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Lecture 7

CLA204 Lecture 7Monday.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Lee Sawchuk

CLA204 Lecture 7 Monday, September 30, 2013 Prometheus and the Flood Myth -son of Iapetos (descendant of Titans) Clymene (Oceanid) -name means ‘fore-thought’, clever, trickster God, deceit (can be positive or negative) -Hesiod portrays him in negative light -some myths seen as the creator of mortals -Hyginius -concerned with human welfare -tricks he pulls usually on behalf of humans to help -positive God for humans Hesiod: -Feast of Mecone -Olympian Gods and mortal get together for a feast -at one point getting ready for feast and Prometheus takes best part of the meat and disguises it as bad -tricks Zeus into taking the bones, however Zeus allowed himself to be tricked so that he could punish Prometheus -Prometheus tried to give best part to humans so that they could have the most nourishing part -Zeus punishes the humans by taking fire away from the humans (would mean that they would starve, HUGE problem for the mortals) -Theft of Fire -hides it in fennel stalk and gives it back to the mortals -Zeus punishes both Promethus again and the mortals -Zeus creates Pandora as punishment on humans -Good demonstration of Zeus’ power -reveals Prometheus attachment to mortals -possibly because he created them? -explains why the Greeks sacrifice to the Gods in the way they do -would burn the bones and then eat the best part of the animal -Prometheus is the reason for this -represents change in relationship between the mortals and Gods -before this the Gods walked the earth, ate with the mortals, negiotiated -after all this happens there is a separation, Gods no longer walk among the mortals, atleast not so the mortals can see them -Prometheus is punished because 1) he stole fire 2) he had a prophesy that he would not tell Zeus -Prometheus is stuck and every day an eagle comes down to eat his liver, but the organ regenerates after each day to be started all over again the next day -eternal torment -another prophesy that there is a woman who will bear a child greater than his father -Zeus is a womanizer and sleeps with many women -wants to know the woman so he can avoid sleeping with her -Prometheus doesn’t want to tell Zeus but eventually he does (Thetis will give birth to Achilles) -Zeus has him freed by sending Heracles to free Prometheus (so that Heracles would have greater claim to fame) -causes trouble for mortals by getting them punished for his tricks Aeschylus: th -wrote in Athens, 5 c BCE -trilogy about Prometheus -portrays Prometheus as a rebel, who stands against an oppressive ruler/tyrant (Zeus) -Zeus portrayed in negative light -don’t know if this trilogy is actually by Aeschylus, as far as we’re concerned it is -brings culture to mortals at the price of suffering -didn’t know how to build homes, mortals lived in caves until Prometheus came along and taught them how to build homes (carpentry) -didn’t understand stars so they couldn’t navigate, also taught them how to build boats and sail now that they also knew how to navigate -Prometheus came along and taught them how to harness the natural world -
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