Death, Personification

Death On Two Legs

Death has been seen as an actual character since the beginning of history. Death was depicted as the grim reaper who actually took the life of the living. He is most commonly seen as a skeleton with a hooded robe and scythe and referred to as the Grim Reaper. Some see the Grim Reaper as the actual taker of death, others see him just detaching the soul from the body. For those who believe he actually took lives, also believed that there would then be a way to avoid death or talk him out of it.

Some cultures have even depicted their reaper character as a woman others depicted him as a man. In Hindu he is called Yama, he rides a black buffalo and carries a lasso to carry the dead to their new home. The Yama sometimes disguises himself as a small child. He uses the good and bad deeds of the person to decide where they will live next. This uses the karma of the person in their reincarnation. In Japanese folklore, Enma rules the underworld (like Hades) and decides if the deceased will go to heaven or hell.

Parents tell their children that the God of death, Enma will cut off their tongues if they tell a lie. The Japanese also have death gods were are similar to the grim reaper which are depicted in their art. The Greek think of death as part of life and not necessarily evil. Thanatos is depicted as a winged or bearded man or as a small child. He escorts the deceased to the underworld of Hades. He then hands off the deceased to Charon, whom looks similar to the modern Grim Reaper, a skeleton and hooded robe. Charon takes the deceased over the river Styx, which separates the land of the living from the land of the dead.

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