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Greek Mythology, Epic Poetry,


Greek Mythology, Epic Poetry, And The Odyssey – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Greek Mythology, Epic Poetry,

  • Greek Mythology, Epic Poetry,
  • And
  • The Odyssey

Greek Mythology
  • Mythology is the study of myths
  • Myths are stories involving gods, goddesses, and

Why did myths begin?
  • To entertain
  • To explain natural phenomena
  • To explain the relationship of god to man
  • To teach lessons and morals

Homers The Odyssey
  • The Odyssey is an epic poem based on Greek

What is an Epic Poem?
A long narrative poem about a national or
legendary hero.
Characteristics of an Epic Poem
  • Incorporate myth, legend, folk tale, and history
  • Have a grand tone
  • Heroes and their adventures appear larger than
    life (Epic Hero)
  • Many were drawn from oral tradition

The Ancient Gods of Greek Mythology- The Family
It All Started with Chaos
  • The world was formed from a great mass called
  • Out from Chaos came Gaea, the earth Goddess.
  • She gave birth to a son, Uranus, and together
    they had six children. Three 50 headed
    100-handed giants and three one-eyed Cyclopes.
  • Uranus hated these children and sent them to the
  • On their second try, Uranus and Gaea produced
  • RHEA

The Betrayals Continue . . .
  • Gaea, however, was still upset that Uranus
    banished their other children.
  • She told the Titans what Uranus had done and
    asked them to seek revenge.
  • Cronus (their son) did seek revenge by castrating
    Uranus, and becoming the new ruler.
  • But, when he saw the other children, he agreed
    they were too ugly to allow out of the
  • Cronus married Rhea.
  • They had five children, but since Gaea had warned
    him that one of his kids would overthrow him,
    Cronus swallowed his own children.
  • Rhea was tired of this, so she hid the sixth
    child, Zeus, in Crete.
  • When Cronus asked for the child, Rhea wrapped a
    rock in clothes and Cronus swallowed it.

Zeus Takes Vengeance
  • Zeus grows up, Rhea tells him the story about his
    siblings, and he plots revenge against Cronus.
  • He poisons Cronus, and his siblings pop out of
    Cronuss belly (after the rock, of course).
  • After this, Zeus tries to take over, but the
    other Titans wont recognize him, so they start a
  • Gaea tells Zeus about her first six children, and
    with their help he wins against the Titans. Then
    he takes the whole family to Mt. Olympus (Thus
    the name Olympian Gods).

  • After overthrowing his father Cronus, Zeus drew
    straws with his brothers Poseidon and Hades. Zeus
    won the draw and became the supreme ruler of the
  • He is lord of the sky, the rain god.
  • His symbol is a thunderbolt which he hurls at
    those who anger him.
  • He is married to Hera, but is famous for his many
    affairs with goddesses and mortals.
  • He is also known to punish those that lie or
    break oaths.

Zeuss Wife, Lovers Kids
  • Brother of Zeus and Hades
  • Lord of the sea.
  • To impress Demeter, Poseidon created the first
    horse. In some accounts, his first attempts were
    unsuccessful and he created a variety of other
    animals in his quest.
  • His symbol is a trident, which can shake the
    earth and shatter any object.
  • He is second only to Zeus in power among the
  • He has a difficult, quarrelsome personality, is
    greedy, and has many disputes with other gods.

  • Brother of Zeus and Poseidon.
  • He had the worst draw and was made lord of the
    underworld, ruling over the dead.
  • He is a greedy god who is greatly concerned with
    increasing his subjects and doesnt want any of
    them to leave.
  • God of wealth, due to the precious metals mined
    from the earth.
  • He has a helmet that makes him invisible.
  • He rarely leaves the underworld. He has no pity
    and is mean.
  • His symbol is a sceptera two pronged staff.

  • Daughter of Zeus, she sprang from his
    foreheadfull grown and in armor.
  • The goddess of wisdom, war, the arts, justice and
  • She is fierce and brave in battle.
  • She invented the bridle, which permitted man to
    tame horses, the trumpet, the flute, the pot, the
    rake, the plow, the yoke, the ship, and the
  • She represents wisdom, reason, and purity. She
    was Zeus's favorite child and was allowed to use
    his weapons, including his thunderbolt.
  • Her symbols are the olive tree and the owl.
  • She is a virgin goddess.

  • Hermes is the son of Zeus and Maia.
  • He is the god of messengers, safe travel, good
    fortune, trickery, and truth.
  • While Hermes can never tell a lie, he may not
    always tell the whole truth.
  • He is the fastest of the gods.
  • He wears winged sandals, a winged hat, and
    carries a magic wand.
  • He guides the dead to the underworld.
  • He invented the lyre, the pipes, the musical
    scale, astronomy , weights and measures, boxing,
    gymnastics, and the care of olive trees.

  • Circe, daughter of the sun god Helios, was a
    sorceress best known for her ability to turn men
    into animals with her magic wand.
  • She was jealous of Scylla, a beautiful young
    woman, and turned Scylla into a sea monster.

The Sirens
  • The Sirens are creatures with the head of a
    female and the body of a bird.
  • They lived on three small rocky islands, and with
    the irresistible charm of their song, they lured
    sailors to their death on the rocks surrounding
    the island.

