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Introduction & Background Information to Ulysses
Transcript of Introduction & Background Information to Ulysses
What is an Epic Hero?
We see "ordinary" heroes every day. They race into burning buildings to rescue children. They keep our city safe from criminals. They save lives in operating rooms. They fight for our freedom on battlefields. They can take many forms, but they are heroes because they keep us safe and do jobs most aren't willing to do.
Gods, goddesses, & Greek Mythology
The Trojan War - Prologue to Ulysses
Just from what we know of Ulysses' role with Helen and the Trojan War, how might he be an example of an Epic Hero?
Remember that an Epic Hero has these qualities:
is a tale of a hero’s long and dangerous journey home & the story of a son in need of his father and of a faithful wife awaiting her husband’s return
is also said to be a metaphor for the journey every man must take in his life.
But... an Epic Hero is someone larger than life.
An epic hero is larger than life, they are more impressive than an ordinary human being. An epic hero usually has these character traits:
*Extremely clever and cunning
On their journey, an Epic Hero encounters challenges and dangers. Conflict surrounds them with forces of nature, gods, and other beings who help prevent our Epic Hero's progress.
Conflict after conflict...
Our Epic Hero never wavers...
No matter his obstacle, our Epic Hero overcomes adversity. He embodies the traits their society deem important and valuable.
In Ulysses, those traits are:
*incredible physical strength
*unwavering mental strength
In each chapter of Ulysses...
We will see Ulysses encounter a monster or force preventing him from getting closer to home.
You will need to look for the following things as you read:
*The conflict Ulysses faces
*How he overcomes that conflict
*The decisions and actions that make him an Epic Hero
Was the ruler of all the Titans
He was terrified of being overthrown, so he would eat any children his wife, Rhea, would bare.
Eventually, Rhea became overcome with grief from the loss of her children.
She tricked Cronos into eating a rock instead of Zeus. When this worked she did this with Poseidon and Hades and secretly raised them without Cronos knowing.
Poseidon Zeus Hades
What is Greek Mythology?
Back in ancient Greece, "Greek Mythology" wasn't a myth, it was a religion.
People believe in the gods just like today people believe in God, Allah, Buddha, etc,
Why isn't Greek Mythology still practiced in Greece today?
The gods were vengeful, unfaithful, and deceitful.
People want to believe in a higher power that is good, just, and forgiving. It was difficult for the people of ancient Greece to put their faith and prayers in gods who were just as flawed as they were.
In Greece today, Greek Mythology is looked at as more of a tradition than a religion.
Zeus wanted revenge on his father, Cronos, for not being there for him. Zeus set out to overthrow Cronos, and asked Poseidon and Hades to help him. Poseidon agreed, but Hades didn't want to help for fear of losing against Cronos.
When Zeus overthrew Cronos, he was looked at as the most powerful titian, Zeus became the ruler of gods and men. Zeus made Poseidon the ruler of the sea, and as punishment to Hades for not believing in Zeus' strength, Hades was forced to become the ruler of the underworld.
Zeus is the god of the sky, hurling thunderbolts of lightning to anyone who displeases him.
Protector of marriage and takes special care of married women in trouble
Hera's marriage to Zeus was not a happy one. Zeus tricked Hera into marrying him. Not only that, Zeus was not faithful to Hera. Zeus is known for his many affairs with immortal and mortal women.
At one point in their marriage Hera tried to start a revolt against Zeus. It did not end well for Hera. Zeus tortured her until she promised to never revolt against him again.
Hera remained loyal to Zeus but is known for her jealousy. Most stories about Hera are about Hera trying to get revenge for Zeus' many infidelities.
She is the protector of marriage and married women in hopes of keeping women safe and out of marriages like hers.
God of the Sea
After helping Zeus defeat Cronos, Poseidon was named god of the sea.
Poseidon was known for being greedy and quarrelsome. Because of this, Poseidon was worshiped by sailors. and great care was put into making sure Poseidon was happy with the men on a ship before voyaging out to sea.
Sailors wanted to make sure Poseidon didn't get upset with him, because if he did he would make sailors journey's treacherous.
Poseidon's weapon is a trident which could start tidal waves and shake the earth.
Goddess of the fish and animals of the sea
Amphitrite is a Nereid, a kind of mermaid with special powers.
When Poseidon first sought after Amphitrite, she refused him and went into hiding. Poseidon sent out all of the sea gods to find her. She was eventually found and Poseidon convinced her to marry him.
While Poseidon was more faithful than Zeus, Poseidon admired many women and had a few affairs with other sea goddesses.
Amphitrite often got jealous of Poseidon's flirtations and would punish the women who relished in Poseidon's attention.
God of the Underworld & Death
Because he chose not to fight, Poseidon was forced to be ruler or the underworld.
While this is not a desirable job, Hades became very greedy, wanting to have as many subjects as possible.
