Who is ready to hear some jaw-dropping Greek mythology stories along with mesmerizing visuals, good message and music?
Note: It took me months to do research, study and summarize my writings so it’s gonna be a bit lengthy. Take your own time to read it. I’ve given page jumps in case you want to read only a particular story but I recommend you to read everything in order since I’ve connected all the stories to one another.
- Song analysis (that includes all the above mentioned stories) with a moral message
Believe me or not, I have a thing for Greek mythological stories and stuffs and I get so hooked up whenever this topic arises.
May be this is one of the reason why I started listening to BTS songs in the first place. I still remember when I first saw blood, sweat and tears song for the first time and how easily I was left astonished. BTS stories themselves are complicated yet meaningful especially with Wings album as there were so many connections, statues, artworks, heavy references to ‘Demain’ book. Thus I don’t want to make it even more confusing. Let’s keep it simple and focus on the moral and message it gives to the world. Also if you are an Army you must have known that there are numerous theories on the internet and it all makes sense but as far as I’ve known, none of them were confirmed to be true neither by the Bighit company nor BTS members. So this is the theory and explanation that I believe in. Let’s get stared…
‘Blood Sweat & Tears’ is a song that shows how one thinks, chooses, and grows.” Suga added that “the song conveys an optimistic determination to use our wings to go far, even if we encounter temptations in life.”
The stories which I’m going to say is all about the difference between wanting to sin and resisting against it, a fight between good and bad, angles and demons. We all knew the famous quote- “The devil was once an angel“, but do you know the reason why?
Lucifer- The story behind infamous fallen angel
Lucifer, the god of hell, the source of all evil and sufferings in this world was once an beautiful angel created by the god himself. He made him more intelligent, powerful and named him lucifer – meaning ‘The shining one’. His ambitious evil desire to grab the glory and honor made him question and rebel against his own creator. He was then defeated and casted out of heaven with other “fallen angels”, who became victims of his ‘temptation’ and fell along with him into the hell for eternity.
Iracus- The flight and fall
In Greek mythology, Icarus was the son of the master craftsman Daedalus. Once they both were trapped on crete and to escape from that prison, Daedalus constructed a wings made from feathers and wax. Icarus ignored Daedalus’s instructions not to fly too close to the sun, causing the wax in his wings to melt. He tumbled, fell into the sea and died while drowning. Here yet again, Iracus fell into the mere temptation and ended his life with a tragedy.
Note: I didn’t read the full novel. Since this book had only 8 chapters with 82 pages, I read the summary of each chapters and did a detailed study based on that.
The prose-novel Demian follows the child Emil Sinclairas as he goes through hardships, anxiety, bullying and love, on his incredible adventure into adulthood.
His family is deeply religious, and so is Sinclair but right from his young age he struggles with the concepts of good and bad in this world. Sinclair explains how the world we are living now is consists of two worlds; the light world where everything is pure and divine with his innocence, family as our sanctuary, and the dark world of adulthood, sexual abuse, corruption, drinking, murder, crimes, loneliness and responsibility. He is terrified of the dark world. After being tormented by the town bully and eventually ending up in his employ, Sinclair slowly goes down the path of evil. That is, until he meets Max Demian. Demian is not much older than Sinclair, but he carries himself with an almost supernatural maturity. He doesn’t attend church regularly and claims that the Biblical God is not the sort of God everyone should worship—rather both the good AND the evils of the world should be embraced. He lures him into the dark world with his different perspective on the tale of Cain and Abel. Demian teaches him other ways of living than what he was taught in his Catholic home.
While Sinclair grows older and moves away from Demian, he still can’t seem to forget the mysterious man that has influenced him so much, and Sinclair seems to naturally find his way back to Demian.
Sinclair soon falls in love with Demian’s mother Eva, who first came into his dream described as a figure that looks like both feminine and masculine version of Demian. Demian supports Sinclair as he walks the last miles into his life as a grown man. At the end it is shown that they three were the same person.
