CLA204H1 Lecture Notes - Stheneboea, Tiryns, Greek Hero Cult

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9 Nov 2010
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Saga/Legend : ' Has a perceptible relationship to history, however fanciful and imaginative
Set in time beyond human history
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Myths stand outside of historic time
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Principal characters are Gods and Goddesses
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Myth:
The Hero usually has elements of the extraordinary linked to his birth and his childhood
1.
He inevitably faces opposition of one sort from the beginning and as a result he must prove his
inherent worth by surmounting challenges of every kind
2.
3.
He is helped by one ally, divine, or human
4.
He faces apparently insuperable obstacles, often must be accomplished through a quest
5.
Adventurous conflicts with divine, human, or monstrous opponents
6.
May also observe taboos
7.
Death itself is the ultimate conquest, usually achieved by going to the underworld
8.
Hero's success may be rewarded with marriage, political security, or wealth and power
9.
Reoccurring Motifs:
Relationship to the human realm
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Related to the history of humanity
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Principal characters are humans, even though God and Goddesses often play a role
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Purport and tell about events from human past are stories about heroes
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Legends Chiefly:
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Hierarchy: Olympians minor Gods; demigods; heroes; mortals
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Legend:
Setting: middle-earth
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Has a helper (fellowship)
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Falls under the power of an enemy
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Goes on a quest to the end of the world/to the land of the dead
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Magical objects (rings, cloaks, phial, the sword sting)
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Returns home at the end of the quest (life of peace and solitude)
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Frodo's Greek Heroic Features
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Humble, filled with self-doubt about finishing quest
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Not seeking glory, surprised when he himself volunteers
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Humble: without the clear strength and surperior size of a Greek Hero
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He fails in his Quest: "I have come.. Buy I do not choose now to do what I came to do. I will
not do this deed. The Ring is Mine!"
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Not like a Greek Hero in these ways:
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MAY have a divine parent
Miraculous birth, but little is known of his childhood much of childhood spent elsewhere ("exile")
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Physically imposing; great size and strength
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Compelled to perform impossible labours (the "quest")
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Falls under an enemy's power
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Always bizarre events in the birth of the heroes
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Example of a Hero: Frodo Baggins
The Greek Hero
Monday, October 25, 2010
10:08 AM
CLA204 Page 1
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Document Summary

Saga/legend : " has a perceptible relationship to history, however fanciful and imaginative. The hero usually has elements of the extraordinary linked to his birth and his childhood. He inevitably faces opposition of one sort from the beginning and as a result he must prove his inherent worth by surmounting challenges of every kind. He is helped by one ally, divine, or human. He faces apparently insuperable obstacles, often must be accomplished through a quest. Adventurous conflicts with divine, human, or monstrous opponents. Death itself is the ultimate conquest, usually achieved by going to the underworld. Hero"s success may be rewarded with marriage, political security, or wealth and power. Principal characters are humans, even though god and goddesses often play a role. Purport and tell about events from human past are stories about heroes. Goes on a quest to the end of the world/to the land of the dead. Magical objects (rings, cloaks, phial, the sword sting)

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