Mythology Questions

  1. Robert Fagles considers the "two noblest monuments" of 5th century Athens to be what?
    The Oresteia and the Parthenon
  2. Robert Fagles summarizes the message of the Oresteia thus:
    Out of the savagery of past wars and feuds, a new harmony might be created
  3. What objects make up the electric chair in Juttner's 1909 cartoon, "The Elektric Execution"?
    it looks like a drum and makes up the actual seat and the harp makes up the chair.
  4. What is Orestes' relation to Aegisthus?
    Orestes in Aegisthus' nephew
  5. Who rides Pegasus and when?
    Bellerophon, he retrieves or is given Pegasus and rides it to kill the Chimera, according to greek myth.

    Perseus has the winged sandles, but is sometimes seen riding Pegasus.

    Hercules, by picking virtue, reaches Pegasus at the top of the stairs.
  6. The single episode of Heracles life that is often called "Hercules Furens (raging Hercules)" refers to which moment and which crime in particular?
    The crime of passion when he was driven mad by Hera to kill his wife (Megara) and their three children.
  7. In Prodicus's Choice of Heraacles, who chooses what?
    The path of Virtue is the long path of endurance and self-reliance with a great reward for the individual. The path of pleasure or vice is a path short taken to immediate gratification the values this individual are considered low and they have no greatness to offer in life.
  8. According to the conventional myth, Heracles performs his lavors for which particular reason?
    Because he felt guilty about the crime of killing his wife and children, and so He prayed to the god Apollo for guidance, and the god's oracle told him he would have to serve Eurystheus, the king of Tiryns and Mycenae, for twelve years, in punishment for the murders.
  9. How does Heracles acquire the lion skin that becomes part of his essential iconography?
    By killing the Nemean Lion, by use of it's claws to remove skin. (His first canonical labor)
  10. The Farnese Heracles shows the hero concealing a surprise in his right hand. What does he hold AND what abstract gift is symbolized?
    Apples of the Hesperides. Golden fruit from the tree Gaia gave as a gift to Hera. The apples are symbolic of immortality.
  11. The Farnese Heracles is a depiction of which portion of Heracles' life and labors?
    Nearing the end of Heracles Labors. (This labor was prior to the capturing of the 3-headed dog Cerberus). This would be numbered his 11th labor. It was known as the labor which was a conquest of death.
  12. The establishment of the Areopagus has what particular effect on the cycle of revenge?
    From the beginning of the play, we can see that the current order/law was blood for blood. For example, From Agamemnon killing Iphigenia to Clytemnestra killing Agamemnon and finally, Clytemnestra is killed by Orestes. The cycle should continue to settle the law for Orestes, but establishment of the Areopagus is where a "senate" would gather to deal with civil issues, it would deal justly with people who have been mistreated or whatever so that both parties can be satisfied or a "just" judgement can be settled.
  13. What one divinity presides over the new order of justice after the revolution narrated in Aeschylus's Oresteia?
    Pallas Athena (Athenian Justice)
  14. Aeschylus' version of Aegisthus' demise has him killed by whom, in what building, in whose company, and in what play?
    He is killed by Orestes, in the house of Atreus, in front of Clytemnestra, in the play "The Libation Bearers"
  15. Heroes such as Orestes have a tendency to "suffer into ________"
    "suffer into truth"
  16. Aeschylus' "Agamemnon" begins thematically at what time of day?
    The darkest part of night, just before the dawn.
  17. Aeschylus' Oresteia reaches it thematic pinnacle of "brilliant sunlight" after ultimate darkness at which point?
  18. In Aeschylus' Agamemnon, Clytemnestra is primarily concerned with which one of her husband's past mistakes?
    The killing of Iphigenia
  19. Clytemnestra says that one god especially delivered the speedy sign of Troy's sack. Which god is it?
  20. In what ways does Clytemnestra act as an agent of revenge in the "Agememnon"?
    By killing Agamemnon for the killing of their daughter
  21. The thematic element of "the matriarchal" is prompted by which characters in the Oresteia?
    Clytemnestra as well as Athena
  22. Who stands forward first with the claim to being the agent of vengeance in Agamemnon line 264: May happy news come with the dawn from her mother nigh
  23. When it is said that the Areopagus is "an institution and a place" what is meant?
    It was a place for the counseling of the senate
  24. What does the name "Areopagus" mean, literally?
    Mars Hill
  25. Where is the geographical feature that Athenians called "the Areopagus"?
    It is literally a big rock (marble hill). It is located north-west of the Acropolis in Athens.
