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February 2 Lecture

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CLA204 February 2, 2011 Heracles Lecture 4 Fundamentals -greatest Greek hero, one of the hemi theoi (demi gods) -PanHellenic from Thebes, from Argos etc., god: apotheosis sent to Olympus when he dies savage club, lion skin -mortal; model of human achievement -subjects of epic, lyric and tragic poetry -no continuous literary account of his career -treatments are reconstructions from different sources -spends time alone, away from society savage; most companions are animals or monsters Family of Perseus -Perseus has three sons; (king of Mycenae) Electryon, Alcaeus and Sthenelus -Eletryon as many sons and daughter Alcamene -Mycenae attacked by pirates, all Electryons sons killed but one -Electryon prepares to go to campaign, entrusts Alcemene to Amphitryon who kills Electryon in an argument -Amphitryon and Alcamene exiled to Thebes; Alcemene wants Amphitryon to kill the pirates Birth of Heracles -Amphitryon and Alcamene dont consummate marriage until Amphitryon gets revenge on pirates for killing Alcamenes brothers -Zeus comes to her in form of Amphitryon -Aphitryon arrives from campaign -Alamenes twins; divine child (Heracles) and human child (Iphicles) Hera sends serpents (Zeus jealous wife) -Heracles as a child kills the two enormous snakes sent by Hera Kingship of Eurystheus -Zeus boasts that Heracles will be born to be king, Hera delays his birth -Eurystheus birth hastened, he becomes king (Eurystheus is son of Sthenelus, brother of Electryon, Alcaeus) -Heracles forced to serve him, superior brother must serve inferior brother; folktale motif Madness -Heracles marries Megara, has three children, driven mad by Hera cast a spell; in result Heracles, under spell, killed his wife and children -goes to Delphi to ask what to do oracle says 12 labours for immortality (12 athloi) -Athloi (contests), deeds (military exploits), and Parerga (side deeds) The Twelve Labours 1 Labour -set in Peleponesis (landmass beneath Attica, separating Athens from Sparta) - first sent to kill the Nemean lion; tries to shoot the lion but his skin is impenetrable -eventually snaps the lions neck -tries to skin the lion but his weapons cannot cut the skin; skins lion with own claws, wears the hide -important distinctive figure; lion skin, Heracles head as if coming out of lions mouth -presents lion to Eurystheus to confirm accomplishment of task -Eurystheus is scared and builds a jar wear he can hide -Heracles announces his labour to Eurystheus through Copreus (Mr. Shit the go between) nd 2 Labour -Hydra, the water serpent -each time a head is cut off two grow back
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