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Prometheus: The Fire-Bringer Mrs. Kercher6 th Grade Gifted.

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1 Prometheus: The Fire-Bringer Mrs. Kercher6 th Grade Gifted

2 Historical Background Greek mythology The myths reflect a cultural enrichment that track back to the invasion of the Mycenaeans. Mycenaeans were Indo-European people from the Caucasus and grassland Steppes of Eurasia. Mycenaeans conquered the island of Crete where the Minoan civilization lived. Archeologists have uncovered many tablets from both civilizations mention many earth divinities.

3 Mycenaeans They adopted and transformed the accomplishments of the older Mediterranean civilizations: Painting and sculpting --- Minoans and Egyptians Alphabet --- Phoenicians Mathematics ---- Babylonians Use of Iron ---- Hittites

4 Appeal and Value Prometheus is the most important It asserts divinity must respect the needs of human beings It depicts complex personality traits that are universal and timeless It was first written by Hesiod and later by Aeschylus

5 Two Great Writers Hesiod Explains the origin of gods and morals as well as particular aspects of human life Explains the source of the many evils that are part of the human condition Aeschylus Prometheus’s bondage Origin of the earthquakes Explains how human beings were created Examines the relationship between human beings and their gods Examines the pattern of attitudes and behavior Arete – excellence Hubris – excessive pride Ate – blind recklessness Nemsis – form of retribution resulting in personal tragedy

6 Characters in the story. Prometheus Zeus Pandora Gods Mortal Humans

7 Prometheus In Greek mythology, Prometheus means “a great benefactor” of mankind. He was son of the Titan Iapetus and of Clymene or Themis. In a legend, Prometheus saved a human race from extinction by warning his son about a huge flood. In myths, Prometheus was released by Hercules, Zeus’ father.

8 Zeus Historians believe that Zeus was born in a cave on Mount Ida on the island of Crete. Unlike mainland Greeks, the Cretans believed that Zeus died and was resurrected annually. Zeus was the father of many children. Hercules, Dionysos, Apollo, and Athena are just four popular ones. Some experts believe that “Zeus” wasn’t his real name and that it was his god name.

9 Pandora Pandora was a Greek Goddess. Pandora’s weaknesses are deceitfulness, and later her curiosity. Her parents are Prometheus and Epimetheus. She was named the “Mother of Troubles.” Pandora's name means the "one who gives all gifts" and has a positive connotation.

10 Gods and Mortals They all strive to achieve arete, in their endeavors. It is a four stage process: First, the arete is revealed in their cleverness, strength, or great skill. Usually it leads to hubris or excessive pride. Hubris remains hidden. However, that leads to ate or “blind recklessness.” This leads one to overstep his/her boundaries and commit a rash act. Finally, those who succumb to ate inevitably reach the final stage, nemesis. Nemesis is a form of retribution that results in personal tragedy.

11 Motifs Yoke and Harness The yoke and harness is a motif recurring throughout the play from beginning to end, and used in all cases except one to stand in for Zeus's tyrannical power. Time Time is referred to throughout the play, bolstered by related motifs of Zeus's newness as ruler, generational conflicts among the gods, and the importance of Fate.

12 Vocabulary P. 166 – tame, oracles P. 167 – solemn rites, sacrificial, resolve, buffeted, infinite P. 168 – barren, benign, bode P. 169 – benefactor, inscrutable P. 170 – adversary, wily P. 171 – wiles P. 172 – forge, fennel P. 173 – pith, rind P. 176 – fetters P subordination

13 Literary Elements P. 163 – “mortal men lived like ants in dark shelters” P. 169 – “wine, dark sea” P. 172 – “the blazing sun stretched forth its ravenous tongue and tasted the fennel’s pith” P. 176 – “My mother has told me that you’ll marry a goddess whose son will be greater than his father.”

14 Reflection Questions The name Prometheus means “forethought.” To what extent, if any, does Prometheus exercise forethought? What heroic qualities does Prometheus posses that account for his lasting fame? The ancient Greeks observed the destructive pattern of attitude and behavior. How does this pattern apply to both Zeus and Prometheus? Why is this considered to be the “greatest” myth?

15 Sample Responses – Heroic Qualities Some heroic qualities that Prometheus possesses are fire, selflessness, creativity, bravery, intellect, and the ability to control things. (not acceptable) Prometheus has many heroic qualities. In the myths read in class, he display bravery and strength by standing up to Zeus. Next, he shows how selfless he is by putting the importance of his people first and tolerating the daily torture Zeus places upon him. In addition, he is extremely intelligent. He is able to see into the future and make changes to the pattern of events that will impact his people. Overall, these qualities and actions make him a hero in the eyes of his people. (acceptable)

16 Sample Responses (Greatest Myth) The myth about Prometheus is often considered to be the greatest Greek myth. First, it make human beings more important than their greatest god. This is very unusual in mythology, where gods are worshipped in the attempt to ensure human survival and prosperity. Second, Prometheus’s support of humans and his willingness to withstand thirty years of torture makes him a hero. Prometheus’s bravery and tolerate and endure pain is exceptional. All in all, this myth is the greatest. (acceptable response) This myth is the great myth because it tells the story about how Prometheus risked his life in order to keep his mortal people alive. It is the greatest myth because it shows the determination of Prometheus in order to keep the human race alive. (not acceptable)

17 Compare and Contrast Myths Similarities Relation of Zeus and Prometheus; Cronus Civilized life of human race Conflict between Zeus and Prometheus over fire Background information on man Zeus’s greed; attitude to attain excellence ---- nemesis Prometheus forethought Prometheus disobeying Zeus ---- punishment Prometheus selflessness Literary elements – symbolism, foreshadowing; imagery Prometheus assisting human race

18 Compare and Contrast Myths Textbook p. 165 More gods mentioned Prometheus teaches man about tools, weapons Zeus – Great Cloud Gather In-depth (creation of man) Prometheus’s torture Prometheus’s creation of Pandora Underworld

19 Compare and Contrast Myths Handout Mysterious yellow rod Hermes tells gods about Prometheus’s actions Four eras of humans Focus is really on fire and it being provided to man Description more on Prometheus Other relatives to Prometheus

20 Three Paragraph Response Write a three paragraph response for the following prompt: Compare and contrast the two myths of Prometheus. Be sure to have the following: Introduction paragraph Body Conclusion


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