  26. What "prize" does Agamemnon bring home from the Trojan War?
  27. Why does Cassandra ignore Clytemnestra when she is brought to be a slave in the House of Atreus?
    The chorus states it's because she didn't know the language. Clytemnestra states it's because she is so awe-stuck of her future to be living in a palace and the grandness. Interpretation: she is prophesying her own death in which she soon proclaims to herself that she needs to accept that future.
  28. The closing moments of the Agamemnon bring which individuals on the stage each claiming to have killed the warlord.
    Clytemnestra and Aegisthus
  29. In the "Carpet Scene" of the Agamemnon, Agamemnon expresses reason(s) for not wanting to tread the purple tapestry that Clytemnestra spreads before him.
    Because he felt it would make him appear haughty or arrogant and this would bring upon him the gods judgements or anger.
  30. In the "Carpet Scene" of Agamemnon, Clytemnestra ultimately prevails over Agamemnon concluding with which one point (paraphrased) from among those the following list?
    Makes Agamemnon to believe he is left in charge but really she is executing matriarchal dominance
  31. According to Aeschylus, which weapon does Clytemnestra use to murder Agamemnon?
    An Axe
  32. Who are the Erinyes and what is their relation to the Furies?
    They are the female deites from the underworld. They deal with vengeance or supernatural personifications of anger or death. They are called Furies in Roman Myth.
  33. Aeschylus' Athena clarifies the establishment of the Areopagus, making a connection to what historical political event?
    Peter's sermon on the unknown god.
  34. Which one of the following is a result of Ephialtes reforms of "the Areopagus"?
    "Ephialtes is said to have taken away the judicial powers which gave the Areopagus its guardianship of the state, and procedures which enabled it to control the magistrates...The Areopagus retained the right to try cases of homicide, wounding, and arson...and also some religious cases. The reform was contentious--Cimon[who benefited by the reform] was ostracized. Ephialtes was murdered, the Areopagus as a homicide court was featured in Aeschylus' Eumenides of 458--but it held, and for a time the council ceased to be a politically important body"
  35. From a literary, historical perspective, what is unique about the survival of Aeschylus's Oresteia trilogy?
    Only 7 plays out of Aeschylus's 80 survived. Oresteia survived in fragments of manuscripts or edited copies.
  36. Where does Orestes meet his sister Elektra when he first returns?
    At his father's grave with his cousin. He placed a lock of his hair and his sister recognized it. As a result, she found where he hid and he revealed himself.
  37. In Caracci's painting "Heracles choice," what is represented by the figure writing a book crouched to the right of the female personification of virtue?
    The man is recording the deeds of Heracles. This is also a symbol of how he already knew Heracles picked the path of virtue.
  38. According to Aeschylus where is Orestes when Agamemnon is killed? Where is he when Cassandra is killed?
    He is exiled and cannot return home
  39. Who constitutes the chorus' in each play of the Oresteia?
    Agamemnon: Elders of Argos, the men who were too old to fight in the war and remained in Argos.

    Libation Bearers: Women slaves

    Eumenides: Chorus of Furies
  40. The chorus learns from Cassandra herself, that she "consented to Loxias,...but cheated him." What does she mean?
    She allowed him to pursue and flirt with her, but she did not engage in sexual intercourse, or somehow did not provide offspring?
  41. Why does the chorus not believe Cassandra? What did she do to deserve it?
    Cassandra was cursed by Apollo (her lover) for refusing to have his child. She was cursed with the ability to prophesy but not ever being believed.
  42. Why i Cassandra, according to the words Aeschylus has her speak, blessed with Apollo's curse?
    Because Apollo blessed her with prophesy but cursed her with disbelief. Everything she prophesies is truth but she was cursed with whoever hears the prophey not to believe her words.
  43. According to the conventional myth, Heracles performs his labors for which particular reason?
    Immortality ,he was enslaved to Eurystheus for the killing of Megara and his children and the reward after he completed the labors was immortality.
