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Homer, Greek Literature & Greek ReligionGreek literature begins with Homer’s two epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Written during the 9th century BC, these Homeric poems provide many insights into the early culture and religion of the Greeks. In the Iliad, which is touted as the oldest surviving Greek poem, Homer writes about actual historic events – the siege of Troy, which, according to the Greeks, took place in 1148 BC. It describes certain events in the final year of the Trojan War. The epic is divided into 24 books and the story covers 54 days. Most of the action takes place in the Greek camp, inside the walls of Troy, and in nearby areas. According to legend, the war lasted ten years, until Greece defeated Troy. In writing about this event, Homer also presents most of the religious beliefs, which were common in ancient Greece. According to one of these beliefs, the Trojan War was started by the gods in the following way:At the marriage of Peleus and the sea-divinity, Thetis, All the gods were invited but Eris (Discord). Angered, she threw a golden apple among the guests inscribed, “for the fairest.” Unwilling to decide among his wifeand daughters, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, Zeus appointed as judge of the beauty contest Paris,a Trojan prince, son of King Priam. To influencehis decision, Hera offered him wealth and power;Athena, military glory; and Aphrodite, the most beautiful woman in the world. Paris awarded the apple to Aphrodite. The most beautiful woman was Helen, but she was already married to Menelaus, King of Sparta. Aided by Aphrodite, Paris journeyed to Sparta, was hospitably entertained by Menelaus, and shortly after ran off with Helen of Troy.As a result the Greeks organized the great expeditionagainst Troy to recover Helen and take vengeance on the Trojans. It was led by Agamemnon, the elder brother of Menelaus. The war lasted ten years, and the gods themselves play a major role in it—though they aren’t all on the same side.After Homer’s time the Iliad and the Odyssey were recited as part of great religious festivals in Greece. Copies of the poems became the basic textbooks that Greek children used to learn to read and to study the legends and myths of ancient Greece. As a result, the Greeks formed their religious views from Homer’s portrayals of the gods in the poems. His poems also furnished characters and plots for the great dramatists of the 400’s BC—Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles.Greek ReligionThe Greek View of the Creation. As in the Hebraic conception o the beginning of things, the universe was believed by the Greeks to have originated in darkness and chaos. Out of Chaos came Nox (Night), and Erebus, the place of death.But from Nox and Erebus, by an explained miracle, Eros (love) was born, presaging the formation of a world of order and beauty. Eros generated Aether (Light) and Hermera (Day) as her first children, followed by Gaea (Mother Earth) and Ouranos (Father Heaven). These earliest entities were thus conceived simultaneously as natural phenomena and as gods.The children of Ouranos and Gaea were the gigantic Titans. War broke put among the gods when one of the Titans, Cronus (Saturn), rebelled against his father. Victorious in this first heavenly revolution, he took over the rule of the universe together with his sister-wife Rhea and lorded it over his fellows, Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus and Oceanus.Fearful of a similar revolution by his own offspring, Cronus swallowed them as they were born until Rhea secretly hid his sixth child, Zeus (Jupiter) and allowed him and his succeeding younger brothers, Hades and Poseidon (Neptune), to grow to manhood. When Zeus cam of age he fulfilled his father’s fears by leading a revolt against the Titans which succeeded in dethroning Cronus. Known thereafter as “father of the gods and men,” Zeus divided the universe with his brothers. To Hades he gave command of the underworld, which became the habitation of the dead and was known as Hades after the name of the god. He assigned the ocean to Poseidon and kept earth and heaven for himself. The abode of the gods was believed to be on High Mount Olympus where snow or rain never fell and where the gods feasted on nectar, laughed, quarreled, became angry, loved and made merry like any other group of intimate friends.Having conquered Cronus, Zeus put the other titans to work at various tasks. Atlas was forced to support the world on his shoulders. To Epimetheus was assigned the task of creating animals and men. True to his name, which means ‘afterthought,’ he gave the