ENGL220 Before the Iliad

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ENGL220 Before the Iliad

  1. 1. The Iliad Events leading up to the Trojan war
  2. 2. One strand of the story begins with the goddess Thetis
  3. 3. Thetis: Nereid THETIS: Daughter of NEREUS and DORIS, and best friend of EURYNOME, was doing well God-wise until an oracle put out a prophecy which upset ZEUS and POSEIDON, who both fancied her at the time. The oracle said that THETIS would bear a son greater than his father.
  4. 4. Thetis was the leader of the 50 Nereids (sea-goddesses)
  5. 5. To avoid the consequences of the prophecy they made sure she was married off to a mortal, PELEUS, k ing of Phthia.
  6. 6. Thetis could change shapes, so Peleus had to wrestle her
  7. 7. He succeeded, and the wedding was planned
  8. 8. Poor Thetis. She knew that marriage to a mortal would lead to mortification.
  9. 9. The gods provided a magnificent wedding for Thetis and Peleus
  10. 10. Eris, however, was not invited
  11. 11. Eris is Discord, and may be called strife and quarrel as well. Eris has been said to be the daughter of Nyx, but she has also been called the sister of Ares and the nurse of War, since she helps her brother in arms to accomplish his bloody work. And enjoying the groans of dying men, she fills their hearts with hatred, so that they may slay each other.
  12. 12. Uninvited, Eris shows up anyway She tosses a golden apple into the crowd.
  13. 13. The apple came with a note
  14. 14. Discord ensued! The three most powerful goddesses, Hera, Athene and Aphrodite, each claimed that the apple should be her prize.
  15. 15. Zeus was asked to choose
  16. 16. Zeus wisely declined
  17. 17. Who would be naïve enough to judge among three powerful goddesses???
  18. 18. Thetis and Peleus at home
  19. 19. Previously, in Troy…
  20. 20. Troy, a city in Asia, was located just across the Hellespont from Europe
  21. 21. Priam was king, and Hekuba queen
  22. 22. When Hekuba was pregnant with her second son, an oracle predicted that this child would cause the destruction of Troy.
  23. 23. This child was named Paris/Alexandros
  24. 24. The infant was taken to Mt. Ida to die from exposure
  25. 25. Nursed by a bear for 5 days, Paris survived and was raised by shepherds The young Paris fell in love with the nymph Oenone
  26. 26. Paris was the perfect choice to judge the beauty contest, for Zeus desired to make his daughter Helen famous in both Europe and Asia via an infamous war.
  27. 27. Tyndareus and Leda were king and queen of Sparta
  28. 28. Zeus took on the form of a swan and raped Leda
  29. 29. “Leda and the Swan” has been a subject for many artists
  30. 30. And a famous poem by Yeats Leda And The Swan Poem lyrics of Leda And The Swan by William Butler Yeats. A sudden blow: the great wings beating still Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill, He holds her helpless breast upon his breast. How can those terrified vague fingers push The feathered glory from her loosening thighs? And how can body, laid in that white rush, But feel the strange heart beating where it lies? A shudder in the loins engenders there The broken wall, the burning roof and tower And Agamemnon dead. Being so caught up, So mastered by the brute blood of the air, Did she put on his knowledge with his power Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?
  31. 31. Leda gave birth to 2 eggs One egg contained Helen and Polydeuces (Pollux). The other egg contained Clytemnestra and Castor. Castor and Pollux were known as the Dioscuri or Gemini.
  32. 32. Already a beauty, at age 10 Helen was kidnapped by Theseus
  33. 33. Helen was rescued and returned to Sparta by her brothers
  34. 34. In the meantime, Helen’s sister Clytemnestra had married twice First to Tantalus, son of Thyestes Second, to Agamemnon, who killed Tantalus
  35. 35. After Helen was returned to Sparta, suitors came from all over Tyndareus was at a loss because he feared reprisal from the unsuccessful. It was, of course, the clever Odysseus who came up with a strategy -- a strategy he offered to share in exchange for Tyndareus’s niece, Penelope.
  36. 36. Odysseus’ plan: All the suitors were required to swear an oath to stand behind whichever suitor Tyndareus selected, and be ready at any time in the future to defend the marriage. The suitors so swore.
  37. 37. Odysseus courts Penelope
  38. 38. Tyndareus selected Menelaus Not handsome or glamorous, Mene laus was rich and powerful, largely due to the position of his brother Agamemnon.
  39. 39. Menelaus, Clytemnestra, Helen, Ag amemnon
