Journal Entry

Date: November 15, 2018

Location: Alaine Locke Hall

Time: 1 hour 20 minutes (11:10 am — 12:30 p.m.)

In today’s class session we had the opportunity to reenact a mock trial on the case of Medea versus Jason. Medea in Greek Mythology is an enchantress who helped Jason, leader of the Argonauts, to obtain the Golden Fleece from her father, King Aeëtes of Colchis. She was of divine descent and had the gift of prophecy. She married Jason and used her magic witchcraft powers and advice to help him. However, as the story developed Jason soon discovered that Medea has a vengeful, dark side. In the Hymn to Medea, Medea ends up murdering multiple individuals. This includes her brother Apsyrtus and her two sons. In the court case, my group was given the task to explore the conniving nature of Medea as a testament of why she should be held accountable for the death of her children. Although I believe that Medea is responsible for the death of her children, I do understand the basis of the argument for why she is not. Down below I will explore the reasons as to why Medea can be portrayed as both a hero and a villain.

On one hand Medea is depicted as a heroic figure who passionately defends the rights of women.

· Medea fights against social injustices on behalf of all women.

· Medea draws attention to the desperate fate of “we women” who are often depicted as the most undesirable women in Greek society.

· Throughout the hymn, there are various examples of Medea trying to contain and restrain her personal anguish. Also, whenever Medea enters the male public place, she presents a logical and reasoned argument on behalf of the we women.

· Medea has made significant sacrifices in helping Jason secure the Golden Fleece. The Golden Fleece represents tradition, wealth, family, and security. By helping Jason steal the Golden Fleece, Medea compromises her own family’s tradition and undermines the family values that was engrained into her as a woman.

· The chorus portrays the death of Medea’s children as necessary. They describe their current state of life as intolerable and desperate, so death therefore must be better.

· The chorus ensures that the audience views Medea sympathetically. The chorus alludes to the fact that Medea is a female symbol that should be honored.

On the other hand, Medea is also depicted as a villain. Medea is also portrayed as a ruthless and manipulative individual.

· Medea outwits King Creon and begs for an extra day, which allows her to fulfill her vengeful scheme.

· Medea appeals to Creon’s paternal feelings realizing that homeland and children are critical to a man’s sense of self. She uses this to her advantage to manipulate him.

· Medea deceives Jason by acknowledging his desire for an obedient and repentant wife. Her false declaration of submission to Jason, her confession that she was a foolish emotional woman, lures him to his downfall.

· Medea betrays her maternal instincts in order to hurt Jason in the most hurtful way possible. She creates a ploy to use her children as tools in her revenge agenda against her husband Jason.

· During Medea’s two soliloquies, in which she convinces herself to commit the double murder, Medea reveals her personal struggle with her conscience.

· Medea also reveals her acute awareness that what she was about to do (murder her children) was wrong.

· In the Hymn to Medea, Medea attempts to justify her immoral actions through recourse to her divine links.

Date: November 19, 2018

Location: Desk in dorm room

Time: 1 hour (4:00–5:00 p.m.)

In order to fulfill my time requirement for today’s study session, I decided to complete my homework assignment to be completed by tomorrow’s class session. Today’s homework assignment consisted of completing the assigned reading assignment which was Apollonius’ Argonautica, Book Three on the romance between Jason and Medea. Toxic relationships are a common concept in literature especially in classical mythology. This was very apparent in the book as the specifics of Jason and Medea’s dysfunctional relationship was revealed. The foundations of any relationship (healthy or not) are most commonly established upon mutual admiration and respect, but can in time, become remarkably unhealthy. This is the case with Jason and Medea’s relationship. Jason and Medea’s relationship can unquestionably be defined as toxic. Toxic relationships can be caused by two opposite personality types. This is the case with these two individuals. Usually in toxic relationships there is one individual (Medea) who preys on the other and attempts to emotionally and psychologically dehydrate the other partner. Such individuals have a manipulative style and frequently try to maneuver their way into any relationship that they perceive as beneficial. People who are toxic are rarely aware of their own toxicity. They are too self-absorbed and preoccupied with their own emotions, interests, needs, and goals to be aware of the needs, goals, interests, and emotions of others.

Date: November 26, 2018

Location: Desk in dorm room

Time Spent: 2 hour 58 minutes (1:37–4:35 p.m.)

In order to fulfill today’s time requirement of studying for classical mythology I decided to take the opportunity to complete the assigned reading assignment and the corresponding questions. Today’s homework assignment consisted of reading the chapter in the book entitled The Hero’s Quest and completing the corresponding questions. In the reading, one topic that was mentioned was the true definition of happiness. Therefore, I decided to expand on this idea in today’s journal entry.

True happiness is not actually a positive emotional state. It is an internal reclaiming of power that allows each outcome to be experienced in the most pure and unaltered way. In order to be happy, one must reclaim their power from the people, places, and things that are used to define their very own existence. It does not mean that they should not be pleased or displeased by another people’s behavior. Instead, it means that you no longer rely on the actions of your outside environment to determine your status in life. In order to achieve true happiness, you must simply exist without worrying about the pressure or standards of other individuals or society in general. True happiness can be defined as freedom from relying on anything to be any way, which allows everything to be exactly how it is meant to be. Happiness is something that can be experienced both short or long term. Happiness does not depend on pleasure experienced in a specific moment. Of course, feeling pleasure is also an important part of happiness, but it must not be confused with the overall state of happiness. Happiness should not be seen merely as personal pleasure, but rather as self-realization, self-awareness, and finding your life purpose. In other words, happiness comes when you feel satisfied and fulfilled in life. Happiness is a feeling of contentment. True happiness comes when you have all these needs satisfied. When discussing the true definition of happiness, it is important to note that while true happiness may be hard to achieve, it is even harder to maintain, although all variations of happiness has this one thing in common, there are nearly limitless degrees of happiness that exists.

Down below is the homework assignment that I completed to be turned in on Tuesday, November 27th.

Homework Assignment: What is happiness? Read the Hero’s Quest p. 543–582.

1. How much of a “trickster figure” is Odysseus (compare our chapter on Hermes)?

Odysseus can be easily defined as a trickster figure in classical mythology due to the various characteristic traits that he possesses. Like any other traditional trickster figure, Odysseus exhibits a great degree of intellect or secret knowledge and uses it to play tricks and disobey rules and break societal normalities. He can articulate himself very well and use language to his advantage. He is always one step ahead of everyone else. He is extremely intelligent and crafty. Also, Odysseus has the uncanny ability to adopt different personas or characters to hide his identity.

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a figure in society?

Advantages of being a trickster figure includes knowing how to get what you want when you want and navigate through life without many obstacles and difficulties. Disadvantages of being a trickster figure include not having the respect of your peers and having a reputation of being dishonest and untrustworthy.

Date: November 28, 2018

Location: Desk in dorm room

Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (7:30–9:30 p.m.)

In order to fulfill today’s time requirement of studying for classical mythology I decided to take the opportunity to complete the assigned reading assignment and the corresponding questions. Today’s homework assignment consisted of reading the chapter in the book entitled The Hero’s Quest and completing the corresponding questions.

Down below is the homework assignment that I completed to be turned in on Thursday, November 29th.

Homework Assignment: The Hero’s Quest, cont. pp. 582–601. Review for FINAL EXAM.

1. How does a human life (or a portion of a human life) resemble a quest? How is college life like a quest, for example?

Human life resembles a quest because humans spend most of their lifetime trying to search for something which is often their life purpose. A perfect example of this is college. College can be easily compared to a quest because many people often go to college not only to get a sound education but also to discover themselves and determine their life passion and purpose. College life is like a quest because it is filled with many life lessons, hardships, heartaches, joys, celebrations and special moments that will ultimately lead us to undergo a journey necessary to get to our destination, our purpose in life.

2. Is it possible to structure one’s life like a quest? What would be the advantages and disadvantages of doing so?

It is not possible to structure one’s life like a quest simply because life is not supposed to be so structured. Life is supposed to be lived in the moment. It sounds simple enough but we as human beings have an incredibly difficult time enjoying the present moment. Human beings often tend to spend too much time replaying past moments or planning too much for the future. This often cause individuals to miss out on the great moments that life has to offer. One should not structure one life like a quest intentionally. Life should be like a quest naturally.

Date: November 28, 2018

Time Spent: 4 hours (9:00–12:00 a.m.)

Location: Health sciences library

Tonight, I met up with my study buddy to finish preparing for tomorrow’s lecture, the last class meeting date of the week. Our activities consisted of studying for tomorrows quiz. To study we utilized Quizlet to create various test as well as flashcards. We also incorporated a new method of memorizing important information into our study session. Any information that we believed to be extremely critical and/or suspected that it would be on the quiz, we made sure to write down several times on a blank piece of paper in blue ink. We made sure that we quizzed each other by summarizing the text to ensure that we thoroughly understood the material. In addition, I finalized my weekly journal by creating this journal entry and checking the other ones for grammatical and spelling errors.