What the Hell, Hero?/Oral Tradition

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  • Apollo, the Greek deity of the sun and the arts, once competed in a music competition with a lesser river spirit. When he found out that he couldn't beat him, he challenged him to do an impossible task – play on a flute and sing at the same time. When said deity couldn't do that, Apollo announced himself to be the winner, and ordered the challenger to be stripped from the skin alive. King Midas called him on his total jackassery, but Apollo just gave him donkey ears to shut him up.
    • Of course, for the Ancient Greeks, the fault would have been Midas' for showing disrespect to Apollo.
    • The point of the whole story, meanwhile, might have been that you don't enter contests where being flayed alive is the stake and the other guy is a god.
      • Or that you shouldn't go around saying you're better than an omnipotent deity.
  • In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Shamash calls Enkidu out for cursing Shamhat, the hooker who introduced civilization to Enkidu, because of the grief it eventually cost him with the Bull of Heaven mess. Enkidu relents and instead offers a blessing for Shamhat.
  • In The Bible:
    • King David, slayer of Goliath, the measure of righteousness by which all other kings of Israel are measured -- and adulterer guilty of Murdering The Hypotenuse. God sends Nathan to call him out, and while David repents immediately upon hearing the rebuke, the damage has been done.
      • It gets better. God -- via Nathan -- tells David a story about a rich man who killed a neighbor's pet sheep for his dinner despite having a large flock of his own. (David had several wives at the time.) David is furious and decrees that the rich man should die, and four sheep of his flock should be given to the wronged neighbor. In a brilliantly delivered Twist Ending, God essentially gets David to call himself out.
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David: As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.
Nathan: Thou art the man!

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