animal kingdom, which he created first, so many good qualities, like swiftness, strength, fur, and wings that he had nothing left to give man to make him even equal to the beasts. Consequently he appealed to his brother, Prometheus. Prometheus, whose name means ‘forethought,’ had already taken the precaution of stealing fire from Zeus which he kept secreted in a hollow reed. This, Prometheus gave to man, and with it man created his weapons for self-protection and his crafts and arts for self-improvement.Because of his defiance of Zeus, Prometheus was punished by being chained to a rock where, alone, he taunted Zeus with the secret foreknowledge of his own eventual liberation and the downfall of Zeus himself. In an attempt to force him to reveal this secret, Zeus sent an eagle to gnaw daily at his liver which grew back very night so that it might be reconsumed the next day.No one shared the secret of Prometheus until Io, a fellow-sufferer from the powers of Zeus, aroused Prometheus’ sympathy. A mortal woman, she had been desired by Zeus, who threw a cloud over the earth so that his wife Hera (Juno) would not discover his love-making. But the cloud itself aroused Hera’s suspicions. She came upon the lovers suddenly, and Zeus attempted to save the situation by changing Io into a cow.Hera then begged the cow as a gift. Zeus saw no valid way of refusing her without making her more suspicious, so he cravenly granted her request. Hera then placed the cow under the supervision of Argus, the hundred-eyed watchman of the gods. Zeus tried to rescue Io by sending Hermes to tell stories to Argus in an attempt to lull all of his eyes to sleep at once. When the last eye finally closed, Hermes killed Argus. The practical-minded Hera used the eyes to embroider the tail of her favorite bird, the peacock, on whose plumage they may still be seen. She also continued to persecute her husband’s lover by sending a gad-fly to keep the cow-shaped Io in motion and to pursue her on her flight through the entire Mediterranean world.When the forlorn Io paused in her wanderings before the rock to which the rebellious Titan was chained, Prometheus comforted her by predicting Zeus would ultimately change her back to a woman and that a descendant of hers, Heracles (Hercules), would shoot the eagle and set him free. Prometheus also predicted that Zeus would have a child by Thetis, who would overthrow his father. This prediction did not actually come to pass because Heracles, after freeing Prometheus, sufficiently tempered the pride of both Zeus and Prometheus to bring about reconciliation between them, at which point Prometheus revealed his secret. Zeus, having learned wisdom from Prometheus, did not carry through his projected love affair with Thetis and consequently retained his throne. The Greek practice of giving their gods human characteristics is again revealed in this conception that the gods, like men, can learn by experience and grow in wisdom with the passing of time.Meanwhile, the creation of humanity had started earthly troubles as well as heavenly conflicts. The first woman was created on Mount Olympus by the gods themselves. Each of the Olympian divinities gave some of his own particular power in this creation, with Aphrodite sharing her beauty, Hera her domestic virtues, Athena her wisdom, and so forth. For this reason, the first woman was named “Pandora” or “gift of all.” She was then sent to earth to serve as a punishment for man because he had been the receiver of stolen good (the fire of Zeus) and had become so clever and gifted. The gods had given Pandora a box which she was forbidden to open. Unable to control her feminine curiosity, she opened the lid and released all the evils which have ever since plagued humanity. In panic, Pandora slammed the cover down and succeeded in preserving the last remaining thing in the casket which was Hope.The Olympian Gods. Meanwhile Zeus, in his role of father of the gods, continued to divert himself with many love affairs with both Goddesses and mortal women. His wife, Hera, was eternally jealous, and the immortal lord of the universe often found himself in the role of a hen-pecked husband, engaging in numerous love affairs, and priding himself on eluding the vigilance of his wife.Later religious people often find the martial infidelities and bickering of the gods singularly inappropriate to beings of divine stature, but to the Greeks the situation presented no problem whatsoever. As in many early religions, the chief of the gods served as both nature spirit and hero. Zeus was not only a symbol of power and strength but was also the prototype of the male principle. It is only natural, therefore, that he should