Macpherson - The Tale of Troy - Lec 18.docx

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Laura Jane Wey

Macpherson, “The Tale of Troy” th Wednesday November 14 , 2012 Main Source of Tales of the Trojan War  The Iliad (=matter of Ilion)  The Odyssey (= matter of Odysseus) o Epic poems compiled from earlier oral literature  Spread from bard to bard orally  Passed down orally o Each compthsed of 24 “books” (divisions not necessarily original) o Homer: 8 century BCE (?); tradition of Homer as blind wandering bard  Put down what were already myths from his lifetime  Not an original teller of the story o The Iliad generally accepted as the oldest literary work in Western history Where stories of Homer Took Place  Aegean sea is to east of Greece  Adriatic sea is to west of Greece  Troy is across Aegean Sea  Odysseus is from Ithaca… very far away from most of the heroes come from  Island on coast of Western Greece The Trojan War: Before  Eris’s Golden Apple: “For the fairest” o Eris: goddess of discord & chaos; born of Nyx o Paris’s judgment of the three goddesses  Zeus does not want to decide so sends the goddesses down to earth  Paris needs to decide whom to give the apple to  The goddesses tempt him with these gifts:  Hera: power and honour  Athena: victory in war  Aphrodite: Helen of Sparta  The rape of Helen  Paris visits Menelaus… due to xenia… Menelaus welcomes Paris with kindness  Paris steals a lot of the goods in Menelaus home… and also takes Helen… wife of Menelaus with him as he leaves o The allegiance sworn by Helen’s ex-suitors  Everybody gets involved in the war  Everyone swore to help Menelaus because they had promised to keep Helen with him  The sacrifice of Iphigeneia  Happens before Trojan war o Story of the House of Atreus  Happens after Trojan War Family Tree of the House of Atreus  Lots of killing of children  Place where he was damned if he did… and damned if he didn’t  Orestes kills his mother to avenge his father  Gets pursued by furies all around the world to avenge for his mother  Athena came out to stop this chase o Interference from god ended cahse  Frames 2 ends of Trojan war The Trojan War: The Key Players  Greeks:  Trojans: o Agamemnon o Hector  Leader of Greeks  Mightiest of son of Priam  Brothers with Menelaus o Priam  Very vain  50 sons & 50 daughters  Hungry for power o Heabe/ Hecuba o Menelaus  Wife of Priam o Achilles  Queen of Troy  Son of Thetis greater than o Paris the father  Figure who judged the  Achilles heel… one goddesses weakness  Was sent to be killed… but o Odysseus was saved…  Tricky character  Oracle that said he would o Ajax be the downfall of Troy  All brawn o Cassandra o Nestor  Sister of Hector and Paris  Old man  Very good oracle,  advisor  No one believes her… due to a curse by Apollo  The Olym
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