~ Demian is a representation of Sinclair’s ideal self. The name is similar to the word daemon, which in Greek and Roman myth is a spirit that acts as a messenger or emissary between humans and gods. Daemon” is actually a much older form of “demon”; daemons have no particular bias towards good or evil, but rather serve to help define a person’s character or personality. These qualities fits perfectly to the title character, Max Demian who acts as a mentor and guide to Sinclair, is also a manifestation or personification of Sinclair’s true self. It is his Deamon, his inner spirit.
~The mother, Eva is not only a representation of his soulmate as a woman that can love in a totally pure and motherly way she is also a representation of all femininity and even the femininity that exists within himself. The characters Beatrice and Mother Eve, feminine presences in Sinclair’s life, are also the personification of Sinclair’s anima—the feminine parts of his self. To achieve self-realization, Sinclair must acknowledge, confront, and integrate all these parts of himself.
Demian represents the chaos of the world whereas Sinclair is trying to find a way to navigate through it.
As Demian departs from him for the last time, Sinclair is ready to face the world alone. He is confident in his decision to live, attempting to fulfill the desires of his soul and he no longer needs Demian or Eva to constantly support him.
Emil Sinclair acquires the right View of the world through the dark mirror of the illusions the life blinds us with.
Sinclair finally transforms from a young boy who was terrified of the dark in this world to a young man who is constantly being ‘tempted by evil’ and knows how to deal with it.
The way Sinclair explains the two worlds also makes the setting of this novel very intriguing and mysterious.
Moral : In order to truely grow up, one has to experience and handle both good and bad in his life. Nietzsche’s book, Beyond Good and Evil, is an exhortation to transcend humanity’s accepted ideas about morality. He urges people not to be so influenced by what is considered good and what evil, but to adopt other metrics of evaluation.
(*Finally I’m gonna explain the song that holds a special place in my heart!!)
The music video starts with Jin starring at a painting in a museum filled with lot of statues. It is the painting of ‘The Fall of the Rebel Angels’ by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. There are two doors on both the sides of the painting and as any human, he has to choose either one path- to sin (the black entrance) or to resist against it (the white entrance).
Before the music begins, the members are gathered in a room with a neon light saying ‘The Tempter’ and the painting of ‘The lament for Icarus’ by H. J. Draper in the background.
Now jungkook is shown in the same room alone (we can see the painting more clear). He is on a swing, almost playing with it as if he is careless and free. He is representing Iracus, a curious innocent boy who allowed his naive tempatation to find his fatal end. The lollipop in the mouth is to denote his childhood and innocence, the age when one must choose a path – good or evil.
He is also potrayed as the child Sinclair from the demin book in which he says that he is afraid of dreams where he will be able to fly.
Then we see Suga inside a dark room surrounded by green like clouds, sitting on a thin glass as if he is about to break or fall into the darkness. Meaning: how close he is to fully giving into the temptation of letting it all out by sinning. He raps “My blood, sweat, and tears / My body, mind, and soul/ I know well they’re all yours/ This is a spell that will punish me”.
The camera is shown down where we have RM with Absinthe, a green liquid of hallucinogenic alcohol. It is prepared by putting a spoon over a glass of Absinthe and melting a sugar cube on it like how RM does it traditionally. Here it is used as an temptation more than a drug. This scene concludes why suga was surrounded with green smokes and was being tempted too.
We get an image of a painted bird which brings us back into ‘Demian’ book. In ‘Demian’ Sinclair paints a bird and send it to Pistorius, his mentor: “I had painted something, a bird struggling out of the globe. I sent him this painting. After a time I found a piece of paper with the following words written on it: ‘The bird fights it’s way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who must be born must first destroy a world. The bird flies to God. That God’s name is Abraxas.’ [..] We may conceive that the name [Abraxas] as that of a godhead whose symbolic task is the uniting of godly and devilish elements.“
Just like Sinclair in his childhood, most people are afraid to use their wings. They fear and shed their wings i.e, avoid evil to stay out of the temptation. Pistorius stands against this idea and believes that one must use his wings and fly higher despite the temptation we face in the world. He says one must praise a God who focuses not only on good but also balance and embraces both good and bad, like God Abraxas.