have been seen as the father of many children. For the Greeks the worst of all crimes is to commit hubris. In this crime, a common mortal arrogantly attempts to place himself on a level with the gods. The Greeks were free from the element of terror, and fear of the gods was a concept quite foreign to their thoughts, but in this one respect they saw their gods in terms of wrath and retribution. The gods were jealous of their powers and would not, for a moment, tolerate man’s assuming the prerogatives of the gods. Such hubris brought with it inevitable and often horrible punishment, and though few sinners in Greek legend are portrayed as undergoing eternal torture, those few have invariably been guilty of supreme arrogance toward the gods. With all their power and privilege, however, the Olympians were not omnipotent. Although they existed on a far higher level than man and were stronger, wiser, nobler and more beautiful than men, they were not, by any means, the be-all and end-all. They, too, were ruled by higher forces in that they were subject to the predeterminations of fate. Often they knew this fate in advance, but at the same time they were powerless to do anything about it. Zeus, for example, could not prevent the slaying of his favorite mortal son during the siege of Troy, although he was aware, in advance, that the boy would die.Another limitation of the powers of the Greek gods was the fact that, unlike many divinities, they were not essentially creators. They did not build the universe. They could create and destroy lesser forms of life, but they had no power to fashion matter itself, nor could they combat, in any conceivable degree, what had been destined from the beginning.The Olympian gods were therefore relative rather than absolute divinities. The Greeks saw them as limited and faulty, but still far above humanity and worthy of limitation in everything save the assumption of privilege. To have conceived of them as perfect would have been difficult for the Greeks, who would have looked upon perfection as being so remote from possibility as to be impractical in human affairs. They preferred to see their gods as noble and dignified, as existing on a level of glory ever beyond the reach of man, and yet not so far beyond earthly qualities that man could not see reflected in himself, however poorly, some of the characteristics of a god.--from Backgrounds of European Literature By Horton and HooperGreek Religion Study QuestionsUsing the previous readings, answer the following questions in complete sentences.What was Zeus’ role in the society? Where did he and the rest of the gods reside?Characterize the relationship between Zeus and his wife. What does their relationship reveal about their personal characteristics?What was the worst crime an ancient Greek could commit? Why was this crime so terrible?Were the gods omnipotent? Omnipresent? Justify your answer.How did the Greek citizenry view its gods?Had I the Choice Had I the choice to tally greatest bards,To limn their portraits, stately, beautiful, and emulate at will,Homer with all his wars and warriors—Hector, Achilles, Ajax,Or Shakspere's woe-entangled Hamlet, Lear, Othello—Tennyson's fair ladies,Metre or wit the best, or choice conceit to wield in perfect rhyme, delight of singers;These, these, O sea, all these I'd gladly barter,Would you the undulation of one wave, its trick to me transfer,Or breathe one breath of yours upon my verse,And leave its odor there.-- Walt Whitman (1819-1892)What poetic qualities does the speaker propose to barter in exchange for what?What qualities do the sea and its waves symbolize?In what way might this be taken as an imitation of the rhythms of the sea?Greek Society ComparisonRecently you were exposed to the creation theories of both the Greeks and the Christian world. In a well-developed t-chart, compare and contrast the two creation theories. Be prepared to comment on the implications of the points of comparison and contrast as they dictate behavior and provide the framework for cultural beliefs, practices, and the establishment of a distinct literary tradition.Greek TheaterGreek theater was very different from what we call theater today. It was, first of all, part of a religious festival. To attend a performance of one of these plays was an act of worship, not entertainment or intellectual pastime. But it is difficult for us to even begin to understand this aspect of the Greek theater, because the religion in question was very different from modern religions. The god celebrated by the performances of these plays was Dionysus, a deity who lived in the wild and was known for his subversive revelry. The worship of Dionysus was