  44. Who speaks the first lines in the Oresteia and where?
    the Watchman on the roof, (on top the stage-building)
  45. The Oresteia contains many allusions to "third" things--"third libations" or "third, saving Zeus"--because it is expected that Orestes' act of murder closes a cycle. If the death of Clytemnestra/Aegisthus is the third act of revenge, what are one and two?
    Death of Iphigenia, death of Agamemnon
  46. Who was Cassandra referring to when she prophesied "infants weeping for their slaughter, and over their roasted flesh which their father devoured"
    Cassandra was referring to when Agamemnon's father, Atreus, roasted his brother's, Thyestes, children, excluding Aegisthus and fed them to him
  47. What motivates Aegisthus' plot against Agamemnon?
    The event in which Agamemnon's father, Atreus fed Aegisthus's brothers to their father, Thyestes, and also to usurp power and authority as the new king because of Agamemnon's father and his father's conflict in the past for the throne.
  48. Cannibalism is a theme among Tantalus's descendants. Who gets eaten by whom?
    Thyestes eats his own two sons who are fed to him by Atreus.
  49. How did Clytemnestra know, almost in an instant, that Troy had been sacked?
    The watchman who watched for the sign announced it. Fire signals from Troy-like in Lord of the Rings
  50. What does Artemis promise will happen if Agamemnon kills his daughter?
    A seer told Agamemnon that he could please Artemis and gain favorable winds by sacrificing his duaghter Iphigenia to the goddess. The king tricked Clytemnestra into sending Iphigenia to him by saying that she was to marry the great warrior Achilles.
  51. What are Clytemnestra's first words to Agamemnon upon his return home?
    She tells him where Orestes is at. Also she proclaims her love and how she has been so faithful (which is a lie)
  52. Who says the following and to whom? "I have been taught amid my ordeal"
    Orestes to the Chorus
  53. What does Orestes mean?
    mountain. The metaphoric meaning of the name is the person "who can conquer mountains"
  54. What are the names and order of birth of Agamemnon's children?
    Orestes, Iphigenia, Electra, Chrysothemis.
  55. What place/institution stands at the center of Athens, where Paul preached a sermon on the unknown God?
    Mars Hill. The Areopagus.
  56. What essential change comes over the Furies, by their own admission, that allows them to become "Eumenides"?
    They allow themselves to accept the offer by Athena
  57. After the Chorus, which delivers the most lines in the Agamemnon, which character delivers the next most lines in that play?
  58. According to the Oresteia, which divinity demanded the blood of Iphigenia and why?
    Artemis demanded the blood in order to provide the warriors with wind leading them correctly on their journey.
  59. What do Orestes and Pylades first see upon returning home?
    Chorus of women slaves and Electra.
  60. Who delivers the first line in the Agamemnon?
    The watchmen
  61. What is Electra's first clue that her brother Orestes had returned home at the beginning of Libation Bearers?
    A lock of his hair by her father's grave.
  62. What does Pylades do in the Libation Bearers?
    companion to Orestes, Pylades is present for much of the play although he does not speak a word until the climax of the action. He is a representative of and the mouthpiece for Apollo. His only lines come at the moment when Orestes hesitates to kill Clytemnestra. Pylades reminds him of his duties to Apollo, saying that one should rather make enemies of all men than anger the gods. After saying these words, Pylades becomes silent once more.
  63. What is the importance of the opening statements between the chorus and Clytemnestra in the Agamemnon?
    tells of the end of the Trojan war and Agamemnon's homecoming which is soon to happen.
  64. Why does Cassandra not go inside the palace when Clytemnestra invites her?
    She knows she is about to die. She gives one last speech and faces her death which is unavoidable.
  65. Greek tragic convention keeps the audience from seeing a character killed on stage. How does the audience know Agamemnon is killed?
    An axe weilded by Clytemnestra, covered in blood. And Agamemnon has a few lines while offstage, saying that he has been struck a fatal blow.