Men who were in jobs where they sent many to death were seen favorably by Hades. He was known for helping ruthless killing soldiers in difficult battles.
Hades had no pity for those injured or hurt, if he saw you in the brink of death he would come calling for you.
He also rarely let people leave the underworld, if you ventured into his gates, it was was nearly impossible to leave.
Goddess of Vegetation and Harvest
Hades watched the beautiful Persephone from the underworld until he captured her and brought her to the underworld.
Persephone was so distraught by being in the underworld, Hades allowed her to leave whenever she wanted to as long as she promised to always return to him.
After years of being Hades' wife, people began praying to Persephone to have a good life in the underworld. In sickness people would pray to her to help make their transition to death an easier one. Because of this, she became a kind of goddess for those in "transition" between life and death.
Athene (aka Athena)
Goddess of wisdom, purity and reason. She is the protector of the fierce and brave.
Daughter of Zeus. As her story is told, she has no mother, she appeared full grown in a suit of armor ready to fight.
She is the goddess of wisdom and reason because she is able to see when the gods are being unreasonable. Athena steps in to protect the brave from mortal and immortal forces.
She was Zeus' favorite child, and because of that she was often allowed to use his powers and persuade him to do her will.
**She is a very important goddess in Ulysses**
Messenger of Zeus & the gods
Son of Zeus and a mortal woman.
He is the fastest of the gods, he wears winged sandals, a winged hat and carries a magical wand.
He is the transporter of the dead to the underworld, he is one of the few who can travel into and out of the underworld unharmed.
He is known to be a helper to those who have angered the gods.
**He helps Ulysses in a very important way at one point in his journey**
Goddess of the chase, protector of the young, and hunter of the gods
She is daughter of Zeus and Leto
She is also the goddess of childbirth and young mothers. Women would pray to her to help them have a safe and easy childbirth.
She is often depicted as carrying a bow and arrows. Hunters prayed to her to help them chase after their prey.
God of Rivers and Streams
Oceanus is the god of freshwater. He sometimes meddles with things in the ocean, however he primarily deals with issues in freshwater.
He is also the grandfather of Circe, a sorceress Ulysses meets on his journey.
Daughter of Poseidon, was said to be one of the most beautiful naiads.
Charybdis was very loyal to her greedy father and was known for following the big waves after storms to claim cattle and land for Poseidon.
Zeus was outraged and punished Charybdis. Zeus turned the beautiful Charybdis into a monster that consumed enormous amounts of water from the middle of the sea.
After that, instead of being adored by many, she was one of the most feared of all the sea monsters, killing entire ships of men in seconds.
Leader of the Cyclopes
Polyphemus' mother was a beautiful naiad, Thoosa. When Amphitrite found out about Poseidon's affair, she cursed Thoosa's pregnancy. Polyphemus was born a cyclops, a giant with only one eye.
Poseidon felt sorry for Polyphemus and made him king of the Cyclopes. While Poseidon was not proud of Polyphemus, Poseidon defended him whenever necessary.
The Keeper of the Winds at Sea
Aeolus is the keeper of the winds. He has twelve children who each control the wind one month of the year.
For reasons unknown, Aeolus and Polyphemus do not get along.
Sailors pray to Aeolus for favorable winds and smooth sailing while at sea.
God of Dreams
Technically, Morpheus is the son of Hypnos, god of sleep and half brother of Hades.
However, Hades had a large impact on Morpheus' dark nature.
Morpheus was known for trying to keep people in a deep slumber they wish not wake from; growing old as they sleep and forget their lives.
Peleus, mighty warrior, and Thetis, beautiful naiad, married, but forgot to invite Eris.
The furious Eris showed up to the wedding with a golden apple with the words, "For the Fairest" inscribed on it.
Immediately, the most powerful goddesses fought over the apple. Hera, Queen of the Gods; Athene, Goddess of Wisdom; and Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, fought over the apple.
The Goddesses fought so brutally, that none would interfere. They passed to decision on to Paris, the secret son of King Priam, who was said to be the most beautiful man across the land.
The three Goddesses started bribing Paris immediately, hoping he would pick them as the fairest. Hera promised him power, the mightiest king the world had ever seen. Athene offered him wisdom, all that has been written and spoken would be his. Aphrodite simply whispered something quickly in his ear.
Paris quickly chose Aphrodite and the women were furious.
Aphrodite had promised that he would have any woman he desired. Paris chose Helen, the daughter of Zeus and a mortal woman.
*military tactics *unwavering mental strength
*exceptional leader *bravery
*incredible physical strength
Why does Ulysses want to defeat the Trojans? What does he aspire to do?
Ordinary Hero vs Epic Hero
An “ordinary” hero saves children from a roaring river or rescues people from a burning building.
You might learn about a hero on the news, or perhaps you admire a hero in your own life.
An epic hero is larger than life, more impressive than an ordinary human being. An epic hero usually has these character traits: