Greek Myth Final

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Achilles
in the Iliad, his mom is super concerned with his survival, he’s supposed to be the greatest fighter because he’s basically invincible cause mom dropped him in River Styx but his heel didn’t make it and that’s how he dies
Actaeon
hunter who accidentally sees Artemis and nymphs bathing, changed into a stag because of it and his dogs hunt and kill him
Aeneas
A Trojan prince and son of Anchises and Venus (Aphrodite) who fought in the Trojan war and was rescued by his mother (Venus) from his battles against both Bellerophon and Achilles. It is mentioned that Aeneas is reserved for some fate, which isn’t mentioned in the Iliad. In the Aeneid, Aeneas leaves Troy with his father on his back and his son, Iulus/Ascanius, at his side, but leaves his wife, Creusa, behind. He follows a quest similar to that of Odysseus in which he is hassled by Juno and delayed with a trip to Carthage and to the Underworld. He then engages in a battle reminiscent of that of Achilles in which he uses armor crafted by Vulcan (Hephaestus) and slays the Rutuilian King, Turnus, to avenge the death of his friend Pallas, a parallel to the death of Patroclus which started Achilles’ rage. In literary tradition, Aeneas’ son Iulus founds the city of Alba Longa, which was a predecessor to Rome. Aeneas can be seen as Rome’s parallel to the great Greek heroes and as an example of a quest hero. He is also a central part in Rome’s founders myth and establishes Rome’s place in divine descent as well as in Greek myth. In visual media, Aeneas is often represented carrying his father on his back on top of a lion skin.
Agamemnon
Sacrifices Iphigenia to get out of Aulis because the winds won’t let them leave (because he pissed off Artemis) and to Troy, he brings hom Cassandra as a war prize, Clytemnestra kills both of them because of Iphigenia
Agave
Pentheus’ mom, she kills him in a Dionysus induced spell
Amor
Eros,loved Psyche, Aphrodite was jealous of her beauty, sent Eros to make her fall for an ugly person but he falls for her so he takes her to his place but she can’t look at his face. Her sister’s convince her too so she does and is left to wander until she asks for Aphrodite’s help and is deified and lives happily ever after with Eros
Antigone
Oedipus’ daughter, buries her brother’s body against the law of her uncle Creon and gets sent to the dungeon, kills herself, no one knows so they go to release her and she’s dead, so Creon’s wife and son kill themselves; moral of the story: sometimes family is more important than the law
Apollo
son of Zeus and Leto, tries to imitate Zeus throughout his life but is unsuccessful, considered the most Greek of all gods -> linked to lots of Greek cultural achievements, always portrayed young, is the spokesperson of Zeus, tries to seduce Cassandra with the power of prophecy and she gets the prophecy but doesn’t sleep with him so he punishes her by having no one believe her, has the lyre and his offspring are associated with music and weddings, slept with Coronis (male) and Coronis was punished for sleeping with a man, basically everyone he has sex with dies or is turned into a tree (Cyparissus because she loved a stag and not Apollo)
Argo/Argonauts
Went on quest with Jason, includes literally everyone who’s anyone because people could add heroes to make them cooler, Argo is the boat which could talk
Ariadne
Ariadne helps Theseus kill the Minotaur and escape the labyrinth. She ran away with Theseus, under the pretense of a marriage to him, and he abandons her sleeping on Naxos to continue on his adventures. Not long after, Dionysus finds her and marries her. In Ovid’s Heroides, Ariadne is portrayed as the “abandoned woman” and very pathetic, appealing to the reader’s emotional side. She accuses Theseus of abandoning and betraying her after she abandoned and betrayed her family to be with him. In this letter, we see her desire for Theseus to come back and save her. We also see her desire to not be lost to time, for him to remember her and tell how she helped him defeat the Minotaur when he tells his story. While she is not portrayed as a strong, independent woman in Heroides, she does tell her side of the story and create an argument that inspires sympathy from the reader.
Artemis
daughter of Zeus and Leto, virgin goddess of the hunt, her followers are nymphs (unmarried supernatural young women), kills lots of people for seeing her naked, born on Delos island as a loophole to Hera’s clause that no land could receive them, kills Orion, Hippolytus, and Callisto
Atalanta
We see Atalanta during Aphrodite’s story in Orpheus and Eurydice. Atalanta does not want to get married, but she tells her father she will marry only the man who can beat her in a foot race. The men who are not successful are killed. Hippomenes gets 3 golden apples from Aphrodite and uses them to distract Atalanta during the race, allowing him to win at the last second. Aphrodite gets angry because Hippomenes is smug and does not thank her, so she gets Cybele to change Hippomenes and Atalanta into lions. This is why, Aphrodite says, that she is not fond of lions. This reinforces the concept of Greek marriage (the woman has very little say in the matter) and also fits with the theme of divine punishments for those who do not properly revere the gods.
Bellerophon
Bellerophon was the song of the king and queen of Corinth in most accounts, but in other accounts is said to be the son of Posedon. He is exiled after killing his brother and becomes a guest of king Proetus and his wife, who makes advances which Bellerophon refuses. Proteus sends Bellerophon away when his wife accuses Bellerophon of raping her, giving him impossible tasks like taming Pegasus (with the help of Athena and a bit of gold) and killing the Chimera (with the help of Pegasus). In the end Bellerophone is successful and marries the princess of Corinth. This is important because it both reinforces the rules of Greek hospitality – you cannot kill your guests directly – and also embodies the Potiphar’s wife motif that is common in mythology (both Greek and otherwise).
Bacchae/Maenads
Maenads means “raging women” and the Bacchae are the female followers of Dionysus, or the “women possessed by [image]Bacchus”. They are often depicted carrying a thyrsus, which is a fennel stalk with a pinecone on top. We see the Bacchae in Euripides’ Bacchae when they go to the woods and worship Dionysus, eventually resulting in the death of Pentheus. The Bacchae are also responsible for the death of Orpheus. Orpheus and his wife are reunited in death, but the Maenads are punished by Dionysus. This is important because it shows there are limits on Dionysian frenzy and reinforces the long-standing idea that women in Greek mythology could be dangerous
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Briseis
a war prize of Achilles that he and Agamemnon fight over
Brauronia
Is defined to be the initiation ritual overseen by Artemis for young girls before marriage at Bauron, a region east of Athens. The girls were described as “playing the bear” for Artemis. Sometimes the ritual is called Arcteia, which emphasizes the importance of bears in the worship of Artemis.

