Humanity gets a pretty harsh judgment from Zeus in this myth. The king of the gods decides that human beings are a species beyond redemption, so he sentences everybody to death. (Man, that is harsh.) Humanity's main offenses are constant warring and brutish behavior, but the straw that breaks the camel's back is when a dude named Lycaon stoops to human sacrifice. Some say that part of the purpose of this myth is to show people just how evil such brutal and primitive practices are, and to warn people of the dire consequences of such bad behavior.
Questions About Justice and Judgment
Why are Deucalion and Pyhrra judged as being better than the rest of humankind?
In what ways, does Zeus show himself to be the ultimate judge in this story?
Was Zeus's judgment justified? Why, or why not?
If you were Zeus, what would've been your judgment?