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The Quest of the Golden Fleece

E1H Mythology Project by Alyssa C, Katherine B, Katherine A, Megan K

Alyssa Campanelli

on 5 November 2012

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Transcript of The Quest of the Golden Fleece

A tale of love, sorrow, trial, and a sheep The Quest of the Golden Fleece The Quest of the Golden Fleece is the tale of Jason and the Argonauts and their journey to find the Golden Fleece and restore Jason to his rightful throne. The main legend begins with Jason, the rightful heir to Greece, coming to take his rightful throne from his cousin, Pelias. Pelias agrees, but on the condition that Jason brings the Golden Fleece back to Greece, a seemingly impossible task. Jason readily agrees, and with some encouragement from Hera, his patron goddess, so do many other young heroes including Hercules, Orpheus, Castor, and Pollux. The adventurers set sail in the ship Argo, hence the name Argonauts. They come across many obstacles, from fickle water nymphs, to bone crushing rocks, to harpies, to Amazon warriors. Despite all of these things the Argonauts prevail, arriving at Colchis within a few days. As the Argonauts spend the night in their ship, Hera takes matters into her own hands. She asks Aphrodite for help, and the goddess agrees. Together they hatch a scheme to have Cupid make Medea, the daughter of the king, not to mention an extremely powerful sorceress, fall in love with Jason.
When the Argonauts are presented at court Princess Medea takes one look at Jason and falls in love with him, but King Æetes is less than pleased when he finds out what the heroes have come for. He tells them that if they can yoke two fire-breathing bulls and plow a field, he will give them the fleece. Jason accepts the challenge, although he has no idea how to complete it. Later that night Medea gives Jason an ointment that would make him invincible for one day, and Jason promises her that if she comes back to Greece with him he will marry her. Jason defeats the bulls with the help of the ointment, and Media charms the snake that guards the Golden Fleece so that Jason and his crew can escape with it. Medea kills her brother when he comes after them, and when Jason finds out that Pelias killed his parents she tricks his own daughters into murdering him. Despite everything Medea does for him, Jason marries the daughter of the King of Corinth for money and banishes Medea when she speaks ill of his new wife. In her rage Medea kills his wife and, to get the ultimate revenge, his own children that she herself bore. She escapes on a chariot drawn by dragons, leaving Jason blaming her for everything that happens to him. Summary Literary Devices:
o“Phineus- he was like a lifeless dream…”
o“It seemed to her as if her heart left her to go to him.”
o“It burned there like a flame, and her soul melted with sweet pain.”
o“Sweet pain…”

oPhrixus sacrifices the ram directly after it saves his life

o“…drink with his comrades the peerless elixir of valor.”