The myth describes how a tamed she-bear scratches a young girl with whom she is playing and then is killed by the girls’ brothers. Then, Athenians become ill until an oracle advises them that in order to be cured, they have to make the young girls to “play the bear” for Artemis, who is believed to be angry because of the death of the she-bear.

This explains that “playing the bear” was an important part in the ritual for young girls. Besides, the story also equates the young girl with the she-bear, that they play together until the she-bear draws blood from the girl, at which point the bear is killed and made to bleed.Thus, girls in Greek are believed to be somehow animal like: wild, undomesticated, and separate from the adult word, with its social responsibilities.

Delphi
Is defined as the PanHellenic sanctuary of Apollo, a site of his oracle and quadrennial festival.

Historically, the most famous oracles are the Didyma in Asia Minor and the Delphi in Grrece, where Apollo is said to provide “Zeus counsel” to men. Delphi was a cosmopolitan oracular shrine at which many greeks states and individuals, including leaders from the Near East such as King Croesus Lydia, sought Apollo counsel. It hosted quadrennial games, and offered purification from the crime of murder.

Apollo has the cult title Catharsius, as he purifies murderers of the blood on their hands so that they may return to the society and not cause it harm by provoking the wrath of the gods. In the opening of Eumenides, Orestes arrives at Delphi to be purified because he has killed his mother. Besides, Delphi also functions to enshrine Apollo’s relationship with the others females’ figures such as the Pythias, Cassandra and Daphne.

Hyacinthia
Is defined to be the Spartan festival in honor of Hyacinthus. It is a 3 days festival, which involved a form of ritualized loss. 1st day: Hyacinthus is mourned, which somber in tone and sacrifices were made at his tomb. 2nd day: procession from Sparta to Amyclae, a distance about 4 miles. Musical and athletic contests for boys were followed by a sacrifice in Apollo’s honor and a meal in which slaves and foreigners could take part in. The procession also involves women, which they take part in dancing during the night before the procession. 3rd day: much similar to second day, which generally a cheerful mood is prevailed compared to the first day.

