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Ancient Greek Myths Questions Discussion

Ancient Greek Myths Questions Discussion

Question Description

Q1. In Lecture 9 (minute 32:30 – 48:17), we looked at three distinct modern interpretations of the Athenian ritual of the Adonia and the myth of Aphrodite and Adonis: the explanation by Frazier that the ritual and myth symbolized the death each year of vegetation; the argument by Detienne that the ritual and myth were intended to support patriarchal norms around the dangerousness of erotic desire; and the idea of Reitzammer that the myth allowed Athenian wives to identify with Aphrodite and contest the norms around female desire.

With reference to the details of the passages and images discussed in Lecture 9 (passages #4-7 on the handout for that class), explain which of these interpretations you think is best supported by the evidence.

No credit will be given for further research (and there is no need to read Frazier, Detienne or Reitzammer for this midterm, especially); credit will be given for your arguments from the provided ancient sources for the myth and ritual.

Q2. The opening lines of the Odyssey run as follows (in Emily Wilson’s translation):

“Tell me about a complicated man.

Muse, tell me how he wandered and was lost

When he had wrecked the holy town of Troy”.

With reference to the details of ONE episode from Books 5 to 11 of the Odyssey, how appropriate is the adjective “complicated” for the character of Odysseus?

note: no credit will be given for answers that draw from several sections of the poem – this question is asking you to focus on a single episode.

I attached the handout. There is another video. I can send over email.


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