associated with an ecstasy that bordered on madness. Dionysus, whose cult was that of drunkenness and sexuality, little resembles modern images of God.A second way in which Greek theater was different from modern theater is in its cultural centrality: every citizen attended these plays. Greek plays were put on at annual festivals (at the beginning of spring, the season of Dionysus), often for as many as 15,000 spectators at once. They dazzled viewers with their special effects, singing, and dancing, as well as with their beautiful language. At the end of each year’s festivals, judges would vote to decide which playwright’s play was the best.In these competitions, Sophocles was king. It is thought that he won the first prize at the Athenian festival eighteen times. Far from being a tortured artist working at the fringes of society, Sophocles was among the most popular and well-respected men of his day. Like most good Athenians, Sophocles was involved with the political and military affairs of Athenian democracy. He did stints as a city treasurer and as a naval officer, and throughout his life he was a close friend of the foremost statesman of the day, Pericles. At the same time, Sophocles wrote prolifically. He is believed to have authored 123 plays, only seven of which have survived.Sophocles lived a long life, but not long enough to witness the downfall of his Athens. Toward the end of his life, Athens became entangled in a war with other city-states jealous of its prosperity and power, a war that would end the glorious century during which Sophocles lived. This political fall also marked an artistic fall, for the unique art of Greek theater began to fade and eventually died. Since then, we have had nothing like it. Nonetheless, we still try to read it, and we often misunderstand it by thinking of it in terms of the categories and assumptions of our own arts. Greek theater still needs to be read, but we must not forget that, because it is so alien to us, reading these plays calls not only for analysis, but also for imagination.Oedipus the KingThe story of Oedipus was well known to Sophocles’ audience. Oedipus arrives at Thebes a stranger and finds the town under the curse of the Sphinx, who will not free the city unless her riddle is answered. Oedipus solves the riddle and, since the king has recently been murdered, becomes the king and marries the queen. In time, he comes to learn that he is actually a Theban, the king’s son, cast out of Thebes as a baby. He has killed his father and married his mother. Horrified, he blinds himself and leaves Thebes forever.The story was not invented by Sophocles. Quite the opposite: the play’s most powerful effects often depend on the fact that the audience already knows the story. Since the first performance of?Oedipus Rex,?the story has fascinated critics just as it fascinated Sophocles. Aristotle used this play and its plot as the supreme example of tragedy. Sigmund Freud famously based his theory of the “Oedipal Complex” on this story, claiming that every boy has a latent desire to kill his father and sleep with his mother. The story of Oedipus has given birth to innumerable fascinating variations, but we should not forget that this play is one of the variations, not the original story itself.Elements of Fiction: “Oedipus the King”I.SETTINGTime 4th or 5th Century B.C.Place: In and around Thebes—Oedipus’ palaceCircumstances: The city of Thebes is being devastated by an all-consuming and seemingly unending plague, the source of which is unknown.II.CHARACTERS:Oedipus—King of Thebes and Tragic Hero of the dramaJocasta: Oedipus’ wife and MotherCreon: Jocasta’s brother and brother-in-law and Uncle of OedipusTiresias: The blind, but a knowing prophet Chorus: Part Narrator, part Mediator, part Counselor, part CharacterMessenger from Corinth and Inside the palace: Bearers of informationShepherd: Oedipus’ “savior”The Priests: Voice of the Theban people at the beginning of the playIII.PLOT: (Conflict) Man vs. Man / Man vs. Fate or the UnknownInitial Incident: The Priests of the city approach Oedipus and his throne to beg for his assistance in gaining relief from the awful plague.Rising Action: Oedipus accepts the challenge and begins a series of aggressive and systematic tactics to investigate the source of the plague and subsequently save his city.Oedipus sends Creon to seek council from Apollo.Creon returns with news that the source of the plague is the uncaptured and unpunished murdered of Laius, the previous king.Oedipus sends for Tiresias, at Creon’s suggestion, to shed his prophetic “light” on the situation.Tiresias identifies the source of the plague as Oedipus himself.Oedipus accuses both Tiresias and Creon of treachery and initiates a rift between himself and Creon.Jocasta and the Chorus try to ameliorate the dispute between Oedipus and Creon.The messenger from Corinth arrives with “good news.”Oedipus is relieved at this good news that his “father,” Polybus, is dead, by natural causes.Oedipus reiterates his resolve never “to go to the city where his parents live.”Messenger gives him more news of “relief”: Merope is not his mother.Oedipus learns the facts of his “adoption”.The shepherd is sent for and arrivesJocasta tries to deter Oedipus’ undeflected probe into his heritage.Climax: Oedipus discovers his true identity as the son and murderer of his father, Laius and husband of his mother, Jocasta.Dénouement: Jocasta hangs herself, and Oedipus gouges out his eyes.Resolution: Oedipus, in revulsion for himself and his miserable state, begs for exile to Mount Citheron, the place originally set aside for his death. He further pleads with Creon, his uncle/Brother-in-law to look after his girls.IV.THEME: Knowledge is rare in people who will not be taught. Pride goeth before a fall.V. GENRE: TragedyVI.STYLISTIC DEVICES USED BY THE PLAYWRIGHTIronyDramaticVerbalSituationalClassical Language of PoetryDouble entendreChorus as character and observer and commentatorUse of the tragic heroWriting about Greek Literature and ThoughtGroup Outline: Greek EssayYour group will create 1 outline for the essay prompt below. You must include a hook, a thesis statement, evidence and commentary that will address all parts of the prompt.Prompt: Write a well-developed essay outline in which you discuss how Oedipus serves to demonstrate the prevailing thought of the time period. First, identify the time period. Then, discuss how it represents the worldviews of that time period. Explain the role of the Tragic Hero in Greek literature. You must use “Oedipus the King” as support, in addition to any other viable sources at your disposal.Oedipus in Retrospect: Poster PresentationsYou and your group will have the opportunity to pick one of the following thematic concentrations in Oedipus and create a poster. You will present your poster in front of the class on ________________ and you have 2-4 minutes for your presentation. Should you wish to use PowerPoint, Prezi, or another format of presentation please present this to your teacher in advance. Thematic Concentrations in “Oedipus”:Trace the theme of sight vs. blindness in the play. Might this same thematic concentration be translated as knowledge vs. ignorance? What is the impact of such a thematic concentration in the play?Which events in the play may be directly attributed to Oedipus, that is, the kind of man he is on the inside? Which may be attributed to outside forces or circumstances? In light of this consideration of the cause of events, who then or what may be the reason for Oedipus’ outcome?Cite evidence of 3 kinds of irony (verbal, situational and dramatic) in the play. Of what significance is the irony to the overall meaning of the play?Oedipus in Retrospect: Poster PresentationsYou and your group will have the opportunity to pick one of the following thematic concentrations in Oedipus and create a poster. You will present your poster in front of the class on ________________ and you have 2-4 minutes for your presentation. Should you wish to use PowerPoint, Prezi, or another format of presentation please present this to your teacher in advance. Thematic Concentrations in “Oedipus”:Trace the theme of sight vs. blindness in the play. Might this same thematic concentration be translated as knowledge vs. ignorance? What is the impact of such a thematic concentration in the play?Which events in the play may be directly attributed to Oedipus, that is, the kind of man he is on the inside? Which may be attributed to outside forces or circumstances? In light of this consideration of the cause of events, who then or what may be the reason for Oedipus’ outcome?Cite evidence of 3 kinds of irony (verbal, situational and dramatic) in the play. Of what significance is the irony to the overall meaning of the play?Homer and the Concept of “Mind”Homer wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey in the 7th or 8th Century, and in them he presents a view of the world and human beings, which was held by most traditional Greeks. As an account of the nature and history of the world, of what exists and why things change, Homer’s view has little in common with our present day view, and by the 5th Century Greek philosophers were picturing things in a totally different way.One modern concept that Homer lacked, and which was first developed in 5th Century Greece, was the concept of “mind”. By “mind”, I mean