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Praise and Blame.doc

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Regina Höschele

Lecture 2 (09/18/12): Praise and Blame - Pandora is the bringer of all evil into the world and the first woman in the world - Woman was created as revenge (and punishment) for Prometheus stealing fire from Zeus for mankind - Pandora is given to Epimetheus (brother of Prometheus) who only has the after sight to realize it was a mistake to take her - Prometheus is punished by being tied to a rock and having his liver eaten out by an eagle every day - Pandora means 'All Gifts' could be because she was given a gift from each of the gods as she was created or because she released all the evils into the world - The context of the myth is the Works and Days (Hesiod), which explains why life is hard and why mankind has to work and why there is disease - The jar is symbolic of the womb, the storage in which evil is kept - Hope was left in the jar, there is much debate about what that actually means (is it good or bad?) - Woman as something bad, connected with the evils of the world - According to Hesiod you can't live with women (they're horrible) and you can't live without them (you'd be childless) - Marriage is not the romantic ideal of love for all time in antiquity, more of an economic transaction - Helen is the most beautiful woman in the world and happened to start the Trojan war - She is the Daughter of Zeus (Swan) and Leto, her siblings are Clytemnestra, Castor and Pollux - Castor and Clytemnestra were the mortal children of Leto and Tyndareus, Helen and Pollux the semi-divine children of Zeus and Leto - Ab Ovo: from the egg, to start a story from the very beginning, something Homer doesn't do - Paris judges the goddesses and declares Aphrodite the winner, she gives him Helen as a prize but she is married to Menelaus - Agamemnon and the Achaeans then go to Troy to take Helen back and destroy the city - The scene with Helen and Priam on the city walls is an introduction to the reader / listener, from the narrative prospective this should have happened 10 years earlier - Outstanding beauty is considered threatening and dangerous (the old men of Troy) - Long tradition in Epic to blame Helen completely for the Trojan war (not Paris) - Palinode: an 'Again song', a song used to recant from a previous song (Stesichorus) - Encomium: A song of praise to a human being, as opposed to a hymn to the gods - People also defend Helen, such as Gorgias in his speech - Helen herself was never in Troy, just a spectre of her, the real Helen was living peacefully in Egypt until Menelaus wrecks there - This is done in the play by Euripides - There are set events with the mythology but how you get there depends - Helen and Menelaus always end up back together but there are different ways classic authors get them to that point - Penelope is considered the exemplary wife / woman, always chaste and loyal - Nobody knows whether Odysseus is dead or alive so suitors are pursuing Penelope - Clytemnestra is the opposite of Penelope, the bad wife that takes the power and kills her husband - Weaving is something that symbolizes chastity, they are indoors doing women's work and not getting into any trouble - Medea is threatening because of the sorcery - Argonautica: The stories about Jason and the Argonauts and his quest for the golden fleece, chronologically before the Trojan war - She is also the barbarian other, the daughter of the Colchian king - Medea helps Jason complete the tasks set to him by her father (betraying him), she leaves with Jason as his wife - Jason wants to marry a Greek princess and so M
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