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CLA219H1 - LECTURE 2.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Victoria Wohl

Lecture 2 09/18/12 WOMEN IN MYTH: PRAISE AND BLAME 1) Pandora a) Considered as the bringer of all evil to mankind  Myth of Zeus and Prometheus (name means forethought) - Prometheus stole the fire back to the people from Zeus (why had Zeus taken back fire  Prometheus had tricked Zeus in sacrifice by offering the bad parts wrapped in fat and allowing the people to eat the good parts) - Prometheus  considered as the helper/hero of mankind  Retaliation of Zeus  punish Prometheus and “curse mankind” - Prometheus bound  an eagle would eat his liver for eternity (grew back overnight). Later released by Heracles - Curse of mankind  Pandora – the first woman b) 54. Pandora – Hesiod’s Work and Days  Name origin: Pan= all, Doran = gift  Zeus send Pandora to Epimetheus (name means afterthought) - Pandora: first woman  made out of clay - Each god helped create her by giving her unique gifts - Jar (not a box!) accompanies Pandora  contains all the evils of the word  Jar symbolizes the female vagina  All evils escape except for hope (i) Good and bad reasons why  no definitive reason agreed  We still hope for a better life  Hope for offspring  Hope  most evil, we are spared the worst of all evils: knowing something worst will come (paranoia)  Context of Hesiod’s Work and Days - Didactic = teaching something - Addressed to Hesiod’s brother  How to be a good farmer, how diseases come about, etc...  How to pick a “good wife”  a balance of good and bad 2) Helen a) Most beautiful goddess  Zeus  seduced Lera (wife of Spartan King Tyndareus) in the shape of a swan - Lead gives birth to 4 eggs (twin brothers and twin sisters)  From Zeus: Helen and Pollux  From Tyndareus: Clytemnestra and Castor b) AB OVO... (= starting from the beginning...)  ALL STARTED WITH THE JUDGMENT OF PARIS  Paris (son of Priam, king of Troy) chosen to state which of the three goddess (Hera, Athena, Aphrodite) is the most beautiful to get the golden apple. Paris chooses Aphrodite (who promised him Helen)  Aphrodite awards Paris Helen. YET, Helen is already married to Greek king Menelaus. Paris gets Helen. (i) The Greeks' mission to retrieve Helen from Paris in Troy is the beginning of the Trojan War (Illiad 3. 150-160) th  Illiad: Homer does not start from the beginning but rather 10 year of the war (from the thick of it) - Helen  introduces who Agamemnon is to Priam  Teichoskopia: teichos = wall, skopia = look. Meaning: look from above (Illiad 3. 150-160)  Helen is at fault for causing the war (i) Horace, Satires 1.3.107-8  “Nam fuit ante Helenam cunnus taeterrima belli / causa” = “For before Helen a cunt was the most terrible cause of war” (ii) Stesichorus (Greek poet)  First wrote a song Helen being the cause of the war. Helen complains to her twin brothers. He ends up writing that she didn’t do it.  Palinode = “again song” a retraction of sorts  Helen is not to be blamed for causing the war (i) Gorgias ( sophist; recall: sophist taught other how to argue)  Wrote an encodium (= mortal hymn) to Helen stating she is not to be blamed  Either Helen sailed away with Paris because of fate and decision of gods or by persuasion of words or love.  If Gods’ fault, they should be to blame, not Helen  If kidnapped, it’s kidnappers fault  If persuaded, then it’s persuaders fault, not the persuaded  If persuaded by love, then she should not be blamed for committing a sin, but for her affliction. (ii) She may have triggered the war but not to be blamed for Agamemnon for going (iii) Paris to be blamed  stole her and keeps her (iv) Eres (not invited to the wedding, gate crashes  throws the golden apple the prize of the judgement of the most beautiful goddess)  Another Ending - Helen wasn’t in Troy but in Egypt. Helen and Menelaus do not reunite until the end of the war and run away together  Euripides has a play on how they finally reunite with each other. - However the details do not add up - She still marries Paris and even when he dies, she marries his brother after 3) Penelope a) The patient wife  waited 20 yrs (war was only 10)  Clytemnestra  twin sister of Penelope; total opposite of her b) All the warriors of the Trojan war suffered  Agamemnon  dies after his wife and her lover poison him on his return  Odysseus - Takes him 10 yrs to return to Penelope  Spent his time wandering and in the company of nymphs - Had to kill some of the suitors who wanted Penelope while he was away  Odysseus and Penelope had an agreement: If Odysseus is not back and their son has grown a beard, she can marry someone else  Odysseus comes back as a beggar  Penelope was still faithful after all that time c) Penelope at the loom (img)  Weaves the burial tropes  once done she will marry another suitor - Yet, she untangle every night her work to prolong her w
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