ch11underworld

ch11underworld - Classics 10 Chapter 11 Spring 2010 Myths...

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Classics 10: Chapter 11: Spring 2010 Myths of Death: Encounters with the Underworld [Dionysus and Tragedy: Euripides’ Bacchae ] I. The Greek View of Death II. Odysseus Visits Death’s Realm III. Orpheus and Eurydicê IV. Plato and Virgil: Teaching from Hell
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Office Hours This Week If you would like to see what you got right and what you got wrong on your exam, I will be holding extra office hours this week Mon., Tues., Wed., 2:30-5pm; Thurs. 1-4pm 716 Sproul Hall (near corner of 1st and A Streets), where all Foreign Languages are Compare your scantron to the answer key and the exam; all questions to be clarified Grades on MyUCDavis gradebook, scores curved by one point (i.e., out of 69, not 70): median = 81 We also accepted both Hades and Apollo on the question re: who was not an Olympian born of Cronus
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Resistance to Dionysus Why so much resistance to his cult? Gruesome deaths to all who resist Wine is pleasure, but very easily a madness Is madness punishment? Or freedom? Greek aversion to violence and irrationality Greeks value rationality, self-control (sophrosyne) Dionysus a symbol of passion and spontaneity Antithesis of what is normative and right? Yet even the Greeks had to face human unreason, the exuberant, emotional human irrational Dionysus = the unbounded aspect of the human
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Euripides’ Bacchae Plot of the play is Dionysus’ return to Thebes, where he was born, to introduce his cult there His mother’s sisters, Autonoë and Agavê, have been saying that Semelê was lying about having Zeus as a lover and so he smote her To avenge this slight against his mother, he casts a spell of madness over his aunts and all the women of Thebes When the play opens, the women are already raving mad out on the mountains outside the city
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Euripides’ Bacchae The King of Thebes, Pentheus, opposes the cult and thinks the women are all sex crazy He vows to capture and imprison all of them, esp. their apparently effeminate leader Dionysus allows himself to be captured and is brought before Pentheus, who taunts him Dionysus is led away; the palace is destroyed by an earthquake and Dionysus comes back
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Euripides’ Bacchae A report comes in about miracles and wonders being performed in the mountains by the Bacchae Streams of milk and honey gushing from rocks struck by a thyrsus A cow is ripped to pieces by the women’s bare hands They run off the peasants trying to save their animals and farms: women are stronger than men! In Euripides’ play, the women are NOT having any sex, though historically sex was likely involved
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Euripides’ Bacchae Pentheus is about to go out with a force to capture the women, but Dionysus ensnares him with his own desire (lines 810-816) “Would you like to go watch?” “Yes.” “Would you really enjoy a thing that so disgusts you?” “Yes, if I hid, unnoticed, under a tree.” Pentheus wants to watch voyeuristically that
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ch11underworld - Classics 10 Chapter 11 Spring 2010 Myths...

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