2 Introduction to Heroic Myth Humans are the protagonists, not godsNarrative about events in the human, not divine, past“Hero”Homer: noble-born male who’s aliveLater: noble figure from the distant past.
3 Folktale Motifs and Heroic Myths Partly divine birthMiraculous birth and childhoodGreat strength is a benefit and menaceA friendFalls under enemy’s power of spellBreaks a tabooIs temptedResponsible for friend’s death
4 Folktale Motifs and Heroic Myths The questHelp from godsReturn home and is domesticatedRewarded for his effortsGreat funeral
5 Danaë and the Shower of Gold Legends of PerseusDanaë and the Shower of Gold
6 Danaë and the Shower of Gold Lynceus (the one spared) in Argos after DanaüsHypermnestraHis son Abas has twinsAcrisius, rules in ArgosProetus, rules in nearby Tiryns (Poetids-madness)Acrisius has a daughter, Danaë, but wants sons
7 Danaë and the Shower of Gold Oracles says Danaë will have a son, but that he will kill him (Acrisius)Zeus’s “rain shower” impregnates herSet adrift in a wooden boxDictys at SeriphosPolydectesTricked Perseus into going on a quest for the head of a Gorgon
9 Poor DanaeDanae was the daughter of Acrisius. An oracle warned Acrisius that Danae's son would someday kill him, so Acrisius shut Danae in a bronze room, away from all male company. However, Zeus conceived a passion for Danae, and came to her through the roof, in the form of a shower of gold that poured down into her lap; as a result she had a son, Perseus. When Acrisius discovered Perseus, he locked both mother and son in a chest, and set it adrift on the sea. The chest came ashore at Seriphus, where Danae and Perseus were welcomed. Later, King Polydectes of Seriphus fell in love with Danae and tried to force himself on her; he was eventually killed by Perseus.
12 Graeae and PerseusMedusa was one of three terrible sisters called Gorgons. They had leathery wings, brazen claws, and writhing poisonous snakes in place of hair. Anyone who looked at them turned to stone. But Perseus was helped by the gods. Athena lent him her brightly polished shield, and Hermes gave him a magic sword. Perseus came to the land of night where the three Gray Sisters (the Graeae) lived. They had only one eye and one tooth among them. They refused to help Perseus, but he stole their eye and returned it only when they told him where to find the Gorgons.
13 Perseus, the Gorgon Slayer SthenoEuryalêMedusa (the only mortal Gorgon)Help from the Graeae-shared on eye, Perseus stole it.“Where can the Gorgons be found?”
15 Perseus the Gorgon Slayer Magical implements-nymphsCap of HadesWinged sandalsThe kibisis-special leather puchExtra sharp swordHighly polished bronze shieldUsing invisibility snuck up and killed Medusa by cutting off her head while looking in the shield.
17 Slaying MedusaWith winged sandals that enabled him to fly, the helmet of Hades that made him invisible, and a bag in which to conceal the head, he set out again and finally found the three Gorgons asleep. He put on his cap of darkness and flew nearer. Alighting, he looked into his shining shield, thus avoiding a direct look at the Gorgons. With one stroke of his sword he cut off Medusa's head.
20 Perseus the Gorgon Slayer From the body of Medusa, who was pregnant by PoseidonPegasus, later tamed by BellerophonChrysaörPerseus frees his mother from Polydectes’s aggression with the head of Medusa
25 Perseus and AndromedaCepheus’s daughter, Andromeda, about to be sacrificed to a sea monster, because of the rash boast by her mother, CassiopeäPerseus given Andromeda and the kingdom for having freed herPhineus, to whom Andromeda had been betrothed, killed with his men by the head of Medusa
27 Andromedabeautiful daughter of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiope of Joppa in Palestine (called Ethiopia) and wife of Perseus. Cassiope offended the Nereids by boasting that Andromeda was more beautiful than they, so in revenge Poseidon sent a sea monster to devastate Cepheus' kingdom. Since only Andromeda's sacrifice would appease the gods, she was chained to a rock and left to be devoured by the monster. Perseus flew by on the winged horse Pegasus, fell in love with Andromeda, and asked Cepheus for her hand. Cepheus agreed, and Perseus slew the monster. At their marriage feast, however, Andromeda's uncle, Phineus, to whom she had originally been promised, tried to claim her. Perseus turned him to stone with Medusa's head. Andromeda bore Perseus six sons and a daughter.
30 The Death of Acrisius Perseus returns to Argos Acrisius flees (it is fated that Perseus will kill him)At a sports contest in Thessaly, Perseus accidentally kills him with a stray discusTrades Argos of Tiryns with Megapenthes, a son of ProetusPerseus also builds Mycenae
31 Can’t escape the Fates!Mycenae founded by Perseus, later ruled by Atreus and then AgamemnonPerseus’ grandson Heracles
32 The Death of AcrisiusAfter a long rule, Perseus and Andromeda become constellations, where their story can be seenPerseusPerseus Cartoon
35 Perseus and Folktale Perseus’ tale is nearly a child’s fairy tale Closest we have to a folktaleThe form of the girl’s tragedy for Danaë
36 Perseus and Folktale Prohibition Seclusion Can’t marrySeclusionLocked in a chamberViolation of the prohibitionThe showerThreat of punishment or deathSet adrift in a boxLiberationSave by Dictys
37 Perseus and Folktale Perseus’s story somewhat like Gilgamesh’s More emphasis on the questExtraordinary birth; his own strength a threat to his family; impossible labors with divine help; rewarded in the end with a kingdom and wifeDifferences: no taboo, no male friend
38 Perseus and FolktalePerseus devoid of internal struggle and personalityThese are adult themes and not a part of folktalePerhaps the Perseus story circulated as oral tales (for children?) before it was written down