the concept of a non-physical part of a human being which has thoughts and emotions, and which is the source of the individual’s behavior. Since “mind” refers to something that is not stretched out in space, and therefore not visible, it is not surprising that traditional Greeks lacked the concept of mind.At any rate, Homer has no word for “mind”. When he describes what he would call the mental life of his characters, he uses three different words, standing for three different entities: psyche, thymos, and noos. By psyche, Homer means the individual’s life force, the part that leaves at death. Thymos is the part of an individual which has emotions and gets excited; it causes (e)motion and is the source of love and anger. Noos is the part of an individual, which receives thoughts and images; it is the thinking part of a human being, his intelligence. Today we think of three parts as belonging to one unified mental whole—the “mind”; but Homer simply thinks of them as three separate things. Homer differs from us in another way: he thinks of these three things as material things, like the heart and the liver, whereas we think of them as mental. Our concept of mental as opposed to physical didn’t exist for Homer. Later in Greek philosophy one word is used to cover all mental functions, and the mental is seen as fundamentally different from the physical – in other words, they developed the concept of “mind”, but Homer has no such term. Because Homer lacks our modern concepts of mind – i.e., of a single non-physical part which knows, has emotions and is capable of making decisions and directing behavior – his way of thinking about human beings differs from ours in another way. We believe that a man advances from an earlier situation in life by an act of his own will, through his individual power. If Homer, on the other hand, wants to explain the source of an increase in a character’s inner strength, he has no course but to say that the responsibility lies with a god. For example, in the 16th book of the Iliad, Homer tells us how the dying Sarpedon with his last words implored his friend Glaucus to help him; but Glaucus was also wounded and could not come. So Glaucus prayed to Apollo to relieve him of his pain restore to him strength of his arms. Apollo heard his prayer, soothed his pain, and “cast strength in his thymos”. As in many other passages in which Homer refers to the intervention of a god, the event has nothing supernatural, or unnatural about it. We are free to conjecture that Glaucus heard the dying call of Sardepon, that it caused him to forget his pain, to collect his strength, and to resume the fighting. It is easy for us to say that Glaucus pulled himself together, that he recovered his self-control – but Homer says, and thinks, nothing of the sort: “pulling one’s self together” and “recovering one’s self-control” are notions that we read back into the scene. In short, we believe that a man can advance through his own efforts, but Homer says that the responsibility lies with a god.The same is true of other cases. Whenever a man accomplishes more than his previous attitude and led others to expect, Homer connects this accomplishment with the interference of a god. It should be noted especially that Homer does not know genuine personal decisions; even where a hero is shown pondering two alternatives, the intervention of the god plays the key role. This divine interference is necessary because Homer lacks our concept of mind as a source of action. The notion of mind as cause is hidden from Homer, as is the concept of any vital center, which controls our organic bodies. Mental acts are thus pictured as due to the impact of external factors. According to his view, man is the open target of a great many external forces, which break in on him, and penetrate his very core. This is the reason why Homer has so much to say about forces, why, in fact, he has so many words for our term “force”.In Homer, every new turn of events is engineered by the gods. The Iliad begins with the plague sent by Apollo; Agamemnon is induced to return Chryseis, and his claiming of Briseis as a substitute rouses the anger of Achilles. At the start of the second book of the Iliad, Zeus dispatches the false dream to Agamemnon, which by its promise of victory sends him off into battle; hence war and disaster are visited upon the Greeks. And so the story continues. At the beginning of the Odyssey, we witness the assembly of the gods, which decides on the return of Odysseus; again and again the gods intervene until ultimately Odysseus with Athena’s help succeeds in killing the suitors. Two dramas are acted out simultaneously in Homer’s books – the one on a