This festival connected Hyacinthus with the boys who take part in Hyacinthia. The myth about Apollo’s accidental slaying of Hyacinthus similarly evokes, the real dangers that will attend young men’s lives when they enter adulthood. Thus, all boys must trade playful games with the discus at the gymnasium for deadly battles with shields and spears.

This myth shows to us that Apollo’s beauty as a hairy young man is a measure of how much boys must relinquish in order to become men. They must overcome their particular circumstances and identity by cutting their hair to don the hoplite’s helmet and by striving to enact the social ideals of masculinity that Apollo embodies.

Lameness
Lameness is especially prevalent to the Oedipus Tyrannus myth because Oedipus male heritage was lame. His grandfather, Labdacus, had different-sized feet, his father, Laius, was left-footed, and Oedipus had pierced feet. This lameness was representative of a character flaw, for example, Laius raped Pelops’ son and Oedipus married his mother and killed his father, and he should have never been born because his dad was cursed to infertility. This idea of lameness being representative of character is also applicable to the Greek god Hephaestus, who, in some myths, was born asexually from Hera. His lameness results from his unethical birth and creates his outcast status with other Greek gods.
Iphigenia
Iphigenia is Agamemnon and Clytemnestra’s daughter who he sacrifices in order to get to Troy. In Euripides’ play, Iphegenia at Aulis, she gains agency as a Greek female character as he turns her into a quest heroine. Rather than being immediately sacrificed, her opinion on her own death is revealed to the audience through her own words. She is able to decide that a death for her country is worth it and in the end, Euripides fulfills the audience’s desire of resolution by having Artemis swoop in and save her, taking her to Tauris. This story demonstrates the importance of the medium as Iphigenia can only have agency in a Greek tragedy as the characters need to speak for the audience to know what’s going on whereas in oral tradition and epics, the author is able to tell what happens without revealing a certain character’s perspective.
Ovid, Heroides
Ovid’s treatment of several mythical women. Ovid writes the Heroides as a series of letters from one heroic woman to her male counterpart. The letters are written in Elegaic Pentameter, which was the meter of love poetry used by Ovid and several of his counterparts. Each letter contains Ovid’s treatment of the myth, some of which are fairly unique, and each letter embodies a different emotion. The letters are written in first person from the point of view of the woman. Included among the letters are Brseis to Achilles, Penelope to Odysseus, Phaedra to Hippolytus, Dido to Aeneas, Hermionie to Orestes, and Medea to Jason. Among the unique treatments is that of Brseis, who wasn’t really given many lines in the Iliad but who begs Achilles to take Agamemnon’s deal, win her back, and stop being such a baby. This series of poetic letters is unique in myth by giving a voice and a view inside the head to many characters whom Greek mythology often overlooks.
Polyphemus
Polyphemus was a cyclops, a one eyed giant child of Poseidon, whom Odysseus visited during his voyage home from Troy. Upon landing on the Island of the Cyclopes, Odysseus and his crew visited the island, took food from his cave, and were trapped by the Cyclops, who starts to eat the Greeks. Odysseus gets the cyclops drunk on unwatered wine, tricks him by telling him that his name is “Nobody,” then blinds him and escapes by hiding under his sheep. While sailing away, Odysseus yells his real name, which allows the Cyclops to pray to his father to curse Odysseus. The cyclops acts as a foil for the Greeks to compare themselves to foreigners and examine the ideal of Greek hospitality. The cyclops violates the ideals of Greek culture by ignoring hospitality, eating his visitors, drinking his wine to the point of becoming drunk, drinking whole milk, not farming, and eating raw meat. For these reasons the cyclopes are represented as barbaric. Polyphemus makes another appearance in the Aenied, where Aeneas encounters a member of Odysseus’ crew who was left behind. The abandoned Greek relates the story of the blinded cyclops and how Odysseus left him behind, and Aeneas takes the Greek with him to Rome, showing Aeneas’ forgiveness of Odysseus, who destroyed Troy, and showing that Odysseus is a scoundrel.
Dionysus
Twice-born god. Immortal who died. Raised as a girl. Variant 1: Son of Semele and Zeus. Semele is burned to ashes in anger by Hera. Baby Dionysus is saved and sown into Zeus’s thigh. Variant 2: Son of Zeus and Persephone. Titans tear baby apart but Zeus saves heart and sows it into his thigh. Given to Semele’s sister to be raised as a girl to try to trick Hera. Hera finds out and drives her into madness. Dionysus marries Ariadne (daughter of Minos). Dionysus is god of fertility of nature and men, wine, theatre, and is the bringer of destruction and delight. In Euipides, Bacchae, we find out that he has not been worshipped in Thebes because of King Pentheus. Dionysus cannot have his and sets out to have the city perform his rites. To do so, he drives the King to go visit the mysterious Bacchae dressed as a woman. When they find him, the Bacchae kill the King and his own mother Agave tears off his head in madness thinking it was a lion. This reinforces the punishments for not worshiping a god and their power over all mortals. It also reinforces the lack of need for a female in reproduction, similar to Orestes case, as Dionysus was born from Zeus’ thigh. Finally,, it highlights the Greek thought that women are just naturally angry and violent.
