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Lecture 8

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McGill University
CLAS 203
Margaret Palczynski

CLAS203 Lecture 8  Prometheus ‘forethinker’; ‘heroic trickster’: maker and protector o Maker, protector of humans o The trick at Mecone (Prometheus teaches humans how to interact with gods by sacrificing animals as a tribute to the gods; cuts animal into two unequal parts. Zeus sees through trick but still picks bad parts. Zeus then hides fire from humans to teach them hardship) o Stealing of fire (‘hybris’) (Prometheus steals fire, hides it in a hollow stock of fennel and gives it to human beings) o Punishment: Caucasus Mountain (Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound) o Reveals threat to Zeus from Thetis (married to mortal Peleus, son Achilles) o Freed by Heracles The punishment of human beings:  Pandora: woman is man’s greatest affliction (Hesoid) o ‘pan’: ‘all’, ‘dora’: ‘gifts’ o Created by Hephaestus, gifted by Athena (weaving skill), Aphrodite (beauty and attraction), Hermes (heart of a bitch and the mind of a thief) o Carried a box carrying all the woes of humanity which she releases into the world because of her curiosity  Epimetheus: ‘hindsighter’ (‘dummy’) o The meaning of Hope o Represents all of humanity o Motif: ‘violated prohibition’ The *Five Ages of Human Beings:  Gold (best and earliest): Cronus (created by) o Human beings fashioned out of gold o They live like gods, do not know trouble, sorrow, or labour o Earth produces everything o Live content and satisfied o Don’t die but will vanish and become spirits  Silver (duller): Olympians o Age for 100 years with mind of infant and then have a short adult life o Adult life cut short as a result of their own stupidity because they learn how to
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