Benito Cereno does his exploring-the-myths thing that I dig so much. Here he is expounding on the meaning of Hades as a character and how he has been corrupted by conflating him with the mythical Satan.
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So why is Hades a villain so often in modern portrayals of Greek mythology? Because people are scared of death, I suppose. And I’m sure it doesn’t help that Christians got him all mixed up with Satan in their minds, all thinkin Hades and Hell are synonymous.
But death is not even the main source of villainy in ancient mythology. The most common antagonists—monsters, giants, Titans—are villains because they represent a pre-Greek barbarism that it is the duty of the civilized Olympian gods and their offspring to tame.
Other villain-defining traits are hubristic acts such as setting yourself equal to or better than a god, or overstepping your social bounds. You could interpret Hera’s jealousy this way: she thinks she knows better than he does, and so she acts against Zeus’s wishes time and again (obviously this is super problematic to modern eyes). But, yes, Hera is the villain WAY more than Hades. She’s the evil queen in the stories of Heracles, Aeneas, Io, Echo, and probably dozens more. This hubris is also the downfall of characters such as Pentheus, Salmoneus, Niobe, Arachne, and some of the most famous tenants of the Underworld, Sisyphus and Tantalus.
The other big no-no is the breach of xenia, the code of hospitality that was one of the central tenets of Greek society. Be a good host; be a good guest; this is the most important thing. The entire Trojan War was fought because Paris was a shitty guest (ETIQUETTE TIP: Do not steal your host’s wife). Ixion was a shitty guest and he famously burns in the Underworld for his rape-based faux pas.
All of these things would be considered way worse than being a glum dude who looks at skeletons all day.