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Laura Jane Wey

Lec16_November5 Atlas  Also identified as half-god, half-man  Self-contained; appropriate o “He was proportional and seemly…” (53)  Gentle/ kind o Values peace and quiet (55) o “Atlas was kind hearted…” (82) o “Heracles suddenly remembered the manner of infinite gentleness with which Atlas… resumed the burden…” (89)  Reflective o Zeus worried about Atlas thinking (57) o “He saved himself in his lonely hours by thinking… “(66) Heracles and Atlas: Two Endings  Heracles succumbs to his fate (118-119)  Atlas puts down the Cosmos (150) o Interpreting Atlas’s action of “putting his hands over his ears”  He’s expecting something big to happen; something like a lightning bolt from Zeus or something. But nothing happened  He doesn’t believe that he can get away with it and without punishment  He was punished because he agreed to do it Question: What is the key element that leads to Heracles’ and Atlas’s different ending? o Their abiblity to think  Atlas’ ability to quietly think things through  Allows him to go beyond what it written for him The “Fates” of Heracles and Atlas  Heracles o Moment where he almost “got it” (44)  You agreed to his so its “his own yolk” that he bore not Hera's  Never ends up understanding o Hera’s prophecy that Heracles will “destroy himself” (40-41) o Refusal to see the role he himself plays in his “fate” (109)  Shown as entirely unable to play the role of his fate  Keeps boasting about his power that no one else can do what he did  He refuses to acknowledge that it is his own choice to cheat Atlas  It is this refusal that brings him to his fate  Atlas o Hera’s suggestion that Atlas has the power to choose (74-76)  He is able to think and eventually does understand  He wants to carry the cosmos  He wouldn’t switch with the humble woman because he takes a certain pride in carrying the cosmos  To appear “great” o Glimmerings of understanding of his own involvement in his own fate (70; 105-106)  An understanding that the boundaries, weights we bare, is there because we’ve agreed to accept it o Realization that one has choice in what one carries (127)  Realized that what you want to carry or not makes a big difference Hercules the Paragon of Virtue Jason: pleasure Reconciled to Vertue Lowth: “The Choice of Hercules” Authors’ Bios  Ben Johnson (1572-1637) o English Renaissance poet and playwright o Author of satirical comedies such as Volpone and Bartholomew Fair Pleasure Reconciled to Vertue; A Masque  Masque: o “A form of courtly dramatic entertainment, often richly symbolic, in which music and dancing played a substantial part, costumes and stage machinery tended to be elaborate, and the audience might be invited to contribute to the action or the dancing” (OED, masque,
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