  40. 40. Menelaus and Helen married and had a daughter, Hermione
  41. 41. The plan was for Hermione to marry Orestes, the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra
  42. 42. This marriage would unite Mycenae, ruled by Agamemnon, and Sparta, ruled by Menelaus However, many plans were delayed or ruined entirely by The JUDGEMENT OF PARIS
  43. 43. When Zeus named Paris as the arbiter of the apple, each of the three goddesses came to Paris with a bribe
  44. 44. Hera offered him wealth and dominion over Europe and Asia
  45. 45. Athene promised Paris that he would be the bravest of mortals and skilled in every craft
  46. 46. Aphrodite offered him the most beautiful woman in the world
  47. 47. Paris chose Aphrodite, and in return she helped effect the abduction of Helen
  48. 48. Meanwhile, Paris had gone to Troy to participate in athletic contests.
  49. 49. Paris defeated everyone, including all the princes of Troy
  50. 50. Angered, Prince Deiphobus drew his sword to kill the “commoner”
  51. 51. Trojan princess Cassandra, who had the gift of a seer, revealed that the man hugging the altar of Zeus was their brother and a prince of Troy
  52. 52. Paris was welcomed back into the family He soon set sail for Sparta to claim his prize.
  53. 53. Some say Helen went willingly with Paris; others say she went unwillingly.
  54. 54. Paris brought Helen to Troy
  55. 55. Awed by her beauty and her status, the Trojans welcomed her—even Priam
  56. 56. As soon as Helen left Sparta, the Greeks hyped out Menelaus, who had been amusing himself with a nymph in Crete, came rushing back to Sparta. Agamemnon was furious at the dishonor done to his family. Couriers were sent throughout Greece to remind former suitors of their oath.
  57. 57. Menelaus and Odysseus went to Troy to demand, ransom, or steal Helen back
  58. 58. But to no avail
  59. 59. Odysseus, disguised as a beggar, even snuck into Troy to check things out.
  60. 60. But Helen could not be retrieved. Warriors throughout the Hellenistic world were called upon to wage war
  61. 61. Some, like Odysseus, were reluctant to go Happily married to Penelope, with an infant son named Telemachos and with a prophecy that he would not return from Troy until 20 years had passed, Odysseus feigned madness to escape the call.
  62. 62. Odysseus went down to the shore and ploughed the beach each day
  63. 63. But Odysseus was needed for his skills as a rhetorician and a strategist So Palimedes was sent to bring Odysseus in. He did so by throwing the infant Telemachos under the plow. Odysseus’ scheme was to appear mad by plowing the sand on the beach.
  64. 64. Odysseus’ sanity was revealed when he stopped the oxen and rescued his son.
  65. 65. Thetis and Peleus had a son, Achilles
  66. 66. He was raised by Phoinix, and educated by the Centaur Chiron
  67. 67. Only 15, Achilles was the best warrior in all of Greece Achilles had been trained in the arts of war and medicine by the centaur Chiron
  68. 68. To save her son from death at Troy, Thetis hid him among the women of king Lycomedes
  69. 69. Achilles had an affair with Deidamea, Lycomedes’ daughter, who bore him a son Neoptalmos
  70. 70. The clever Odysseus was sent to uncover Achilles, who was dressed as one of the women of the harem.
  71. 71. Disguised as a merchant, Odysseus included a wonderful sword in his bag of ladies’ goods When one of the “girls” fondled the sword, Odysseus knew “she” was Achilles.
  72. 72. Achilles, leading the Myrmidons, went willingly to Aulis, where Agamemnon had gathered all of the Greek warriors
  73. 73. It took two years for all the forces to assemble at Aulis In the meantime, Agamemno n, hunting for food for the troops, accidentally killed a stag sacred to the goddess Artemis
  74. 74. Outraged, Artemis kept the winds from blowing, so the restless troops were stuck in Aulis.
  75. 75. Agamemnon, the commander-in- chief, asked the seer Calchas what was wrong.
  76. 76. Calchas told Agamemnon of Artemis’ anger, and her demand of a human sacrifice—Agamemnon’s daughter Iphigenia
  77. 77. Iphigenia was sent for
  78. 78. Agamemnon’s ruse was that he had arranged a marriage between Iphigenia and Achilles Thrilled, Clytemnestra sent her child to Aulis. When the marriage was discovered to be a hoax, both Clytemnestra and Achilles were royally pissed at Agamemnon.
  79. 79. Iphigenia willingly accepted death
  80. 80. Agamemnon performed the sacrifice
  81. 81. The rites completed, the winds blew and over 1,000 ships sailed for Troy

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