Oedipus
King of Thebes after Laius is killed while traveling. He is in reality the son of Laius and Jocasta. He is abandoned as a baby because an oracle says he will kill his father. He is rescued by a shepherd and given to another king/queen. When Oedipus goes to the oracle because rumors tell him that he is not really the child of his parents, he hears that he will kill his father and marry his mother. He then leaves the city and travels to Thebes. He gets into a dispute with Laius along the way, killing him. He solves the riddle of the sphinx in Thebes and then becomes king of the city for the city’s gratitude. Through a series of unfortunate events he realizes that he has fulfilled his fate. He pierces his eyes out and heads to the mountains for the remainder of his life. Oedipus reinforces the ancient Greek’s belief that you cannot escape your fate. Fate was very important to them, and it can be seen by their faith and reliance on the oracle in Delphi.
Deianira
Heracles second wife. She was promised to Achelous, but she didn’t like him and instead chose Heracles. Heracles defeated the god. When Nessus, a centar, tries to rape Deianira, Heracles shoots him with an arrow. While he is dying, Nessus convinces Deianira to mix his blood with olive oil and give it to Heracles as a potion to keep her husband faithful. She puts it on his shirt and it causes his skin to burn so he jumped into fire and killed himself. She then killed herself. Deianira reinforces the Greek belief that women are just awful and are nothing but a burden for man. Not only does Heracles have to fight with a god over her, but she later ends up poisoning her husband, driving him to kill himself.
Medusa
Medusa, often depicted as a winged creature with poisonous snakes in place of where her hair should be, forms a collective group with her two sisters known as the Gorgons. She is the only mortal Gorgon and is extremely dangerous to mortal men, as if they take one look at her they will become paralyzed and turn to stone. On vases Medusa is frequently portrayed as fleeing from the hands of Perseus, who had been commissioned to obtain her head, attempting to escape the beheading. When she finally falls to her fate and is decapitated by Perseus, the winged horse Pegasus, made famous by the Disney movie Hercules, is birthed from her neck. The stories about Medusa cause females to be portrayed under a certain light, suggesting that they have powers of procreation, magic, and art, enchanting qualities that threaten to transform men and their world in ways they cannot fully control. This bolsters the idea that is present in Greek myth that men are often threatened by the strength of women, which results in women remaining in a place of inferiority.
Cybele
Cybele was referred to by the Greeks as the Phrygian Great Mother, which derives from a Phrygian adjective that means “of the mountains.” Often represented as an older woman, she was frequently depicted wearing a long, belted gown with a headdress and a long veil, while being accompanied by some kind of predatory bird (such as an eagle or a hawk), and less frequently by lions or male attendants. Cybele not only represented universal motherhood for the Greeks, but she was very closely linked to nature as opposed to the political world of a city, although she facilitated exchanges between natural and civilized spaces. In contradiction to her title as “mother,” Cybele was rarely depicted with infants or children, which makes her appear as a caretaker of the natural world rather than a goddess who presides over matters of fertility. It is believed that Artemis inherited Cybele’s intimate connection with the natural world, as they are both represented with wild animals and as living in uncivilized spaces, demonstrating how characteristics of gods and goddesses can be traced back to the Great Mother.
Medea
Medea is the daughter of King Aeetes and either a sea nymph or the goddess Hecate, and is associated with witchcraft. Medea is one of the most prominent characters in the story of Jason and the Argonauts as she helps Jason succeed in all of the tasks set before him by her father, including providing Jason with the herbs to put the dragon guarding the Golden Fleece to sleep. When her and Jason finally return to Ithaca after their journey, they marry and have two sons, whom Medea is most infamous for killing. Later on, Jason leaves Medea for the Corinthian princess Creusa, causing Medea to become extremely jealous and murderous, resulting in the murder of both Creusa and her father. These incidents demonstrate how Medea transforms from a benevolent princess into a villain. In Euripide’s Medea, Medea grieves over the condition of women’s lives in Greece, noting that the choice of whom a woman will marry is not up to that woman and that she must have her husband’s children no matter the state of their marriage, which she points out is far more dangerous than fighting a war. This highlights women’s place in ancient Greece, a position that has influenced how women and goddesses are portrayed in myth.