Then comes a scene where the heavy green pigment is shown as spreading in different colors. The other colors are our thoughts and endless desires. The evil tempts us to believe that we could get anything that we want if we choose evil path, making use our own desires to turn against us.
The colours represent what humans want, the emotions that we want to feel and everything we want to achieve. These colours start tempting them and RM gives himself into it first by drinking it knowingly.
As RM raps “Peaches and cream, sweeter than sweet
Chocolate cheeks and chocolate wings
But your wings are the devil’s
There is a bitter next to your sweet“
J-hope is shown sitting with an arrow in front of a Michelangelo’s famous sculpture ‘Pieta’ which depicts Virgin Mary with the dead body of her son Jesus after his crucifixion. This ultimately associates him with a motherly figure (probably Sinclair’s mother or Demian’s mother Frau Eva who both played an important role in guiding him.) Then we see V lying under a thin cover or sheet.
Later all the members gather at a table. It also looked like The Last Supper, which took place before Jesus crucifixion. Each member has a placed with only one apple placed in middle, along with chalice. A chalice is a large gold or silver cup with a stem which is used to hold wine in the Christian service of Holy Communion.
The ‘forbidden fruit’ apples and the poisoned chalice are signs of temptation and sin. All the members are ready to accept it. Just when they all raise their glasses to begin, Jin gets distracted and turns back as if he noticed something.
J-hope then looks at his left and shoots the arrow. From analyzing the place and the statue he is with, he is trying to wander off the evil. The arrow gets hit on none other than V’s face with splashing different colors. Instead of blood, colors like green, blue and black are shown. It is because he didn’t actually mean to kill him instead he wants to purify and free V by destroying the evil side of him.
The evil emotions that J-hope tired to kill are shown using the meanings of colors. As I’ve mentioned earlier, green is associated with temptation and our bad greed or desires.
Suga raps a line saying “I knowingly drank from the poisoned chalice” because he knew what he was doing. As a tempter, RM must have given the Absinthe to Jungkook, who licks and taste it meaning that he too, accepted evil. We also see both of them in the same room later.
Until now RM, Suga and Jungkook already gave themselves into the temptation. J-hope and V are fighting against each other (like a battle between good and bad). Jin is yet to decide.
Finally, Jimin is shown holding the apple with Suga who has a blindfold in his hands. They both are in the same room where Suga was sitting in the beginning. Jimin holding the apple means that he’s close to giving himself into the temptation, but there is still something that is holding him back. Whereas Suga wants to cover Jimin’s eyes, to shut his knowledge and vision to the reality. He wants him to stop from thinking and choose the path of evil.
Jimin doesn’t want to give up thus he starts resisting against the temptation, trying to break free and find his pure self back. He trembles reaching his hands out, finding a way to escape but not being able to see the truth anymore, he chooses the evil path. His eyes bleed green in the end.
Througout the video we see V sitting and finally pushing himself off a balcony. In the background “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” painting is shown. It is yet an another painting that shows the fall of Icarus after flying too high. They both are somehow connected because both gave into the temptation (Icarus: flying higher even though he was told not to do so / V: losing control and killing his dad) and they both fall down.
But the reason why V is smiling as he falls down is because he is evil and he basically doesn’t mind it anymore. He fought to be innocent once but it didn’t work, so he completely lets himself fall into darkness.
He is also shown covered under a transparent white sheet sometimes as if it’s separates him from the light and dark world. Finally the sheet uplifts meaning he was completely engulfed by darkness just like the fallen angel.
Then we see Jin (with only pink filter) holding onto a balloon which means he is still holding on to his beautiful pure childhood self and doesn’t want to let it go. He still has not yet decided which path to choose.
We then see Junkook levitating but now withhout any strings which means he finally let go of his innocence and gave himself into the temptation.
Their dance choreography and steps in between the music video delivers this heavy message by covering their eyes, mouth and ears – See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil.
Finally Jin gives into too saying “I can’t resist it anyway / I can’t even escape anymore/ You are too sweet, too sweet”
Thus the hands are removed from his eyes one by one, allowing him to fully see the evil.
while Jin letting go of the balloon, Rm states a quote from the demian book “He too was a tempter; he, too, was a link to the second, the evil world with which I no longer wanted to have anything to do” The change from pink to red filter depicts that he is now entered into the adulthood, where he has the knowledge of both good and bad unlike his blissful childhood which believed in only good.
