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Lecture notes- apologies for mis-spelling

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Victoria Wohl

CLA232 Continuation of Alterity between humans and God Remember from last class humans are defined remember the scene between Prometheus and Zeus where the Gods exchange this defines us humans we need sacrifice we need fire and we need women We need all of these because we are not immortal On Wednesday we saw a more abstract mediation and that is our limited knowledge which is a defining feature of human life Oedipus the king embodies the wisdom know thyself He shows how hard it is for mortals to actually know themselves The oracle tells us to know ourselves but the play asks if that is possible There is so much the Oedipus does not know about himself ie His parents what will happen etc The play explores this maxim but asks whether it is possible for human beings given the limitations of our knowledge and understanding and even if it were possible what good would it do to us The play comes to a bleak ending Count no man happy until he is dead Nothing in Excess seems like a fairly simple and straight forward Bacchae asks If you live a life of strict moderation if you avoid all excessiveness are you missing out on something Also asks how can we know ourselves if we dont know our limitsSophrosune moderation wisdom restraint knowing your place control not doing things in excess This is both embodied in know thyself and in Nothing in excessThis is the centre of a morality that the Greeks associated with Apollo and with civilized life in the cityDionysus God of wine and theatreHas a strange status in Greek religion Sometimes a God sometimes not considered a GodHas elements of both male and femaleGreek and Foreign Both central and marginal to greek thought Doubleness and ambiguity starts with the story of Zeus and Semele Zeus divine shape is a lightning bolt and burned Semele to a crisp Semele is a pregnant so Zeus takes the embroyo out and puts it in his thigh then gives birth to Dionysus from his thigh Thus he is said to be born twice born from mother human and born from Zeus thigh divine birth Dionysus is associated with death born from death and death being incorporated in his mythology Combination of humanity and divinity allows us to bring divinity into our human lives one way he does is through wine Libation is a liquid sacrifice Just like when you eat meat and offer the bones when you drink wine you pour out a little bit first to worship honour Dionysus Whenever you drink wine it is said you are honouring Dionysus Wine can make us forget our mortality forget that we cant know our future make us forget that we will die forget count no man happy till hes dead You can enjoya little bit of divine happiness Wine is a medicine for the human conditionWine can also be dangerous however Human beings are not supposed to be God and if we forget our limits there are dangers That danger as an element of Wine is represented
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