Greek Creation Myth AB-Block: Maddy Werth, Amy Singer, Pamela Weidman, Jaime Craven, David Silbert, Jennie Segal http://www.proteusinstitute.com/attachments/Image/creation_myth_pictures/COSMIC_EGG_CRACKS.jpeg Summary • • • • • • • • Life rose out of a single egg (laid by the great black bird Nyx); first came Eros, the god of love. Eros made the Earth (Gaia) and the sky (Uranus) fall in love. They had children, including Kronus. He feared that his children would become too powerful. Rhea tricked him and allowed their son Zeus to survive, and he became ruler. Prometheus and Epimetheus formed men and animals. Prometheus gave man fire. Zeus punished mankind by giving Pandora a box she was forbidden to open. Pandora opened the box, releasing http://www.theoi.com/image/img_kronos.jpg The Nature and Function of Gods • • • http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/12/123967/2391284-zeus.jpg Obsessed with power: Kronus is threatened by his children, so he consumes them; Zeus is threatened by mankind having fire, so he limits them with the curses of evil. They all want complete power, so they vanquish whatever gets in their way. o Gods' rule was flawed, sometimes dangerous. Greeks had democracy, not autocracy (which they saw as problematic) Vengeful and flawed Very powerful beings that control various aspects of the world. Humans' Relationship to the Gods • • • Events directly beneficial to humans: value placed more in human powers (fire, hope, etc.) and resourcefulness than in divine powers Divine intervention often disastrous for the humans (Pandora's box) Greeks seemed mostly to acknowledge the gods' superiority of strength. o Gods had similar flaws as humans. "When Zeus discovered Prometheus' deed he became furious...Then he began to devise a punishment for mankind." http://lpsmythologywiki.wikispaces.com/file/view/pandorasbox.jpg/271079416/pandoras-box.jpg The Origin and Nature of Control and Power • • Power restrained out of fear/to dominate (Kronus swallows children, Zeus forbids fire) Power taken forcefully as reaction o Zeus' ruse => saves siblings o Younger generation overthrows older generation Power = a temptation Zeus becomes all-powerful god o Related to and commands the other Greek gods (Poseidon, Hera, Athena) o However, still shows (flawed) human traits Ancient Greeks afraid of the temptation of power and dominance http://www.theoi.com/image/img_prometheus.jpg o Respect and worship the gods "[Zeus] ordered [Prometheus] to be chained to a mountain and for a vulture to peck out his liver every day till eternity." • • • Importance of Family • • God of love (Eros), Gaia, and Uranus come from a golden egg o love is important The importance/love of family is easily overshadowed by : o Greed and fear of betrayal Kronus: Harsh punishment Ate his children • • http://cf.ltkcdn.net/genealogy/images/std/9752424x283-Cupidistock.JPG Relationship of the Sexes Male deities act as rulers, while females are life-givers: Nyx laid the egg of existence, Kronus ate his children but Rhea saved the youngest one, Zeus currently rules the cosmos "Once the child, Zeus, had reached manhood, his mother instructed him on how to trick his father to give up his brothers and sisters." https://encryptedtbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT5XYBk1rVZFryzZFNH https://pebworthsummerball.files. wordpress.com/2012/04/nyx.jpg What It Means to Be Human • • • • Humanity shapes itself by its own actions (gods and humans both responsible) Evils released from box because of Pandora's human weakness (curiosity, greed), and because of Prometheus' brash gift of fire Human hope is greatest strength to fight against world's problems and results of human weakness Good and bad coexist: both things were in box o True for humanity and the gods "'Let me out, I am hope.' Pandora and Epimetheus released her and she flew out into the world to give hope to humankind." http://blakeallusions.wikispaces.com/file/view/pandora.jpg/17 3582901/pandora.jpg Franz Liszt Two Steps From Hell "Prometheus" "The Truth Unravels" " Prometheus' gift to humanity caused Power is easily stolen; both great unrest; it allowed the humans to act using their own skills. In this piece, humankind and the gods are Prometheus transcends his punishment fallible, and that will always lead to Further Significance • • If the Greek gods have the same flaws as humans do, why are they worshipped? What do the Greeks gain from having anthropomorphic, fallible deities? What do they lose? (Pandora myth) To what extent are humans responsible for the evils in the world? To what extent are these things out of humans' control?