Presentation on theme: "Mythology of the play Apollo Asclepius Cyclopes Zeus Heracles Death Zeus was the cause: he killed my son Asclepius, striking him in the chest with the."— Presentation transcript:
Mythology of the play Apollo Asclepius Cyclopes Zeus Heracles Death Zeus was the cause: he killed my son Asclepius, striking him in the chest with the lightning-bolt,  and in anger at this I slew the Cyclopes who forged Zeus's fire.  The man to make you do so is coming to the house of Pheres sent by Eurystheus to fetch the horses and chariot from the wintry land of Thrace. I see that Death (Thanatos), the priest of the dead, is already drawing near.  He is about to take her down to the house of Hades.
the Myth Apollodorus 1.9.15 When Admetus reigned over Pherae, Apollo served him as his labourer while Admetus wooed Alcestis, daughter of Pelias. Now Pelias had promised to give his daughter to whoever yoked a lion and a boar to a car, and Apollo yoked and gave them to Admetus, who brought them to Pelias and so obtained Alcestis. But in offering a sacrifice at his marriage, he forgot to sacrifice to Artemis; therefore when he opened the marriage chamber he found it full of coiled snakes. Apollo bade him appease the goddess and obtained as a favour of the Fates that, when Admetus should be about to die, he might be released from death if someone chose voluntarily to die for him. And when the day of his death came neither his father nor his mother would die for him, but Alcestis died in his stead. But the Maiden (Kore) sent her up again, or, as some say, Hercules fought with Hades and brought her up to him.  But if I fail to catch this quarry and he does not come to the blood offering, I shall go down to the sunless house of Persephone and her lord in the world below and shall ask for Alcestis, and I think I shall bring her up and put her in the hands of my friend. Iliad 2 And they that dwelt in Pherae... and well-built Iolcus, these were led by the dear son of Admetus with eleven ships, Eumelus, whom Alcestis, queenly among women,  the most beautiful of the daughters of Pelias, bore to Admetus.
Folktale Orpheus  I have found nothing stronger than Necessity, nor is there any cure for it in the Thracian tablets set down by the voice of Orpheus nor in all the drugs which Phoebus  harvested in aid of trouble-ridden mortals and gave to the sons of Asclepius. If I had the voice and music of Orpheus so that I could charm Demeter's daughter or her husband with song and fetch you from Hades,  I would have gone down to the Underworld, and neither Pluto's hound nor Charon the ferryman of souls standing at the oar would have kept me from bringing you back to the light alive. Death as inevitable vs death as deceivable Only Phoebus' son, if he still looked upon the light of the sun,  would cause her to leave behind the gloomy realm and the portals of Hades. For he used to raise the dead, until the two-pronged goad of the lightning-fire killed him.
Alcestis Best (aristos) of women Thucydides, 2.45.2 If I must say anything on the subject of female excellence (arete) to those of you who will now be in widowhood, it will be all comprised in this brief exhortation. Great will be your reputation (doxa) in not falling short of your natural character; and greatest will be hers about whom there is the least talk (kleos) among the men whether for good or for bad.  Someone walking a winding path past her tomb shall say, ‘This woman died in the stead of her husband, and now she is a blessed divinity. Hail, Lady, and grant us your blessing!’ Best (aristê) indeed! Who will say she is not? What should we call the woman who surpasses her? How could any woman give greater proof  that she gives her husband the place of honor than by being willing to die for him?
Plato, Symposium Only those in love (eros) will consent to die for others; not merely men will do it, but women too. Sufficient witness is borne to this statement before the people of Greece by Alcestis, daughter of Pelias, who alone was willing to die for her husband, though he had both father [179c] and mother. So high did her love exalt her over them in philia, that they were proved alien to their son and but nominal relations; and when she achieved this deed, it was judged so noble by gods as well as men that, although among all the many doers of noble deeds they are few and soon counted to whom the gods have granted the privilege of having their souls sent up again from Hades, hers they thus restored in admiration of her act. Aeschylus, Eum. 723 You (Apollo) did such things also in the house of Pheres, when you persuaded the Fates to make mortals free from death.  I understand that, and this sorrow did not fall upon me unexpected. I have long been worn down with the knowledge of it.
Alcestis 438 BC 4th play A Satyr play? 1-76 Prologue 1. Apollo2. Death 77-135 Parodos 136-212 3. Maid 213-243 Ode 244-434 1. Admetus 2. Alcestis 3. Boy 435-475 Ode 476-568 1. Admetus2. Heracles 569-605 Ode 606-740 1. Admetus 2. Pheres 741-746 Ode 747-860 2. Heracles 3. Servant 861-934 Kommos Admetus 935-961 1. Admetus 962 -1007 Ode 1008-end 1. Admetus 2. Heracles  Poets shall sing often of you both on the seven-stringed mountain tortoise-shell and in songs unaccompanied by the lyre when at Sparta the month of Carnea comes circling round  and the moon is aloft the whole night long, and also in rich, gleaming Athens. Such is the theme for song that you have left for poets by your death.
