Weekly Journal 7

Thursday February 25th 9:40–11am

Midterm Review

Exam Format:

  • 4 questions, you answer 3
  • Points awarded for relevant answers, details, names, events, Greek terms, places, themes

Exam prep= content mastery

26 mins for each essay

“A” students usually write a page for each question

Answers must be relevant and detailed

No ways to lose points, just earn points

How to Prepare

  • What you know, what you know you don’t know, what you don’t know that you don’t know
  • Study texts, characters, themes, stories
  • Iliad Book 1, 6, 9, 22, 24
  • Odyssey book 1, 4, 9, 23, 24
  • Iphigenia at Aulis
  • Rhesus

Thursday February 25th 3:30–5:30 pm

“A Poet or A God: The Iconography of Certain Bearded Male Bronzes”

West Building Lecture Hall

Much of the back of the head is destroyed, front is fairly preserved

Enlacing to indicate color missing

  • Copper for mouth
  • Silver for eyes/teeth

The somber but intense face creates drama

No one would agree that the bronze version resembles a good but there are points of god-like beauty

Somewhat resembles Poseidon, god of the sea, but also philosophers like Aristotle

  • Dolphin and seaweed crown= Poseidon
  • Half-open mouth + the brow shows resemblance of a poet

Which poet was regarded as divine?

  • Homer is the only candidate
  • Fine series of silver coins with portraits of Homer @ Ios 320–300 BCE
  • Description on back “Here the head covers the sacred divine… Homer” tells what Homer looks like and how he was modeled. If it weren’t for the description, audience would think it was Zeus
  • Coins of Smyrna 188–80 BCE. Depiction of Zeus was bare chest, scepter, covering on pelvis

Isn’t Homer supposed to be blind?

  • Versions of how he came to be blind include since births he’s been blind, from sickness, and as punishment
  • Those who actually think Homer was blind are intellectuals
  • Blindness depicted by lifted eyebrows, half open eyes (which at first was thought to be sleepiness) eyes open with no pupil
  • Blindness not at all indicated on the coins so possibly proof of Zeus
  • Varying versions of the story of Homer’s blindness include “This is the tomb of Achilles, Homer prayed that he could only see the hero the way when he entered battle. Once he looked at the hero Homer was blinded by the armor” and the alternative is “Homer was blinded not because he saw a vision of Achilles wearing his bronze armor, bit because he saw a vision of Helen…” But others say that Homer experienced the same thing because of the anger of Helen. She was angry at him because she left her husband Menelaus and followed Paris (also known as Alexander) His blindness happened when the spirit came to him and told him to burn his poetry, in essence unsaying it, but Homer couldn’t do this. So she punishes him by blinding him. Helen is embarrassed of her promiscuity and doesn’t want the story told so she blinds everyone who wont unsay the story.
  • Homer can be either blind or not blind depending on the phase of Homer in discussion

Archelaos Relief

  • Many figures including gods like Zeus and the irony of them making sacrifices to Homer
  • Represents poetry, tragedy, comedy, virtue, memory, trust, and wisdom
  • Juxtaposition of Zeus and Homer: Homer holds Zeus’ image and position with all the muses with respect to the arts and mankind

Might not have to chose between the question of poet or a god because “Homer was a poet who was also a god in his own right”

Homer sees Helen in a dream but sees Achilles in an epiphany

  • Ground rules for a dream and an epiphany are the same, the reality that is seen so they are just mediums through which we see reality
  • Epiphany is a vision that is felt to be real, vision itself is felt to be divine

Helen is seen by some as a hero in the dream while others say she’s a goddess

  • Her ability to blind is proof she’s a goddess and that she has been thought of as a goddess long before Homer

Spartan perception of Helen’s story

  • She’s not just a human, she’s daughter of Zeus so her marriage to Menelaus, let alone running away with Paris is like someone taking their goddess from them and reusing her in an unreligious way
  • The disrespect is why she attempted to have Homer and any other teller of the blasphemous story destroy the story or else

Monday February 29th 8–11pm

Going into the mid term exam, I focused most of my studying on the Greek terms and themes we discussed in class because it was what I was most unfamiliar with. They were just randomly thrown into the discussion so I don’t think I got a full understanding of them especially with how they pertained to each text. My lesser focus was going over the plots and character for each text to refresh my memory. I especially focused on the quiz questions that I knew I didn’t know in the past so I now knew more details about the text. The quizzes over the texts that I did bad on gave me a red flag to study those texts the most. I didn’t get the full details and completely understand Rhesus and Iphigenia at Aulis so I really went into details about the characters in those plays and their motives to better understand the plot. I also tried to relate the themes we discussed in class to those plays so I could better connect the dots to be able to write a detailed analysis on the plays.

Tuesday March 1st 9:40–11am

The class period was devoted to the mid term examination. My feeling towards the exam are very mixed. The quotes that were picked were not obscure at all, which I honestly wasn’t expecting. I thought they were goanna be random quotes from all of the texts. The quotes had actual significance and were easy to distinguish as to which text is was from and the context of the situation. I like how they were longer too because it allowed me to get as much information as possible to answer the questions. The only thing I had trouble with was making the connections and fully analyzing the quotes in the short amount of time that we had. I felt as though i was rushing through my responses to make sure I got to every question. I feel like my answers focused more on the context of the situation and the character’s feelings more than relating to the themes we talked about in class and also to the Greek terms. It was that way because I started going really into depth about the context and then I was rushing through the actual analysis and theme part because I had to move onto the next essay question. Overall the style of the examination was something I had seen before in other classes but the main thing that got to me was the time.

Wednesday March 2nd 5–8pm

Poseidon- God of the sea, laments the fall of Troy

Athena- Goddess of reason, enraged about the Greeks exonerating Ajax for his crime of taking Cassandra from Athena’s temple, plots with Poseidon on how to punish the Greeks for this

Hecuba- Trojan queen, daughter is Cassandra, dethroned in the context of this play and awakens in the Greek camp, blames Helen for this, a herald tells her that she is slated to be taken away as a slave to Odysseus who was hated by the Trojans, stays strong through these fates told by the Herald and even convinces Andromache that she should just obey Neoptolemus for her own good, really dislikes Helen and her actions towards Menelaus when he comes before the Trojan women and even tries to convince him that Helen is just going to betray him again, eventually is taken to Odysseus after the Greeks win the war even after she attempts to kill herself so she wont have to go

Cassandra- Trojan princess, kind of crazy, a curse has been put on her that allows her to see the future but no one will believe her when she tries to warn them of what will happen, supposed to become Agamemnon’s mistress as told by the Herald to Hecuba, weirdly pleased with this

Andromache- daughter in law to Hecuba and married to Hector, she too has a fate bestowed upon her from the Herald, she is to become the mistress to Neoptolemus which is Achilles son, son is Astyanax which is thrown from Troy to be killed so he doesn’t grow up to avenge his father Hectors’ death

Menelaus- comes in at the end of the play trying to explain his reasoning for coming to plunder Troy, supposedly claims he wanted revenge on Paris and he really didn’t care about getting Helen back, after she gives him some fake story about being bewitched by Cypris he still takes her back to Sparta with him justifying it by saying she’s going to ride back on a different boat than him