Tag Archives: Paradise Lost

Mythological Beasts And Spirits: Freybug

"Best to stop," the Shedu cautioned. "Hidden by the hoot of owl, I perceive the furtive footsteps of the Freybug on the prowl." From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
“Best to stop,” the Shedu cautioned. “Hidden by the hoot of owl,
I perceive the furtive footsteps of the Freybug on the prowl.”
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

Also called the Hellhound and a Warg, the Freybug is something of a demonic canine from medieval English folklore. Perhaps the most famous Hellhound is Cerberus from Greek mythology. This is the three-headed dog who stands as the keeper to the gates of Hell. Milton even included him in his epic poem, Paradise Lost, which I recommend reading if you have the patience.

Cerberus and Hades (Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete, Greece).
Cerberus and Hades (Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete, Greece).

The twelfth labor of Heracles was to bring back Cerberus. Here are two selections which portray this.

Cerberus and Heracles, etching by Antonio Tempesta (Florence, Italy, 1555-1630).
Cerberus and Heracles, etching by Antonio Tempesta (Florence, Italy, 1555-1630).

Heracles and Cerberus (1636) by Peter Paul Rubens.
Heracles and Cerberus (1636) by Peter Paul Rubens.

On a more personal note, my oldest daughter owns a rescue dog whom she named Cerberus (Cerbie for short). Despite her large size and ¬†ominous name, she’s actually an amiable pooch.

As a final offering for your viewing pleasure, here is the rendering of a Freybug by William O’ Connor from his Dracopedia: The Bestiary.

freybug

Mythology In Space: Part 7

Perelandra is the second book in the Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis. Originally, this was my least favorite in the series, but my appreciation for this work has grown since then.

Perelandra-1

When I first read this story, I didn’t enjoy the planetary landscape as much as that of Malacandra (Mars), but the author’s description of Perelandra (Venus) was more appealing on my second reading years later. The key was that I had to stop thinking like a scientist and, instead, simply enjoy the fantasy. The entire planet is portrayed as a maritime Garden of Eden, complete with floating islands, dragons, fanciful aquatic beasts, and a newly created Adam and Eve.

images

Eldil and and an Oyarsa are also involved in the affairs of this planet, but the main plot element is a temptation saga in which Dr. Elwin Ransom and Dr. Weston engage in debate as the agents of God and Satan (the Bent One). Some reviewers have expressed the same criticism I initially had: that the dialogue was tedious and slowed the development of the story. Nothing could be further from the truth. By the time I read these passages again, I was more familiar with the writings of Plato and John Milton, and I could recognize these exchanges as a brilliant adaptation from Platonic dialogues and Paradise Lost. Rather than a weak link in the chain, this book stands on its own strength.

 512iNiDzlQL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_