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CLAS 203 Lecture Notes - Odysseus, Heracleidae, Pelopia

Course Code
CLAS 203
Margaret Palczynski

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CLAS203 Lecture 28 Notes
Continuation from Lecture 27:
o Antigone was brought to Creon and confessed to burying Polynices. Asked if she
knew about his decree; says she did it not as a defiance but because it was right,
and traditionally a custom; says she follows divine law (gods law), not Creon’s
law. Antigone is sentenced to death and Creon goes further by saying Ismene
must have been involved as well so she must die as well. Ismene told Antigone
previously that she wanted no part in burying Polynices but when brought to see
Creon, she changes her story and says she had a part in burying Polynices.
Antigone tells Ismene that she has no right to claim anything since you rejected
it (trying to save Ismene’s life). Creon has Antigone placed in a sealed cave so
that she would starve to death
o Creon’s decree
o ‘Burial’ of Polynices’ body
o Antigone vs. Creon
o Haemon is son of Creon begs his father to not let Antigone die, leaves stage
when Creon does not listen
o Tiresias comes and tells Creon that his decree is not honouring the gods causing
evil omen, Creon does not believe Tiresias calling him liar. Tiresias prophesizes
again that Haemon will die because of Creon’s decree. Creon finally realizes after
the prophecy that his decree was wrong and not justifying the gods; asks Tiresias
what to do and goes to save Antigone (which would save his own son, Haemon)
o Messenger comes in and tells Creon that Haemon found a way into the sealed
cave and found that Antigone had hanged herself. Creon meets up with Haemon,
apologizes but Haemon being in grief attempts to kill Creon, misses, and then
goes to kill himself, clutching Antigones’ body in front of his father
o Queen Euridyce, learns of all the events, including death of her son Haemon, and
kills herself; leaving Creon ruined at the end of the Antigone
o The messenger’s speech
o Take out of this that you have to obey the laws of the gods and that man-made
laws are fleeting and can change and are not the things that will hold you to be
Epigoni (means the ancestors)
o Talks about the ancestors of the seven heroes who had gone against Thebes
o Their sons who will organize a second expedition at Thebes
o Only one hero from Seven against Thebe, Adrastus (King of Argos), who had fled
on his divine steed and goes to the Alter of Mercy in Athens, and asks Theseus to
help him to avenge the wrongs that are being done to the people of Argos to not
having their bodies buried due to Creon’s decree
o Second siege against Thebes is brought about when Eriphyle, wife of Amphiarus
(seer of Argos who prophesized that they would all die and ordered his son,
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Alcmaeon to kill Eriphyle if she ever told him to go to war again.) is bribed by
Harmonia and Phasander (son of Polynices)
o Tiresias prophesizes to new ruler of Thebes that they must flee so Laodamus
takes all the people of Thebes and they emigrate out of Thebes to Ilgria
o New seven of Thebes destroy Thebes; Alcmaeon seeks advise from Oracle and
does kill his mother, Eriphyle but goes crazy after, thus gets murdered
o Death of Tiresias when they flee
Start of Lecture 28:
Atreus and Thyestes are twins and hates each other, important to development of
their story
Beginning of Homeric Epics House of Atreus are responsible for going to war in Troy
From Tantalus to Atreus:
Mycenae/Argos: both locations used in myth. Myceanae used to be main center of
bronze age while Argos grew in power during early iron age
Unrelated to Perseus linked (extinct with Eurystheus)
Tantalus (one of the great sinners in the underworld, punished by Zeus to be constantly
thirsty and hungry but cannot get to the food or water right in front of him): Tested the
gods but killing his son, Pelops, and serving it to the gods at a banquet, only Demeter,
sadden over Persephone being abducted, ate the shoulder of Pelops; Zeus told Hermes
to put Pelops back together except missing shoulder, thus Hephaestus crafted Pelops an
ivory shoulder
Oenomaus (King of Pisa): loves his own daughter, Hippodamia
o Hippodamia: refused Oenomaus, father thought if he couldn’t have her, nobody
could, challenged any suitors who wanted to in a chariot race. Many suitors
came, all killed by Oenomaus
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