Xenia and mourning Heracles I shall go to the house of some other guest-friends. Admetus No no, my lord! Heaven avert such a misfortune! Heracles  To mourners the arrival of a guest is vexing. If I had driven from my house and city a guest (xenos) who had just arrived, would you have praised me more?  No, indeed, since my misfortune would have been in no way lessened, and I would have been less hospitable. And in addition to my ills we would have the further ill that my house would be called inhospitable. I myself find in this man the best host (xenos)  whenever I go to thirsty Argos. 857 What Thessalian is more hospitable than he, what Greek?
Admetus - adamastos  I am myself holy (hosios), and in Admetus, son of Pheres, I found a holy man. And so I rescued him from death by tricking the Fates. 823 Yes, for his modesty (aidos) kept him from thrusting you from his house. Aristotle Eudemian Ethics 1233b he who regards the opinion of those who appear fair is modest. And anyone who is my enemy will say,  ‘Look at this man who lives on in disgrace! He did not have the courage to die but in cowardice escaped death by giving his wife in his place. And after that can we think him a man? He hates his parents though he himself is unwilling to die.’ Beside my sorrows I will have to endure this kind of repute (kleos). For his noble nature runs towards modesty. Among the good everything is possible. I marvel at his wisdom. And sure confidence sits in my heart  that the god-fearing man will prosper. I, who ought not to be alive and have escaped my fate,  shall now live out my life in pain. Now I understand. 1093 I commend you, truly. But you deserve the name of fool.
Pheres I did not invite you to this funeral,  nor do I count your presence here as that of a friend (philos). You should have shared my trouble when I was dying. You stood aside and, though you are old,  allowed a young person to die: and will you now come to mourn her? You were not, as it now seems clear, truly my father, nor did she who claims to have borne me and is called my mother really give me birth, but I was born of some slave and secretly put to your wife's breast.  When you were put to the test you showed your true nature, and I do not count myself as your son.  I for my part shall never bury you myself. For as far as in you lay I am dead. And if I have found another savior and still look upon the sun, I am that savior's child and fond support in old age. At all events you have shamelessly (anaidôs) striven to avoid death,  and you live beyond your fated day by killing.  I go. But you will bury her being yourself her murderer, and one day you will pay the penalty to your kin by marriage. Acastus is no man if he fails to punish you for his sister's death.
Melodrama? Admetus  The one doomed to die is gone, has died and is no more. Heracles To be and not to be are deemed to be separate things. Admetus You have your view on this, Heracles, and I have mine. You have touched my heart, you have touched my soul. When the noble are afflicted,  those who all their lives have been deemed loyal must mourn. An image of you shaped by the hand of skilled craftsmen shall be laid out in my bed.  I shall fall into its arms, and as I embrace it and call your name I shall imagine, though I have her not, that I hold my dear wife in my arms, a cold pleasure, to be sure, but thus I shall lighten my soul's heaviness. Pygmalion and Galatea
Heracles But never yet have I welcomed  a worse guest to our hearth than this one.  For I must save the woman who has just died and show my gratitude (charis) to Admetus by restoring Alcestis once more to this house. One should speak freely to a friend, Admetus, and not silently store up reproaches in the heart.  I thought it right that I should stand by you in your misfortune and give proof that I was your friend. Yet you did not tell me your wife was laid out for burial but feasted me in the house, saying that you were busy with a grief not your own.
Hamartia 342 Do I make a mistake to mourn when I have lost such a wife as you?  For you have lost, as no one will deny, a noble and virtuous wife.. 709 But if it pains you to hear the truth, you should not be wronging me.  If I were dying on your behalf, I would be more mistaken. What greater sorrow can a man have than the loss  of his faithful wife? 1099 And yet you will be making a mistake if you do not.
I do not hate you, although it is you alone that cause my death:  it is because I shrank from abandoning you and my husband that I now die. Some other woman will possess you, luckier, perhaps, than I but not more virtuous.’ I need not have died in your place  but could have married the Thessalian of my choice and lived in wealth in a royal house. But I refused to live torn from your side with orphaned children and did not spare my young life, though I had much in which I took delight. Keep them as lords of my house  and do not marry again, putting over them a step-mother, who will be less noble than I and out of envy will lay a hostile hand to your children and mine.
 For she is young, as is evident from her clothing and adornment. Shall she stay in the men's quarters? And how, moving among young men, shall she remain untouched? 1072 I wish I had the power to convey your wife to the light from the halls below and could do you this service (charis). Admetus My lord, you compel me to do this against my will. Heracles Have the courage to stretch out your hand and touch the stranger. Admetus There, I stretch it out, as if I were cutting off a Gorgon's head.
There, I stretch it out, as if I were cutting off a Gorgon's head.
You are not yet allowed to hear her speak to you,  not until she becomes purified in the sight of the nether gods when the third day comes. But take her in. Continue, Admetus, to show your guests the piety of a righteous man.