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CLA204H1F Lecture 5

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Jarrett Welsh

CLA204H1F L5; Oct. 11, 2012 o Similarly closer to us & more specific than myhs The Greek Hero o Within human history & geography  Sagas, legends o Cities exploited legends as their own stories  Interested in developing a sense of what a legend and what a  Imagine the following Qs: greek hero is o When did Artemis cause Actaeon’s death? o Defining characteristics  Can’t answer because the myth is utside historic  Test heroes against the framework we’re developing time o When was the Trojan War? When did Jason fetch the golden fleece?  Greeks would have an answer; wouldn’t get the same answer every time or from everyone, but would get an answer Legend  In myths, the principal characters are gods & goddesses o Ex. Artemis & Actaeon  story tells us more about Artemis  In legends: principal characters are humans, even tho gods & goddesses often play a role  Legends chiefly: o Purport to tell about events from human past Red-figure hydria o Are stories about heroes  Hierarchy: Olympians, minor gods; demigods; heroes; mortals Perseus and the Gorgon  What is a “hero”? The Pan Painter Ca. 460 BC o Journey – 10 motifs listed in textbook London, British Museum E181 © Trustees of the British Museum Frodo Baggins as a [classical] hero (Lord of the Rings)  Major moment in a legend we’ll be studying  3 bodies, 3 heads – not all attached  As a hero shares many features w his Greek counterparts but dif is some important ways  Left: creepy knife, bag w head, wings on hat, bird-like ankles Tolkien = prof of Old English Literature at Oxford, new about watching strangely  Middle: headless body, giant wings on back culture & heroes  Setting: “Middle-earth” (Anglo-Saxon England, w elements  Right: helmet, garment around neck w snakey border carrying drawn from heroic epics, ex. Beowulf) spear – Athena o Historical setting made fictional  Talking about ppl, weapons, things, monsters, gods  Many Greek heroes don’t all line up either  Why & how each of these features is important in legend & in  Frodo’s (Greek) heroic features: a greek hero o Has a trusted helper/assistant/servant (Samwise Gamgee, but also the Fellowship) What is a “legend”? o Falls under the power of an enemy (Ring)  Kinds of “traditional tales”:  Important stage for any hero o Myth (traditional stories which deal w something of  Hero needs an obstacle/enemy to drive him to collective importance, stories concerned w the gods & accomplish more than what he otherwise would do how mortals interact w them) o Goes on a quest to the end of the world/to the land of the  Fantastic non-existnt places dead (?) (Mordor)  Times outside or non-relating to human history  Superhuman task, seems impossible  Timeless o Magical objects (Ring - invisiblity, cloak, phial - light, the o saga/legend sword Sting – gows blue when enemies nearby) o folktale, fairytale o Returns home at the end of the quest  short entertaining adventure stories about fantastic  “retirement”, peace, solitude beings, perhaps w magical powers  Rmbr that “pure” examples of these categories = unlikely to  Adventures, obstacles, help exist Frodo Baggins as a (non-classical) hero  Greek: myth/legend blend together Not like a Greek hero in this way:  Logos: spoken account, formal speech  Humble, filled w self-doubt about finishing his quest  Muthos: story designed to entertain an audience o Ideal Greek hero: no self-doubts, no self-reflection o Myths + Legends  Not seeking glory, surprised when he himself volunteers  Saga/legend: has a perceptible relationship to history”, o Greek: quest as a means to obtain glory; w/o goal of however fanciful & imaginative... seeking glory, can’t be a Greek hero o No matter how true or false – doesn’t matter if there  A Hobbit: w/o the clear strength & superior size of a Greek actually was a Perseus or Trojan War hero, he avoids violence o Legends thought to connect w or be a part of human o Greek heroes: physical imposing, larger & stronger than history mortal
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