CLAS 1P97: The Hero 7 January 2014
• “Hero’s” – a person who is usually noble, well-born, and capable (as in homer)
• A Greek hero will always have a special social or religious status as a warrior
ruler or seer.
o Gifts of god are what make people heroic. Luck is also a key trait that
helps people get people heroic and become something more than a
ordinary person in life.
o Metis helps come up with cunning ideas
The main types of hero story:
Legend – emphasis on a single character Saga – emphasis on an
(Either can be real or fictional)
Hero myth creates a type of “proto-history” Special people and events in the past.
Hercules (Hercules) and the Trojan war was actually something that went on.
Saga would be the Trojan War. Hercules story is a legend.
Hercules lived way before the Trojan War, and many people thought.
Supernatural beings – the gods
Cosmology – (learning about the heavens)
Cosmogony – (descent of the gods)
A type of “proto-science”
Is it real? Does it matter?
Mythos = utterance, story (prose or poetry)
In contrast to a logos = utterance which can be supported by other evidence.
Perseus – one of the oldest of the hero’s
His myth is much like a folk-tale.
Argolid Perseus comes from the city of Argos. CLAS 1P97: The Hero 7 January 2014
Acrisius vs. Proetus
- These two Brothers are always fighting
Argos (Acrisius) becomes the king of argos
Tiryns (Proetus) becomes the king of Tiryns
They always plotted against each other they always wanted to kill each other that’s
why their kingdom was split into halves and they were usually at war.
Daughter of Acrisius and Eurydice
Oracle – her child will kill acrisius
Acrisuis imprisoned Danae in a bronze chamber.
Around the oracle is that when someone tries to escape unsuccessfully and this is
what is happened by acrisuis and he tries to stop fate from happening and from it to
continuing on. So he basically imprisons his family so they can’t get out of the
mother. She caught the eye of zeus and since she is in jail chamber he turns himself
in a shower of gold to get into the chamber and that’s how he is able to get into the
chamber and as he gets down onto her he gets into the chamber and gets all
• She gets pregnant, and when she gets pregnant she actually tells everyone
that Zeus got her pregnant.
• Danae and Perseus are put into a chest that floats to the island of seriphons.
• Perseus is the grandson of Danae and Zeus.
• It goes from Argos to seriphons.
Dictys - a kind fisherman, takes them in.
Polydeuces - the evil king, lusts after Danae.
• Polydecades demands gifts for a feast as a means to remove Perseus and
• Perseus seems to be very strong and much stronger than an average
teenager. So the Zeus seems to be coming out the child.
• Perseus defends his moms honour so he says he can't give him a horse but
he can give anything else that he wants
The quest: a Gordon's head CLAS 1P97: The Hero 7 January 2014
• The quest is to "get a Gordon's head for someone"
• If is the known as the most impossible task for anyone to complete
Athena - the first to help Perseus (the divine help)
• Gives him a slightly polished shield and tells him to see the graiai (Graeae)
Graiai "the grey women" = a trial or sub quest.
They are related to the Gordon's and have information about them.
Perseus holds their eye hostage. He holds their eye ransom. This is how they get the
information from the people and how they are able to say things. Perseus either
gives it back or throws it back… so they are oral tr