Study Guide

Sisyphus

Introduction

Yeah, Sisyphus is a bad guy, but that doesn't mean he isn't fun to watch. This crafty king is so wily that he outsmarts Death himself, and he actually manages to escape the Underworld... twice! Sure, Sisyphus deserves to be locked up for all his evil deeds, but sometimes watching a dude who's a step ahead of everybody else do his thing is irresistible.

In the end, Sisyphus totally gets what's coming to him and is doomed to roll a giant boulder up a hill for all eternity. Though he definitely earns his punishment, many people have found connection with his plight. It seems like a lot of folks have moments where they feel like whatever stuff they're doing is as tiresome and pointless as Sisyphus' endless task. Though it's not really a great feeling, it can be good sometimes to know that others get just as frustrated sometimes.

Best of the Web

Sisyphus Resources

Movie or TV Productions

Sisyphus on the Small Screen
The crafty King Sisyphus is a reccurring character on Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys where he's constantly finding ways to cheat Death.

Videos

Dung Tube
Watch this video and see why dung beetles are called Sisyphus.

Wood Tube
This cool wooden toy shows you what it would be like if Sisyphus tested shoes.

Sisyphus and Malaria
In this animated video from the Malaria Forum, the myth of Sisyphus is used to describe the struggle against the disease.

Animated Sisyphus
This funny little cartoon puts its own spin on Sisyphus's plight.

College for Free
In this video, a pony-tailed professor gives you the low down on Camus' essay "The Myth of Sisyphus." No tuition required.

Audio

Metamorphoses for Your Lobes
You can listen to all of Ovid's Metamorphoses, including the part where Sisyphus chills out for a second to listen to Orpheus's song.

Chicago
Okay, since you begged us. Yes, we will let you hear "Stone of Sisyphus" by Chicago

Floyd
"Sysyphus" is also the name of a four-part suite by legendary rockers Pink Floyd. Check it out

Get Absurd
Don't miss Camus's essay "The Myth of Sisyphus," which pulls the meaning of life (or lack there of) out of Sisyphus's endless rock pushing.

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