Trojan War
A war between the Greeks and the Trojans in order to save Helen. Helen is a wife of Menelaus and she was taken away by Paris which actually a guest of Menelaus. The reason why Paris took Helen with her because Aphrodite promised him the most beautiful women in the world if she gets the golden apple, the golden apple is an apple that Paris would give to one of the goddess that is considered as the “fairest”. Menelaus then seek help from the Greeks, and Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae led an army to save Helen. In going to Troy, Agamemnon has to sacrifice his own daughter, Iphigenia to please goddess Artemis. The war is an important event in Greek Mythology, it has been narrated in many narration but most significant in Homer’s Iliad. The war includes many important heroes in Greek Myth like Achilles, Odysseus, Hector, Aeneas and many others who their stories develop during the Trojan War or after the Trojan War.
King Initiation
Motif that can be seen in some of the Greek myth where in order for one to be a king, he has to kill his father, or the father is killed is some ways because of the son. Another criteria that usually associated to king initiation is that the character has to kill or defeat a monster. These can be seen in both the stories of Oedipus and Theseus. Oedipus unknowingly kills his father when he got into a dispute with him on the way to Thebes. And when he got to Thebes, he defeats the Sphinx by solving the riddle. As a result to that, he earn the throne as a king, replacing his father. And for Theseus, he promised his father to change the color of his sail when he has defeated Minotaur, but he forgot to do it and this results to his father, Aegeus, legendary king of Athens, to kill himself and ultimately leading to Theseus replacing his father’s place as the king of Athens.
Heracles
The most famous greek heroes of all time, son of Zeus and Alcmene. Considered as a Greek Hero as he fulfills the 5 criteria of hero by Maurizio which are “understood as someone who died, performed extraordinary tasks, died in a premature, mysterious, or violent way, worshipped at their gravesites, and are the object of song or cult”. Kills his own wife and children because he Hera messes with his mind making him unwillingly kill his own family. And to redeem himself, he did the 12 labor given by his cousin, Eurystheus. He manages to get most of the tasks done with the help from Athena. And this 12 labor is a good example of extraordinary deed perform by a hero. He dies violently when Filotetes burns him alive because he cannot bare the pain caused by his cape that has Nessus’s blood on it. Her wife is the one who places the blood on the cape because she believes the blood is a love portion and he doesn’t want Hercules to love anyone else except for her, she regrets it and kills herself.
“Other”
refers to the story of Odysseus and the Cyclops, Polyphemus. Odysseus represents “self” or Greek men, and acts in ways that are revered in Greek culture to show he stands for everything it means to be Greek. On the other hand, Polyphemus is “Other” and does pretty much everything a Greek man shouldn’t. This is most clearly shown by his lack of hospitality, as being hospitable to foreign guests is a strong value of ancient Greeks. Cyclops differences from Greeks can be grouped in several categories: their way of life, diets, social institution, religion and looks. First, they have different ways of living that include no agriculture, pastoralism, no technique, no ships, and no houses. Their diets consist of raw milk and meats, meat of Greek humans. They basically have no social institutions with no laws, councils, justice or social cohesion. They are not religious as they do not honor gods or provide sacrifices. Lastly, and most obviously, they look like monsters, completely different from Greek people. The point of the “Other” in stories is for people to use stories to define “self” or who they are, and this is done in opposition to the “other.” In this case particular, Greeks can define themselves in accordance to an almost “anti-Greek” Polyphemus.
Sophocles, Antigone
begins with the death’s of Antigone’s brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, fulfilling the prophecy that they will kill each in battle for the throne of Thebes. Eteocles received a proper burial, while Polyneices is forbidden to by buried by King Creon for reason’s of treason. Despite the law, Antigone buries her brother, is locked away by Creon, and then hangs herself in prison. As a result, Haemon, Creon’s son, kills himself and which leads to Creon’s wife killing herself as well. With his son and wife dead, Creon ironically suffers the most in this Greek tragedy.

