CLA204 Lecture 2
September 20, 2012
o Salvador Dali - realist sculpture
- women as an object to be consumed (MoMa)
-myths developed to give tangible evidence to objects.
-think of the ideas and messages that we can just say it is more than a story.
o Zeus, the Titans, and the creation of mortals
o Olympian Gods – it is the narrative height of the classical mythology.
o Nature of Greek Polytheism
o Zeus grows up quickly; he forces his father to vomit the babies.
Zeus and his siblings vs Titans for 10 years.
Hundred-Handers (at end)
Defeat of the titans and imprisonment of them in Tartarus
Hundred-Handers as their guards (too monstrous to be allowed to remain on
“Myth of succession”?
Gigantomachy (natural forces: volcanoes, winds)
Representative battle: Zeus and Typhoeus (kind of earth-born dragon-man)
Civilization vs Savagery; wild nature vs divine order.
The Creation of Mortals and the Five Ages
No single dominant story about the creation of mankind
Zeus? Zeus, with help? Prometheus?
“decline” vs evolution, advancement, progress
FIVE AGES, according to Hesiod:
1. Gold – Ease, abundance, prosperity, happiness.
2. Silver – Inferior, immature, short and wretched adulthood; neglectful of the
3. Bronze – Warlike, powerful, aggressive, violent
4. Heroes – still warlike, but more just and noble
5. Iron – constant toil, sorrow, lack of justice
o Prometheus plate
Prometheus feels he can match Zeus in strength and wits.
Division of the ox, with Zeus to choose which part he wants.
Prometheus hides the meat and innards in the hide, and wrapped the bones in
Zeus saw through a scam, but chose the bones anyway.
Zeus is enraged: takes fire away from mortals
Prometheus then steals fire back, hiding it in a fennel stalk What Prometheus does?
According to myth, it explains the ritual of sacrifice, the origin of fire.
Prometheus as archetype of the divine trickster
Nature of the gods?
Pandora: is hope something evil?
Prometheus, the benefactor of mortals (maybe?)
“Aeschylus”, Prometheus Bound
The punishment of Prometheus – Prometheus vs. Zeus
• The play juxtaposes a young, willful and hot-tempered Zeus against
Prometheus, the philanthropic defender of mortals.
• Zeus on the rise; the autocratic tyrant.
• The role of Hephaestus: (1) pity for Prometheus, and (2) foreshadowing the
later story of Zeus.
• Developments and elaborations of the Prometheus story in this play:
Prometheus knows a terrible secret
Prometheus’ gifts: the essential contrast between Zeus and Prometheus.
Io, Zeus and Prometheus
Io: priestess of Zeus; turned into a cow by Hera because of sleeping with Zeus
Guarded by ‘All-seeing Argos’ (Argos Panoptes)
Tormented by a fly all the way to Egypt
Balance that situation against the end of her story:
Restored to human form by the touch of Zeus
What is the idea of Zeus in the end of this story?
Justice? Concern? Mercy?