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Lecture 8

Lecture 8.docx


Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA204H1
Professor
Regina Hoeschele
Lecture
8

Page:
of 6
CLA204 Lecture 8
Tuesday, March 6th, 2012
Topic:
TROY AND ITS AFTERMATH: THE NOSTOI OF AGAMEMNON
ODYSSEUS
The Fall of troy and its aftermath
Achilles, hero of Iliad, does not live to see the fall of troy
o Killed by Paris (with help from Apollo)
The Fall of Troy
There are 3 conditions for winning the war
1. Neoptolemos summoned
2. Fetch Philoktetes and his bow
3. Odysseus steals the Palladion
Achilles had affair with princess Deidamia
o Neoptolemos (aka Pyrrhus) their son, is summoned from Skyros
(one of three conditions for the sack of Troy)
Odysseus and Neoptolemos (or Diomedes) sail to Lemnos to fetch
Philoktetes and his bow
Philoktetes kills Paris (his brother Deiphobos marries Helen)
Odysseus steals the Palladion
o As long as the cult image (Palladion) in Troy, it cannot be defeated
Greeks secretly enter the city with the help of the “Trojan Horse” by an
idea from Odysseus to see as an offering to the gods
o Troy is capture, many of the men are killed, the women are
enslaved
o Hector’s son Astyanax is thrown from the city walls (seen as a
threat)
o Menelaos kills Deiphobos, but spare Helen when she exposes her
breast in supplication
o Aeneas escapes from Troy carrying his father on his shoulders
(Anchises). Aeneas important in Roman myth, he is the founder of
the tribe.
Philoktetes is bitten by snake on island, gave a smelly odour so the Greeks
left him on the island of Lemnos, using his bow to capture small animals
to eat for 10 years
o Either Neoptolemos or Diomedes convinces him to come back, and
they heal him
Conditions were learnt through a seer, named Helenos
Laokoon and his sons
Laokoon is a priest who is suspicious of the Trojan horse
Two huge snakes grasp Laokoon and his sons
Statues where he is struggling for his life
Edle Einfalt and stille Grobe (noble simplicity and silent magnitude)
Wincklemann thinks he is accepting his fate = tranquility of the soul
Title is what antiquity means for most people, definition of antiquity for
some people (there is also an antiquity that is also very brutal, funny,
extreme), but people thought of it as that facial expression for a long time
The Academy
Indian painting them in Indian style, little tiny Indians running around
between their feet
Symbol of the classical culture, replicates famous statue and imagines
people painting it in different styles
Academy = people studying the image, and painting it themselves
Very self-conscious rendering of all these things, by the device of the
mirror he is looking at us as well
Fate of the Greek heroes
Greater Ajax: Odysseus wins contest over arms of Achilles; Ajax sets out
to kill the Greeks, but slaughters a herd of sheep instead
o Greater Ajax realizes he is going mad and commits suicide out of
shame
Lesser Ajax: rapes Cassandra in Athena’s temple, (she was holding image
of Athena).
o Athena causes a storm for her wrath; Lesser Ajax survives and
boasts of this but is killed by Poseidon on the Capherian rocks.
Nostoi; Menelaos is caught in a storm and ends up in Egypt, but
eventually returns to Sparta together with his wife Helen. Also
encounters Proteus
Odysseus wanders for about 10 years before returning to Ithaca, angers
Poseidon by blinding his son the Cyclops. He kills all the suitors of his
wife Penelope
Agamemnon is killed upon his return by his wife Clytemnestra
Text - Odyssey
Two stories are mirror images but structure is opposite, Homer underlines
this himself in the beginning of the odyssey
o Zeus is remembering Aegisthus
o by evoking this story at onset of odyssey, Homer opens up possible
outcomes of Odysseus’ homecoming
Odysseus and Agamemnon’s fates are mirror images = points of contrast
Odysseus meets Agamemnon in the underworld, where he tells him what
happened to him, and recounts the murder of Cassandra (slaughtered by
Clytemnestra)
Clytemnestra is so bad that she pollutes the entire female race (says
Agamemnon) telling Odysseus to beware for his own wife tells him to
come home secretly and check out the situation first
… move on to aristheia, we talked about how tragedies were performed at festivals
like the Dionysia, each poet wrote three tragedies concluded by the satyr play, the
aristheia is the only whole set we have, is very famous, poet = Aeschylus, on of the
three greatest tragedians from 500bc. Reasonable to assume it had to do with
Menelaus
Aeschylus was born in Ileusis ~500BC
Won first prize
His play deals aren’t typically mythical
Dies 456-455bc in Sicily: Eagle was flying around with a turtle in his beak,
mistook Aeschylus’ bald head for a rock –-> turtle shell hit him in the
head
3 plays we are considering: Agamemnon, libation bearers, eumenides
House of Atreus / Cassandra’s vision
Look at what precedes Agamemnon (family tree)
Pair of brothers: Thyestes and Atreus
o Thyestes has an affair with Aerope (Atreus’ wife) and is exiled
o Atreus convinces him to come back, but kills Thyestes’ children and
cooks them for Thyestes to eat (act as revenge)
o Thyestes puts a curse on the house of Atreus
Cassandra has the ability to see the future by Apollo (gift to see the future but
cursed that nobody believes her)
o Foresees the eating of children House of Atreus
Aegisthus: another son of Thyestes with potential daughter of Atreus
Vendetta for his brothers who were fed to their father: Aegisthus?
Orestes: encounter in second play of trilogy: kill his mother to take revenge
for his father
Iphigenia: when the Greeks set out for troy, they gather an ailous. Artemis is
angry, doesn’t let them set sail, in order to change the situation to placate
Artemis he has to sacrifice Iphigenia
Chorus: consists of Argive elders: commenting on happenings in the play,
refer to initial sacrifice of Iphigenia
Sacrifice of Iphigenia
Two roles
o As the sacrifice one as the sacrificer
o in Tauris as a priestess has to sacrifice arriving strangers)
Iphigenia in Tauris:
Any stranger to the lad is killed