything that would not bear him result. So, Zeus gave him a duty for eternity. He had to push a big rock up the hill and on reaching the top the rock would slide down and he would again have to push it up. He was punished with this futile action for eternity.


The myth of Sisyphus is a greek myth. Sisyphus founded the kingdom of Corinth. He was the son of Aeolus of Thessaly. He was the brother of Salmoneus and the father of Glaucus, Ornytion, Almus and Thersander. Sisyphus promoted trade and commerce but his means were full of deceit and greed. He killed several guests and travellers as a symbol of his supremacy and decree. With this act he violated Xenia that brought him the wrath of Zeus.

Sisyphus and his brother Salmoneus were daggers drawn. Sisyphua was a very witty person. He consulted with the oracle of Delphi and cold bloodedly planned the murder of his brother Salmoneus. His plan had two motives; firstly, to kill Salmoneus and secondly, to kill him in such a way that no one would hold him responsible for Salmoneus murder.

Sisyphus seduced Tyro, Salmoneus daughter but when she found out that she and her children were only a pawn for Sisyphus to kill Salmoneus she slay the children she bore him.

Sisyphus also betrayed Zeus by revealing the secrets of the location of Aegina to her father, Asopus, the river God in exchange of letting spring flow in Corinthian Acropolis. This enraged Zeus. Zeus ordered Thanos, the God of Death to chain Sisyphus to Tarturus. Sisyphus wandered why Hermis had not come. On this occasion, Sisyphus shrewdly asked Thanos to show him the mechanism of the chain. While Thanos was granting Sisyphus his last wish Sisyphus grabbed the opportunity to cease Thanos and tie him up instead. As long as Thanos was tied up no one on earth could die. This infuriated Ares as if in the battle no one died, the battle would lose its meaning. Furious Ares intervened and let Thanos loose. He handed Sisyphus over to Thanos as well.

Another version says, Hades was sent to chain Sisyphus but he himself got chained. So, nobody could die, not even the old and suffering. Even the sacrifices could not be made to Gods.seeing the tyranny of Sisyphus the Gods warned him to let Hades go or else they would make Sisyphus’s life so pathetic that he would wish for death day and night. This threat worked and Sisyphus let Hades free.

Sisyphus told his wife before his death to throw his naked body in a public square as a test of her love. As a result of this his soul could not find peace and ended up on the backs of river Styx. There he complained to Persephone that his wife was trying to insult him and so he wanted to come back.

The trick worked on Persephone and Sisyphus was allowed to come up and instruct his wife to give him a proper burial.

But Sisyphus refused to return to the underworld so, Hermes came and dragged him down.

As a punishment for his trickery Sisyphus was punished. For eternity he had to push up a huge rock to the top of a vertically sharp hill and on reaching the top it would roll down. This exasperating punishment was given to Sisyphus for he believed his wit could deceive all mighty Zeus as well. Thus, submerging him into a perpetuity of useless efforts.

So, since then anything laborious yet futile is referred to as Sisyphean.


  1. memoon zehra

    The myth of Sisyphus is an old Greek fable, which inspired generations against greed and deceit. This story revolves around the journey of Sisyphus, the founder of Corinth, and the eternal punishments for his many wrongs. The author narrated an informative and well researched composition easily. However, the story could benefit from a well-connected, fluid style of writing. A better detail on emotions felt by various characters, their thoughts, and justification to act in certain manner, could have given better insights on the grey shades of their personalities. The characters involved could have blossomed with a little elaboration of their philosophies, directly appealing to the conscience of the reader, engraving an everlasting ethical lesson in the end.