  66. Who was present at Orestes' trial?
    Athena and Apollo and the Furies, the jurors-citizens of Athens
  67. Why does Apollo appear to the chorus at his temple in the Eumenides?
    To tell them to leave the temple because they "are not fit to come to this temple"
  68. Who is Clytemnestra's mother? Father?
    • Tyndareus and Leda
    • Helen's parents are Zeus and Leda (half sister)
  69. How does Orestes conceal himself upon his homecoming?
    As a stranger traveling so that he will be let in to the palace by Clytemnestra
  70. What are the Furies doing as Apollo tells Orestes to leave Delphi and travel to Athens?
  71. Why does the chorus find it so hard to believe the word of Clytemnestra concerning the fall of Troy, but not the word of the messenger?
    She is a woman. They are elderly men and don't understand the fire signal.
  72. What objects make up the electric chair in Juttner's 1909 cartoon, the electric execution?
    musical instruments
  73. What is the ultimate fate of Priam's daughter who was wrestled away from the Palladium during the sack of Troy?
    The rape of Cassandra by Ajax at the Palladium. She ends up being a war prize for Agamemnon and being killed by Clytemnestra alongside him.
  74. How is Agamemnon related to Helen and therefore involved in the Trojan War?
    Agamemnon is brothers with Menelaus, Helen's husband. She's his sister-in-law
  75. Under what circumstances can the endless cycle of revenge end in the Oresteia?
    An intermediary had to step in (the gods) to pronounce final judgement (Athena)
  76. Where was Orestes when Agamemnon returned from the war, and how does Agamemnon learn about it?
    When Agamemnon returns home the first thing Clytemnestra tells him Orestes is away traveling with his cousin, but in reality he is exiled.
  77. What character says in Eumenides, "I say you are driving Orestes into exile unjustly!" AND how does that character justify the assertion?
    Apollo, he justifies it saying that the agreement between a husband and a wife is more sacred than that of guardianship and if the furies do not hold them accountable they are unjustly pursuing Orestes.
  78. What character in the Eumenides says that "I approve the masculine in everything--except for union with it--with all my heart"?
  79. Who in the Oresteia urges the Furies to "lull the black waves of your anger in its bitter force to sleed, for you are to be honoured with awe, and be the sharer of my home."
  80. Who in the Oresteia says this and to which divinity in particular? "You younger gods! The ancient laws--you have ridden them down. You have taken them out of your hands for yourselves!"
    The Chorus of the Furies-->to Athena after the trial of Orestes.
  81. Which divinity enters the Eumenides claiming to have been summoned from the Scamander, the river of Troy?
  82. When Athena and the jurors make their final judgement, the Furies are still angry. What does Athena offer them to appease them?
    She offers them a place in her home, a hidden abode seated on gleaming thrones full of honor from the people in Athens, an abode untroubled by all distress and that no house in Athens will thrive without her.
  83. Who ultimately judges Orestes and determines his fate?
  84. What do the Furies say is their reason for not pursuing Clytemnestra for killing her husband?
    that Clytemnestra was not Agamemnon's blood relative
  85. Why are the Furies reluctant to accept Athena's not-guilty verdict when it is pronounced upon Orestes?
    It dishonored them who are closer to being goddesses than ORestes being a god, and it takes away their purpose.
  86. What does Apollo do to the Furies to help Orestes get to Athens?
    causes a sleep to come upon them
  87. Which divinity converses with Orestes on stage first and in which play of the Oresteia?
    Apollo in Eumenides
  88. In Eumenides 320 ff. and 415 ff., whom do the Furies claim as their mother?
  89. What does Athena give as her ultimate reason for siding with Orestes at his trial?
    She had no mother that gave birth to her, supports everything masculine, and is very much a product of her father. Therefore she holds a wife murdering her husband worse than a son murdering his mother.
  90. Clytemnestra's final appearance in the Oresteia occurs in which play and in which circumstances?
    Eumenides-as her own ghost to awake the Furies.
  91. What is Apollo's last argument in defense of Orestes?
    That the mother is not really a parent just a host for the embryo and that there can be fathers without mothers (using Athena as an example)
  92. Who says the following in Eumenides "Greetings, people of Athens, so dear to the dear maiden,...Beneath Pallas' wing you have due respect from her father."
    The chorus of Furies
  93. When confronted by the furies, how does Orestes report his involvement in his mother's murder?
    He reported that he was the one who killed her by the oracle of Apollo and with his fathers support.
Card Set
Mythology Questions
Greek and Roman Mythology Exam 3 Questions