The significance of this play is its incorporations of principal conflicts of human existence. First, the struggle between Antigone and Creon demonstrates conflicts of men versus women through Antigone standing up to the male dominated culture of the Greeks. Old versus young is shown through Creon and his son Haemon. Creon refuses to listen to his son because he is older, and therefor believes he is wiser and must be right. Also, this play deals with the conflict of state versus law when Antigone has to decide between obeying the law or giving her brother a proper burial. Lastly, living versus dead is shown through Antigone’s late brothers still have so much influence in the actions of the play, additionally after Antigone dies, she still is able to cause strife in Creon’s life. The important things to note about these conflicts in the play is while they are mentioned, they are never resolved.

Gilgamesh
is the king of the Sumerian city Urak. He is a strong king and superior warrior, but he is very cruel which causes his people to complain to the gods. The gods created Enkidu to challenge Gilgamesh, but these two men develop a friendship. Together, they kill a scared animal which causes the gods to punish them by killing Enkido. Gilgamesh is inconsolable when Enkido is killed, but also worried about his own mortality. He seeks to find immortality from Utnapishtim, but fails the test and then ruins his second chance of immortality by losing the plant that would grant him such. At the end of the epic, he secures his place as a hero by coming to terms with the fact that men must die, but the walls of Urak and his name will last throughout time.

The story of Gilgamesh follows a similar epic pattern of that of Aeneas and Achilles. Most significant is the similarities between Gilgamesh and Achilles. Both heroes begin their story with flaws, such as Achilles’ dramatics and Gilgamesh’s cruelty. They both suffer great losses of their friends; however, while both devastated, they handle these losses differently. Gilgamesh becomes a more compassionate king and searches for eternal life, while Achilles goes on a killing spree. These epics have similar ending with realizing their mortality and retaining glory as a hero. The similarities in theses stories exemplifies myths crossing borders with common themes carrying over between cultures.