•Figurative Language
o“…a dark mist clouded her eyes,” Two -Voice Poems The painting, Jason and Medea, clearly represents the story of the Golden Fleece. It depicts two of the main characters, Medea and Jason, sitting together as Medea mixes a potion to help Jason. This setup represents the myth very well, as most of the time, Medea was the one doing all of Jason’s work while he sat on the side and watched her. She was always worked very hard for Jason, as you can see in her facial expression. The painting captures the meaning of the myth as well; life is not fair. After promising to marry Medea as thanks for her help, Jason ditches Medea for a rich princess, despite the fact that Medea killed her own brother to save Jason. She is left with not even her dignity, as in the closing she kills both her children, leaving her perpetually alone. Artwork Literary Analysis Literary Parallel Video Script http://www.simpsonweb.com/clay_large.htm A literary work that parallels The Quest of the Golden Fleece is Rick Riordan’s The Sea of Monsters. The Sea of Monsters is a chapter book that follows the adventures of demigod Percy Jackson, the son of Poseidon. In the book, Percy and his friends go on a quest to rescue Percy’s best friend, Grover, and bring back the Golden Fleece. Throughout the book, there are allusions to Jason’s adventure, with the clashing rocks and the Fleece itself. In each work, the Fleece is guarded by an animal, and in The Sea of Monsters’ case, the guardians are flesh-eating sheep instead of a snake. To finalize, the book The Sea of Monsters is incredibly similar to The Quest of the Golden Fleece. Some Greek values shown in the myth are loyalty and valor. During the myth Hercules’s armor-bearer, Hylas, is drawn under water by a nymph who wants to kiss him. When he is discovered missing, Hercules searches for him everywhere, completely forgetting his quest in order to save his servant and exhibiting a deep loyalty. Many of the heroes in the story go on the quest in order for valor, “but even at the price of death, to drink with his comrades the peerless elixir of valor.” The Quest of the Golden Fleece exhibits one of the major Greek traditions. In Greece, it was not considered good manners to question a guest before all of his or her needs have been seen to. In the myth, when the Argonauts are at his court, King Æetes does not ask them anything until they are taken care of. “Only after the heroes had bathed and refreshed themselves with meat and drink could King Æetes ask them who they were and why they had come.” This myth also shows how the Greeks related to one another. There was plenty of respect to go around, until someone had no more to offer. Once Medea had helped Jason with everything he needed, he tossed her aside for a woman who could provide more power. The heroes also had a deep sense of comradeship, helping Jason with his quest despite the great dangers. Moreover, the myth shows the main way the Greeks handled problems; by turning to the Gods. When two children, Phrixus and Helle, were going to be sacrificed, they were saved by a Golden Ram sent by Zeus instead of by human means. Secondly, Aphrodite has Cupid shoot Medea with one of his arrows, causing her to fall in love with Jason and help him through many perils. As seen in the myth, the Greeks found it appropriate to use women for gain. In the beginning of the myth, King Athamas “got tired of his wife, put her away, and married Princess Ino.” Later on in the story Jason uses Medea to get the fleece, then marries another princess for power. Well, technically it was a ram.... http://www.johnwilliamwaterhouse.com/pictures/jason-medea-1907/

Title: Jason and Medea
Artist: John William Waterhouse
Painting Date: 1907 By: Katherine A., Katherine B., Alyssa, and Megan Scene 1: Pelias’ Court
Narrator: A prophecy tells that the one who comes before Pelias’ court with only one sandal will overthrow him…
(Enter Jason to Pelias’ court wearing one sandal)
Pelias: Aaaah!
Jason: I’ve come to take my rightful place as heir to this throne!
Pelias: Okay, but first, find the Golden Fleece!
(Jason nods and salutes sarcastically)

Scene 2: The Argo
Jason: Who’s coming with?
(Crowd yells)
Jason: Great! Let’s go to Colchis!

Scene 3: The Voyage
Narrator: Jason and the Argonauts encountered clashing rocks, water nymphs, and Amazons!
(Shows Jason and others fleeing from Amazons shooting arrows at them)

Scene 4: Medea
Cupid: Medea falls in love with Jason! Brought to you by Aphrodite!
(He shoots Medea with his bow)
Medea: Oh! I love Jason! Scene 5: Æetes’ Court
Jason: I’ve come for the Golden Fleece!
Æetes: Yoke my two fire-breathing bulls and plow the field and plant dragon’s teeth and kill the warriors! Then you can kill yourself trying to obtain the Fleece!
Jason: Yes sir!
(Jason leaves, stopped by Medea)
Medea: Here’s an invincibility ointment! (Hands Jason bottle of something)
Jason: Thanks!
(Jason leaves)

Scene 6
Narrator: Jason successfully completed Æetes’ task. He then goes to find the fleece with Medea’s guidance. She charms the serpent guarding it to sleep, and they escape. (Scene of Jason and Medea stealing the fleece) Medea later kills her brother (shows Medea knifing someone) when he comes after them. When Jason marries the daughter of a King for wealth, Medea kills Jason’s new wife and the children of herself and Jason. She escaped on a chariot drawn by dragons, blaming Jason for everything that had happened... 1.Why did Jason go after the Golden Fleece?
2.Name one god or goddess that assisted Jason on his quest.
3.What was the ship Jason sailed on?
4.Name one obstacle Jason faced on his quest.
5.What caused Medea to fall in love with Jason?
6.Was King Æetes pleased when he heard Jason’s quest? Why or why not?
7.How did Jason defeat the fire breathing bulls?
8.Name one person Medea killed (directly or indirectly) for Jason.
9.Did Jason remain faithful to Medea?
10.What is one example of a literary device in The Quest for the Golden Fleece? Quiz Time!
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