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Who were Perseus' parents?

Zeus and Danaë


What happened to Perseus as an infant?

- He and his mother (Danaë) were cast out to sea in a chest because of an oracle
- Survives and grows up on an island


Why did Perseus sever Medusa's head?

Because he promised Polydectes that he would bring it to him, despite being a near impossible task


Who helped Perseus with the task of obtaining Medusa's head and how? (8)

- Hermes, Athena, and the Graeae
- Provided him with winged sandals (so he could fly), a cap of invisibility, a shield, a sword to decapitate Medusa, and a pouch to carry the head in


How does Perseus behead Medusa? (2)

- She is the only mortal gorgon
- He looks at her reflection in the shield rather than directly at her


Why does Perseus rescue Andromeda? (2)

- Poseidon cursed her homeland with flooding and a sea monster because her mother (Cassiepea) claimed to be more beautiful than the Nereids
- Andromeda was a sacrifice to appease the monster


Motifs of the myth of Perseus (5)

- Princess in trouble
- Heroic pattern
- Villainous kings
- Rash promise of hero and an impossible task
- Supernatural/magic


Why is Odysseus an interesting hero?

He is clever and insightful rather than brawny


What does the Odyssey tell the story of?

Odysseus' return home to Ithaca for his reunion with his wife (Penelope) and child (Telemachos)


What difficulties does Odysseus encounter on his return to Ithaca? (5)

- Wrath of the gods
- Monsters
- Alluring women (Sirens) and witches (Circe)
- A visit to the underworld
- Bad weather and sea conditions


What does Odysseus/Ulysses represent to the Romans and later literature? (4)

- The archetypal patient man
- Endures adversity
- Persists towards his goal
- Ultimately succeeds


What does Penelope represent to the Romans and later literature? (2)

- The archetypal heroine
- Patient, loyal, and faithful wife


What does the word Odyssey mean?

Quest for life itself


How is the Odyssey used in popular culture?

Usually set in contemporary times but remains similar, stressing the universality of the thematic content


Why is myth used in cultural texts? (4)

- To retell a story that is powerful, universal, and timeless
- Allow writers to expose or express contemporary issues
- Offer an escape from our world
- For comparison


How do writers give a personal perspective when using myth in their works? (2)

- Revisioning the characters to add depth or their own characters
- Using the myth as a foundation to create their own story by adding, subtracting, enhancing or embellishing the content


How were myths used in cultural texts during the Middle Ages? (4)

- Retold with characters set to the medieval period
- Emphasis on morality and religion
- Rationalization of the pagan and supernatural
- Added romance element


How were myths used in cultural texts during the Renaissance? (3)

- Didactic and romantic
- Brought together biblical and classical
- Used to give a personal perspective


How were myths used in cultural texts by the Romantics? (5)

- Reaction against rational and mechanical world
- Symbolism
- Myth as religion: link to nature
- Personal and exalted visions of nature, man, and poetry
- Lamement for loss of beauty of the Greek world


How are myths used in cultural texts by modern and contemporary writers?

A voice for those who have never had a voice before


How were myths treated in early Christianity? Example?

- They were rationalized so that they could be deemed acceptable
- Roman poet Lucretius


Who was Ovid? (3)

- An author popular in the middle ages
- Stories for romantic sake but with moralizing tones
- Warn to be careful of revenge, jealousy, arrogance


Who did the Trojan Legend start with? Then who? (8)

- Dictys (2 AD)
- Dares
- Boccaccio
- Benoit
- Dante
- Caxton
- Chaucer
- Shakespeare


How were myths approached during the Italian Renaissance (14th C)? (3)

- Scholars learned Greek
- Rebirth of classical literature
- Epic, poetry, pastoral, drama


How were myths approached in 16th and 17th C England?

- Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare
- Use of mythic characterization
- Allusions
- Allegories in poetry
- Masques


How were myths approached during the French Renaissance (16th and 17th C)?

Retelling of great dramas (e.g. Racine)


How were myths approached during 18th C England? (2)

- Dryden: more interested in Roman, translated Ovid
- Pope: translated The Iliad and presented his own views


How did the Romantics and Victorians approach myth?

Retelling stories in their own voice, express concepts of their age


Shelley and Arnold on myth

Look back to classical for beauty "moral grandeur"


Tennyson on myth

Gives Ulysses his own voice, go forward in life