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Transcript of Mythology
Tantalus and Sisyphus
"They were too wrapped in their own expertise,
the old gods, in their plans for Tantalus,
crisping the apple, scenting the dribbled fig,
making the pomegranate luminous,
lending a gentle and consistence music
to the inconstancy of the glancing water-
for after all the eye and the ear will learn
indifference to what the hand can't gather.
Hunger and thirst are fruits too and will wither." (Tantalus by Amy Witting)
"Rote not ritual, a repetition
which never would mean more
at the end than at the start...
Sisyphus pushed the rock
past the aromas of bright flowers,
through the bustling streets
into the plenitude and vacuity."(Sisyphu's Acceptance by Stephen Dunn)
Myth of Tantalus
Myth of Sisyphus
The video is about the myth of Tantalus. It shows that he and his wife were invited to a banquet. In order to impress the gods, Tantalus and his wife killed their son and served him as a meal. The gods were so disgusted and mad at this horrible and inhuman act, that they sentenced him to stare at an exquisite banquet without being able to enjoy it for eternity. In the video Tantalus' wife participates in the killing of their son. while in the original myth she is not even mentioned. Another observation is that in the video Tantalus kills his son to "impress" the gods while in the original myth his intentions are to accuse the gods of being "cannibals". Finally the punishment of Tantalus in the video is to "stand in front of a banquet freeze for an eternity", but in the original myth Tantalus is sent to a pool in the garden of Hades which was full of delicious trees with juicy fruits, and just when Tantalus was about to catch the fruit from the tree he would start to sink into the pool and not be able to eat anything.
by Erica Wolfling
The video portraits the unfortunate punishment of Sisyphus imposed by the gods. Nobody really knows the reason why Sisyphus was punished. But there are a lot of myths that suggest that Sisyphus defied the gods and made them furious. Almost at the end of the video we are told that one of the gods saw beauty in Sisyphus' punishment: him pushing the rock all the way to the top of the mountain and then having the rock rolled back down. This foolish and repetitive task made Sisyphus an "absurd hero". The video interprets the story of Sisyphus very differently compared to the original myth. In the video, the reason why Sisyphus was punished is not really indicated and all the options are seen as a "myth", while in the original myth Sisyphus is accused of committing horrible acts against the gods. At the end Sisyphus is titled "hero" committing an absurd task. But how does a punishment he deserved because of defying the gods makes him a hero?.
The first picture of Tantalus portraits an
animated and funny view of his punishment. The delicious food at the top of Tantalus' head shows the horrible temptation of having a delicacy but not being able to enjoy it. Tantalus is also shown as a short and fat man, who most likely enjoys
eating. This punishment seems just inhuman for him.
The second piece of art is a serious representation of a harsh punishment. Tantalus is portrayed as an old man desperate to reach the fruit from the tree, but he just can't. The fact that Tantalus is painted as an old man tells us that he has being stuck in that place for years. His thirst and hunger have grown bigger and bigger with time . The background of the painting depicts a cheerful place full of delicious fruits and abundant water. We can also appreciate other people enjoying the food and water, while Tantalus suffers.
The picture shows Sisyphus as a strong and young man. He appears not to be pushing the rock uphill, but around a serpent. The serpent represents cruelty. The way serpents poison people or kill their prays is cold hearted and cruel. Therefore, the endless task that Sisyphus performs is cruel. It does not have a purpose or achieves a goal. The position of the serpent (a circle) represents the fact that Sisyphus' punishment will never end. He is doomed. Sisyphus will have to push the rock for eternity, he will never reach an end.
In this picture there is more than one person pushing a rock. The group of people represents humanity. Furthermore, each rock symbolizes each person's problems. This fact means that in society everyone has burdens to push or carry around. Sometimes they do it their entire life. This is not only a personal problem but affects the whole community. This representation of Sisyphus' myth is a very different and interesting way to view his punishment.
The poem criticizes the way the gods
punished Tantalus. They were too focused in making the fruits tempting that they forgot that senses become indifferent at what they can't have. The author suggests that the gods should have punished Tantalus with hunger and thirst. They should have let him wonder in the dessert where there is no fruits. He would have never being satisfied with the food there, This representation of the myth is very different from the original story. The author criticizes the way the gods choose their punishment. She did not recited the original myth. She wrote a whole new concept.
Sisyphus was given the opportunity to live, but he would have to repeat the same task over and over again. The author seems to suggest that Sisyphus was able to pass through beautiful scenarios but he could never enjoy them because he would never be part of them. This in itself was punishment.
Sisyphus: http:// www.youtube.com/wathc?v=Li8KBk-kpe
The theme is that bad actions always have terrible consequences. Before doing, think about the consequences this actions will bring you, good and bad ones.