higher stage, among the gods, and the other here on earth. Everything that happens down below is determined by the transactions of the gods with one another above. For, in Homer’s view, human initiative has no source of its own; whatever is planned and executed is the plan and deed of the gods. Human action lacks an inherent beginning.The higher life which the gods live on their exalted plane gives the existence of men its meaning. Agamemnon sets out to conquer, but Zeus has long decided that the Greeks are to be beaten. All the various enterprises on which men have set their hearts, which they would carry out even at the risk of their lives, are piloted by the gods and obey their slightest nod; it is the designs of the gods, which are fulfilled on Earth.At the very beginning of the Iliad, when the quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles has flared into open view, Agamemnon demands that Achilles deliver Briseis over to him; this angers Achilles so much that he clutches his sword and wonders whether he ought to draw it against Agamemnon. At that critical point Athena appears to Achilles, and to him alone we are expressly told. She holds him back and warns him not to fall victim to his wrath; in the end it will be to his advantage to have restrained himself now. Achilles at once obeys the command of the goddess and places the sword back in the scabbard. Homer, we feel today, had no special need to make the god appear at this point; Achilles simply controls himself, and it would have been sufficient to explain his failure to rush upon Agamemnon from his own mental processes. From our point of view today, the intercession of Athena merely confuses Achilles’ motivation rather than making it plausible. Homer, however, could not do without the god. We might substitute a decision on the part of Achilles, his own reflection and his own incentive. But Homer’s man does not yet regard himself as the source of his own decision – that thought is not expressed until the time of Greek tragedy in the 5th Century. When the Homeric hero, after duly weighing his alternatives, comes to a final conclusion, he feels that his course is shaped by the gods. Even nowadays, when we try to recapture the past, we may lose sight of our own share in an event in which we were once implicated, and ask ourselves: how did this plan, or that thought, ever come to me? If we take this notion, that a thought “came” over us, and give it a religious twist, we come fairly close o the Homeric attitude.Homer, then, lacks a knowledge of the spontaneity of the human mind; he does not realize that decisions of the will, or any impulses or emotions, have their origin in man himself. What is true of the events in the Iliad and Odyssey holds also for the feelings, the thoughts and the wishes of the characters: they are inextricably linked with the gods. From the viewpoint of history, then, we might say that the mind (or soul) of a man is a god transplanted into him. For what was later known as the “life of the soul” was at first understood as the intervention of a god.To begin with, then, we have arrived at a rather general truth: primitive man feels that he is bound to the gods; he has not yet roused himself to an awareness of his freedom. The Greeks were the first to break through this barrier, but not until the 5th Century.--from the Discovery Of MindHomer and the Concept of “Mind”: in retrospectDirections: Answer the following questions as completely as possible. 1. How does the writer account for the “absence of mind” in Ancient Greece?When considering the writer’s definition of “mind,” How is Homer’s concept of mind different from our concept of the mind?3. Was Homer a determinist or a believer in free will? Justify your answer?What is Homer’s explanation for change in or motivation for human behavior inAncient Greece?Account for the eventual change in Homeric thinking. Why could this way of thinking not remain constant through time? What implications / limitations does this type of thinking impose on modern man?What is the literary basis for the development and application of Homer’s theory of “Mind?”Writing about Greek Literature and Thought: Greek EssayEssay Prompt: Write a well-developed essay in which you discuss how Oedipus serves to demonstrate the prevailing thought of the time period. First, identify the time period. Then, discuss how it represents the worldviews of that time period. Explain the role of the Tragic Hero in Greek literature. You must use “Oedipus the King” as support, in addition to any other viable sources at your disposal.Essays are due at the end of the period. ................
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