Greek Hospitality
Greek hospitality is a set of rules for how Greeks are supposed to treat their guests as well as how guests are supposed to behave. These rules existed not merely to show politeness but because of ethical and religious significance. The hosts are expected to provide food and shelter for their guests and help them however possible, while the guests were expected to be honest and courteous in return. The notion of hospitaility is a recurring motif particularly in the stories of quest heroes, namely those of Jason and Odysseus, as heroes often relied on their hosts to help them along on their journies. In many cases, however, the hosts violated the principle by hindering the heroes they receive (such as Polyphemus trapping Odysseus and his crew on the island) or tried to circumvent in some fashion to get rid of the hero without killing them (such as when Pelias sent Jason to get the Golden Fleece thinking he would never return). Ultimately, one of the roles of these quest myths is to highlight the importance of hospitality within Greek society.
Heracle’s Labors
As punishment for killing Megara and their children, Heracles was given twelve tasks to accomplish by his cousin and king of Tiryns, Eurystheus. Many of these tasks involve clearing out monsters from different parts of the Greek countryside, such as the Nemean Lion, the Lernean Hydra, and the Kerynian Hind. These tasks exemplify how Heracles fulfills one of the five main criterion of Greek heroes, as outlined by Maurizio, of performing extraordinary deeds. Athena played a pivotal role in accomplishing several of these tasks (namely helping Heracles divert a river to clean the Augean Stables), which demonstrates the role of divine beings in the journies of heroes. Furthermore, they serve to unify different regions of Greece in their connection to Heracles and his legacy.
Liminality
Liminality is essentially a state of being in-between two extreme or opposite ideas, such as chaos and order or living and dead. This notion is primarily associated with the god Dionysus, whose fickle dualities often puts him at odds with established norms. For instance, he is an immortal being who was killed as a baby but saved/brought back by Zeus, putting him somewhere between mortal and immortal, and was then raised as a girl by Ino and Athamas, putting him somewhere between male and female. Furthermore, he blurs the line between chaos and order (or alternatively, between wild and tame) because he can be a relaxed individual focused on wine and merriment but can also drive people into mad frenzies. Dionysus’ liminal and unpredictable nature causes the leadership to disdain him wherever he goes, so the myths centered around him often involve questioning and challenging the establishment of Greek society.
Cadmus
first king of Thebes, creates it by sowing Dragon’s teeth into ground (thanks Athena) and men came out and became the Thebian citizens, him and wife Harmonia become snakes because of Dionysus curse
Cassandra
Apollo tries to seduce her with the power of prophecy and she gets the prophecy but doesn’t sleep with him so he punishes her by having no one believe her; she’s given to Agamemnon as a war prize
Cercopes
monkey men who interfered with Heracles labors
Chimera
female monster with Lion’s head, goat’s head, and snake head, breathes fire, killed by Bellerophon
Circe
transformed Odysseus’ men into pigs and tried to keep him with her on the island
Clytemnestra
Helen’s half-twin, born from an egg, kills hubby and lover because hubby sacrificed her daughter, killed by Orestes
Danae
Mother of Perseus by Zeus, who entered her locked room in a shower of gold. Danae’s father, King Acrisius of Argos, had been warned that he would be killed eventually by a son born to Danae.
Daphne
Nymph who was changed into a tree by her dad so that dad could escape Apollo
Dionysia (city and country)
country is a small theater festival where people have a phallophoria and there’s performance of tragedies and comedies
and city is the Theater of Dionysus which is a week long festival in Athens with constant theater sunup to sun down
Euripides, Bacchae
The version of Dionysus’ birth where Semele is his mom, Dionysus vs. Pentheus, D convinces P to dress up as a Maenad, he is found out and ripped apart by his mom Agave because she thinks he’s a lion, she carries his head out and calls Pentheus to come see but Dionysus’ spell wears off and she is exiled
Euripides, Ion
Euripides redrew the family tree so that the Greek descendants came from a god, Ion is given to Creusa and Xuthus and told he’s Xuthus’ kid but actually he’s Apollo’s, eventually Creusa and Xuthus have kids which lead to the Spartans and Ion’s kids become the Athenians.
Eurydice
Orpheus’ wife who dies and goes to the Underworld
Golden Fleece
Jason steals this with the help of Medea
Gorgon
3 sisters who have snakes as hair and gaze turns people to stone
Hecuba
Priam’s wife, Hector’s mom,
Helen
The woman that started the Trojan War, very beautiful woman
Hellen
Son of Deucalion and Phyrrha, he’s basically the man which every Greek descends from
Heracles
son of Zeus and Alcmene, half-twin of Iphicles, cousin of Eurystheus, marries then kills Megara and their 3 kids in a Hera-induced fit of rage
