Week 3: CLAS 1P97 21 January 2014
Consider how Euripides portrays Hercules. Is he a person with a bipolar disorder?
Euripides purposefully makes the madness sent from Hera a release: (lyssa in
How does this affect how you see Heracles?
Phaedra, sister of Ariadne
• After the death of Hippolyta Theseus married Phaedra who was much
Phaedra and Hippolytus
• Phaedra propositions Hippolytus.
• She kills herself and leaves a note for Theseus accusing Hippolytus of
Death of Hippolytus
• Theseus called down a curse from Poseidon onto his son.
• A bull from the sea frightened his horses.
Euripides in his Hippolytus sympathizes with Phaedra.
• Euripides says she has a story of two people “a young women who is married
to a young man, and she knows it is not socially right but she is not related to
them but since she is attracted to that man she still goes on.
• Euripides sees Hippolytus as a repressed young man he resists natural urges
with disastrous results. Phaedra, in contrast, is acting naturally. She prefers a
young man her own age to the older Theseus. She knows this is socially
wrong but loves Hippolytus anyway.
• Euripides is fascinated with psychology especially the struggle between
natural urges and their repression in religion or society. Many of Freud’s
psycho analytical ideas are “borrowed” from Euripides
• Hercules killed his family (his wife and his children)
• Greeks forgive people for things are normally not to be shown to be normal in
the society now a days, but back than it was different
New wives needed
• Theseus wants Helen whom he and Pirithous kidnap. Week 3: CLAS 1P97 21 January 2014
• She’s only about 12 years old so he leaves her with his mother Aethra.
Persephone, the queen of the underworld
• Theseus and pirithous are trapped in the underworld.
• Theseus needs to be rescued by Heracles.
• Pirithous dies in the old Homer story. And when he is about to die, he gets
rescued by someone else, and that is when the title of the hero goes away.
• Castor and Pollus (polydeuces), Helen’s brothers, free their sister and seize
• They had to get a new king, who is the new king of Athens = King Menestheus
• Seized the throne because Theseus was unpopular. Everyone thought he was
dead and his latest deeds had gotten Athens into trouble with Sparta.
• The king usually is run by a king who is run by a hero.
Exile in Scyros
• In versions where Theseus is rescued, he is able to free his mother but the
Athenians don’t want him as king anymore.
• On Scyros he terrifies the king of Scyros.
• His father may also have been Aegeus’.
• Theseus is a big problem.
• Lycomedes arranges his death.
• They are exiles in Euboea with king alpenor.
• They go to the trogon war with elpenor not
Theseus myth Week 3: CLAS 1P97 21 January 2014
• -a very downbeat ending
• The cycle has a strong tension between order and proper behaviour versus
chaos and brute force.
• But where on that dichotomy does Theseus sit?
• Theseus seems to act too much like a hero and ever really settles down.
Myths of Crete
• In Greek mythology, Crete is seen as an odd exotic place.
• There are half human half animal things
• Princess of tyre, daughter of Agenor
Zeus takes her to Crete
• Her attendants fled but Europa got on the bull (Zeus)
• When a women goes out of a house and goes to another person’s house that
would mean that they are actually doing something and move onto to do
something in life that actually will benefit them
• Sent with his brothers to search for Europa
• They all fail
• Cadmus will find Thebes
• She has three sons
• When Zeus leaves he marries her to asterius, the childless king of Crete.
• Minos is a descent of Zeus and Zeus will take care of him Week 3: CLAS 1P97