When he kisses the statue (as an final act of finding his true inner most self), chaos erupts. (There is a reason why in the end). There is also a scene in Demian book where Sinclair gets kissed by demian as a departure from his mother Eva.
At last, Jin approaches a mirror which has a German phrase that translates to: “You still have to have Chaos inside you in order to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”
The statue of the weeping Virgin Mary that was behind J-Hope falls to pieces. In the lore Virgin Mary is pure and good, but she gave birth to a dancing star (Jesus), and hence she has to have Chaos inside her.
This ties into our quote about the egg from ‘Demian’ earlier; “The bird fights it’s way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who must be born must first destroy a world.”
The illusion of paradise is broken, by Abraxas, the god who symbolises both good and evil. The realisation that there is evil in the world, and inside us all, tears the world apart.
Jin approaches the mirror the reflexion is entirely black, which again links into Jin acknowledging the truth of Abraxas, and the evil within himself.
Next to the mirror there are some flowers. A Lily flower is often associated with birth and motherhood. The other flower is Liatris and its common name meaning: blazing star (Like a dancing star)
Jin is reborn after opening his eyes to the knowledge of both good and evil.
Now in literature and art, looking into a mirror is often a way for characters to realize a truth about themselves or a way for them to look inwards into their own minds. The fact that the flowers are different on either side of the mirror signifies that Jin is looking into another world; “the other realm, the evil realm, with which I no longer wanted to have anything to do.”
The quote recited over an image of Jin who starts to realize where he is. In the MV Jin is in the evil world and when he realizes this, he also doesn’t want to have anything to do with that realm. When he looks into the mirror he sees Abraxas’ first realm (the good one), but over there his face is being torn apart, because Jin can no longer live in just one of his realms, since he has gained the knowledge of both good and evil, he can only live in a mixture of the two.
When Jin looks into the mirror, his own face is falling apart, just like that of the Virgin Mary statue.
This ties into the quote above the mirror.
No one is truly pure, there must be chaos in order to achieve greatness (and in order to fly).
Message that the MV gives: Scenes of corrupted youth and fallen angels are intended to showcase the dangerous consequence of uncontrolled obsessions. It also reflects the struggles that youngsters go through in order to define themselves.
The band’s leader, RM, explained that the song was about sacrificing everything in order to achieve one’s deepest desires. This could apply to love, success, or anything else. The lyrics reflect one’s willingness to pursue their dreams to the fullest extent. However, they also have to contend and resist with dark temptations that come their way.
The constant battle between resisting against tempatation and wanting to sin is the challenge that we face in our life on regular basis and it is well expressed in this song.
Moral : The moral is that as humans, we need to have equal knowledge on both good and bad because there is evil within all of us and without the knowledge, we won’t be able to resist and fight against it . Upon understanding, we will definitely lose our innocence or might sacrifice everything but its a necessary part of growing up. Evil and good go hand in hand, as one cannot truly exist without the other but just like all the stories, evil doesn’t last longer and it is always the good that wins.
What I admire about the daemin book is that it does not say one should avoid evil. Infact, we should open our eyes and see everything . The only thing that matters is about resisting the evil and choosing the right path insted of losing ourselves into the abbys or darkness.
Recently the music video hit 800M views on YouTube!!! I can’t express how happy I am. But still people listen to this song without understanding the story and its meaning behind and I think they are missing out the true essence of this song. Thus I wanted to make a post about this song especially because so many people and even most of the BTS fans think this song is about lust. Some even criticized it saying the lyrics encourages everyone to take evil path. I mean, like seriously, how can you be so blind? Their dance moves aren’t sexy but a bid seductive to match this ‘temptation’ theme. They made such an effort to convey good morals to the world by taking complex stories of Greek gods and myths and this is the comment they get? Next time you listen to this song, I hope you enjoy hearing it with the knowledge of these Greek art and stories.