he has a long standing feud with Hera
he has to do 12 labors so that his cousin can forgive him for matricide, these involve killing lots of things (exterminator of monsters), they lead him all over Greece and he becomes the “Hero for all Greeks”, marries Deianira and Nessos (1/2 man, 1/2 horse) tries to rape her and he kills him but Nessos convinces D to cover Heracles clothes with his poisonous blood and Heracles dies, but then he’s immortalizes and marries Hebe
Hero/Heroine
1) someone who has died
2) did extraordinary deeds which weren’t exactly moral
3) premature/violent/mysterious death
4) worshiped at grave site
5) object of song and cult
Homer, Iliad
Trojan WAr
Homer, Odyssey
Odysseus’ adventures coming home from the Trojan war, takes him 10 years
Ion
The king of Athens in Euripides play, patriarch of the Ionian ethnic group,
Jason
Jason goes to boarding school for heroes where Chiron trains him, uncle Pelias took his throne in the meantime, when Jason comes back Pelias sends him to get the Golden Fleece if he wants the throne back, on quest sails all over Mediterranean with argonauts, goes to Colchis where fleece is and is given 3 tasks which Medea helps him with, in escape she kills her brother
Jocasta
Oedipus’ and Laius’ wife, O’s mom
Labdacus
Laius’ dad, Oedipus’ grandfather, has two different-sized legs, rapes
Laius
Oedipus’ dad
Megara
Heracles’ wife
Menelaus
Spartan king, Helen’s husband, Agamemnon’s little brother
Minotaur
bull man that livves in a labyrinth, killed by Theseus with help of Ariadne
Nessos/Nessus
half man-half horse who Heracles kills but Nessos gets his revenge by convincing Heracle’s wife to use his blood and cover Heracle’s clothes in it which kills him
Odysseus
long quest from the Odyssey
Orpheus
Son of Apollo, great musician, marries Eurydice but she dies and goes to Underworld. Desperate, Orpheus goes down and plays a song that sways Hades to release her BUT Orpheus can’t look back at her until they’ve reached the entrance to the Underworld. Right as they’re about to cross, he looks back and she disappears back to the underworld. All alone, he sings the story of women turned into trees until he dies but his head keeps singing until Apollo shuts him up
Pegasus
flying horse that came out of Medusa once her head was chopped
Penelope
Odysseus’ wife, tricks suitors during the 10 years O is gone by undoing her weaving at night, said she’d pick a suitor by the time she finished the project
Pentheus
king of Thebes, killed by Agave under Dionysus’ spell as she thinks he’s a lion
Perseus
son of Zeus and Danae, Delphi says he’ll kill the king so mom and Perseus locked in a box where they float to island and Polydectes finds them and wants to marry Danae so he sends Perseus to get Medusa’s head, obviously he needs help: gets Cap of Hades for invisibility, winged sandals, and a leather pouch to carry the head, Pegasus comes out of her when he cuts off her head (With Athena’s head), Perseus uses the head as a weapon, marries Andromeda, returns to mom and turns Polydectes to stone, goes to mainland and kills kind with discus (prophesy fulfilled).
Phaedra
Ariadne’s sister, married Theseus, in love with their son
Phineus and the Harpies
made him eat shit
Polydectes
killed by Perseus with Medusa’s head
Psyche
Goddess of soul, wife of Eros, lost ERos when she looked at his face when she wasn’t supposed to,
Pithia
Oracle of Delphi, name of any oracle priestess
Quest Hero/Heroine
primary task is a journey where they pursue and object/person and they get help from a god/goddess
Rites of Passage
happen during transitions in life (growing up, marriage, birth), these special moments are marked by ritual, they have a common structure of separation(preliminal) where there’s a different place or appearance, time at the margin (liminal) which is a transitional period, reaggregation (postliminal)reintegration into society
Satyrs
half horse males who worship Dionysus
Scylla/Charybdis
whirlpool and monster that Odysseus must pass, chooses to go closer to monster Scylla because that’s not certain death like whirlppool
Semele
Dionysus’ mom
Sirens
lure men to deaths, Odysseus want to hear their song so he’s tied to mast and men put wax in their ears
Sophocles, Antigone
I know this
Sophocles, Oedipus the King
I know this
Sphinx (and riddle)
What goes on four feet in the morning, two in the day, three in the evening (man), also metaphor for Oedipus himself
Thebes
crazy city
Theseus
Tries to be Heracles but can’t do it, born and raised in Troezan but goes to Athens because Delphi, kills some monsters on the way, reunites with his father in Athens but Medea spells his father so that he doesn’t recognize Theseus. In Crete he defeats the Minotaur with Ariadne’s help and they run off together but he ditches her on an island. Because he killed the Minotaur, he’s now the king of Athens. He has an affair with Antiope (Amazon) and marries Phaedra, Ariadne’s sis
Thetis
Achilles mom, judgement of Paris happened at her wedding, super protecctive of Achilles
Tragic Irony
when the audience is aware that a character’s actions will bring about tragic events but the character doesn’t know

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