Mutability of Myth

Mutability of Myth - Mutability of Myth January 16, 2008 o...

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Mutability of Myth January 16, 2008 Key terms: o Mythos o Medusa o Orpheus   Myth: traditional story about gods, heroes, monsters o Handed down orally, from generation to generation o Change in details, presentation Mythos     : authoritative speech o Logos: explanatory account (logical) Defining myths: o Myth: gods and goddesses  From remote past and different world o Heroic legend: heroes and heroines Recent past and our world o Folktales: ordinary, anonymous person (or animal) Anytime and any place (generic) Many chronological periods Chronology of textual sources o Hellenistic: Parian Marble= record of myths THESIS: Meanings of myths are contingent upon their temporal and spatial  contexts. Medusa     : centaur body; Gorgon o Descendant of Pontos (the sea) o Daughter of Phorcys and Ceto o Medusa suffered mortality o Medusa + Poseidon: gave birth through head after it was cut off: Pegasus o Medusa's parents: pig and sea monster (whale) o Death: chased after or during sleep? o Children: Pegasus and Chrysaor o Medusa's head: symbol of strength for gods Athena's armor Violated by Poseidon in Athena's sanctuary --> punishment: turn  Medusa's hair into snakes o Lucan, Pharsalla Book 9 Describing the dangers of Libya, Lucan shares the legend of Medusa as one
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source for the land's many, poisonous reptiles:   Medusa is said to have lived in the far west of Africa, at the point where the  Ocean laps against the hot earth, in a wide, untilled, treeless region which she had turned entirely to  stone merely by gazing around her. The story is that when her head was cut off, serpents were 
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This note was uploaded on 02/24/2008 for the course CLAS 280g taught by Professor Richter during the Spring '07 term at USC.

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Mutability of Myth - Mutability of Myth January 16, 2008 o...

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