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Lecture 4

CLASSICS 2D03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Miasma Theory, Tattle Tale, Oceanid

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Graeme Ward

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Minor role
Titan who errs against Zeus and is punished
Determines sacrifice
Brings fire to humans
Trickster god
Prometheus fits 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
Prometheus in Hesiod
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 important as 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
Prometheus is bound to a rock by Hephaestus, chastised by Power (Kratos) and Violence (Bia)
Then in the rest of the play Prometheus has 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
Plot of Prometheus Bound
Key advisor/helper to Zeus in Titanomachy
He also helped humans
Prometheus has prophetic abilities
An older generation of gods (not Zeus' second cousin)
His mother is Gaia and Themis (law and order god)
Uniqueness of Interpretation
Zeus will marry someone (sleep with some female) that will give birth to a son that will over
throw him, just like his dad and his dad before him
The prophesy
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
Oceanids talk about being noticed by Zeus a curse
Zeus sleeps with whoever he wants and it doesn't matter if the females are suffering because
of his actions
Zeus is torturous (Prometheus)
Zeus a Tyrant
Prometheus doesn't apologize to Zeus, even when is asked to, showing him as not a "good"
Zeus and Prometheus eventually come to peace
Zeus also helps Io out later by making her the mother of the most important race in the middle
east: Egypt
Shades of Grey
Prometheus gives blind humans hope and fire
Prometheus and gifts to Humanity
Gods & Mortals: Prometheus and Divine Justice - Lecture 4
3:39 PM
CLASSICS 2D03 Page 1
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