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Lecture 4

Gods & Mortals Prometheus and Divine Justice - Lecture 4.pdf

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McMaster University
Graeme Ward

Gods & Mortals: Prometheus and Divine Justice - Lecture 4 September-16-13 3:39 PM Prometheus in Hesiod - Minor role - Titan who errs against Zeus and is punished - Trickster god ○ Determinessacrifice ○ Brings fire to humans - Moral: "You can't trick Zeus!" ○ Prometheusfits as a trickster god in greek mythology, he wasn't given that much importance. He tried to trick zeus by giving him burnt bones wrapped in fat while the humans got the muscle meat Aeschylus - Wrote a tragedy plays in trilogies - Writes about the gods and their divisions and quarrels , indicating that not everything is perfect in heaven - Its an odd play due to not having a specific location, happens in a place without any cities, where the earth and gods are new - He starts his stories from the middle "in medias res" not from the beginning , because he thinks that history is not that importantas he wants to focus on Prometheus - Lastly, in this play very little happens, there isn't much action. People just talk about what happened or is about to happen, this is a drama type tv show Plot of Prometheus Bound - Prometheusis bound to a rock by Hephaestus, chastised by Power (Kratos)and Violence (Bia) - Then in the rest of the play Prometheushas people visit him (Oceanids, Oceanus, Io, Hermes) - He discusses prophecies with these visitors including one about Zeus, which he refuses to reveal and is thus sent into hell Uniqueness of Interpretation - Key advisor/helper to Zeus in Titanomachy - He also helped humans - His motheris Gaia and Themis (law and order god) ○ Prometheushas prophetic abilities ○ An older generation of gods (not Zeus' second cousin) The prophesy - Zeus will marry someone(sleep with somefemale) that will give birth to a son that will over throw him, just like his dad and his dad before him Zeus a Tyrant - Zeus is seen as a tyrant in Greek mythology - Zeus doesn’t have political legitimacy so he uses violence - Zeus is paranoid because his position is temporary - Zeus sleeps with whoever he wants and it doesn't matter if the females are suffering because of his actions ○ Oceanids talk about being noticed by Zeus a curse - Zeus is torturous (Prometheus) Shades of Grey - Prometheusdoesn't apologize to Zeus, even when is asked to, showing him as not a "good" character - Zeus and Prometheuseventually cometo peace - Zeus also helps Io out later by making her the motherof the mostimportant race
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