  • Circe, jealous of Scylla, poisoned the water
    where Scylla bathed.
  • Scylla became a monster with twelve feet and six
    heads, each with three rows of teeth. Below the
    waist her body was made up of hideous dog-like
  • She threatened passing ships, and in the Odyssey
    she ate six of Odysseuss companions.

  • The god of the sun.
  • His chariot rises in the East and descends in the
    West (like the sun).
  • Warm, friendly and compassionate, Helios respects
    truth and honesty.
  • Helios was keeper of the sacred cattle.
  • His symbol is the chariot.

  • Calypso was a nymph, the daughter of the Titan
  • She lived on the island of Ogygia.
  • Calypso fell in love with Odysseus, taking him as
    her lover and promising him immortality if he
    would stay with her.
  • In Greek mythology, nymphs are spirits of nature.
    They are minor female goddesses and the
    protectors of springs, mountains, and rivers.

The Muses
  • These are the 9 daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus
  • Each is in charge of a different art or science
    and inspires those who excel at these pursuits.
  • Clio history
  • Urania astronomy
  • Melpomene tragedy
  • Thalia comedy
  • Terpsichore dance
  • Calliope epic poetry
  • Erato love poetry
  • Polyhymnia songs
  • Euterpe lyric poetry

  • Author of The Iliad and The Odyssey
  • The Iliad tells the story of the Trojan War.
  • The Odyssey tells the story of Odysseuss long
    trip home after the war.
  • Scholars think Homer lived between 1500 B.C and
    700 B.C.
  • Most scholars believe he was blind, but there is
    no evidence to verify this.

Homer Continued
  • Homer used the legendary material of the Trojan
    war as the basis for his poems adding original
    plot structure, realistic characters, dialogue
    and detail, and tales of fabulous monsters.
  • The study of Homers epics became the basis of
    Greek education.
  • Homer made his characters believable by giving
    them both good and bad traits.

Who Knew an Apple Would Start it All?
  • According to Greek mythology, all the gods were
    invited to a wedding, except Eris, the goddess of
    strife or trouble. (Who wants trouble at a
  • She went anyway and brought a golden apple that
    had "For the fairest" (the most beautiful)
    written on it.
  • Hera (Zeus's wife), Aphrodite (Zeus's daughter),
    and Athena (Zeus's daughter) all made a claim for
    the apple, and they appealed to Zeus for
  • He refused to decide a beauty contest between his
    wife and two of his daughters, and the task of
    choosing a winner fell to Paris, a male mortal.

The Judgment of Paris
  • The three great goddesses offered Paris bribes.
  • Hera promised him power.
  • Athena offered him wisdom.
  • And Aphrodite offered him the most beautiful
    mortal woman in the world (Helen) as his wife.
  • In the famous Judgment of Paris, Paris gave the
    apple to Aphrodite. (He wanted Helen for

Theyre Fighting Over a Girl??
  • Helen, a mortal daughter of Zeus, was the most
    beautiful girl in the world.
  • Only there was a huge problemshe was already
    married to King Menelaus.
  • Paris went to Sparta, met and fell in love with
    Helen, and they ran away together to Troy
    (Pariss home).
  • Menelaus demanded that his wife be returned, and
    when Paris refused The Trojan War began.

The Trojan War
  • Due to a promise they had made to King Menelaus
    to help him defend Helens honor, all the kings
    of Greece went to Troy to fight to get Helen
  • The Greeks fought the Trojans for 10 years.
  • Odysseus came to the rescue with a strategy to
    win the war that involved a huge wooden horse.

The Trojan Horse
  • To gain entrance into Troy, clever Odysseus
    ordered a large wooden horse to be built.
  • Its insides were hollow so that soldiers could
    hide within it.
  • All the Greek ships sailed away and left the
    Trojan horse behind. (To make it look like they
    had given up.)
  • The Spartans thought they had won the war,
    brought the horse into the city, and had a
    drunken celebration.
  • While the Spartans slept, Odysseus and his men
    climbed out of the horses belly, let their
    comrades into the city, and slaughtered the

The Odyssey
  • Its an 11,300 line epic poem divided into 24
    books (chapters.)
  • It was passed down orally between the generations.

3 Parts to the Story
  1. Odysseuss wanderings for 10 years after the
    Trojan War.
  2. What happens in Ithaca to his wife, Penelope, and
    his son, Telemachus, while he is gone.
  3. What happens when Odysseus returns home to
    reclaim his throne and family.

So, how long has Odysseus been away from home?
Themes of The Odyssey
  • loyalty devotion
  • wandering hero
  • triumph of good over evil
  • obedience to the laws of the gods
  • Greek ideal of a strong body strong mind

  • The son of Laertes and the ruler of the island
    kingdom of Ithaca.
  • He was one of the most prominent Greek leaders in
    the Trojan War, and is the epic hero of The
  • He was known for his cleverness and cunning, and
    for his eloquence as a speaker.
  • Favored by Athena

Timeline of Odysseuss Adventures 20 Years
  • Penelope was the daughter of Icarius and a first
    cousin of Helen of Troy.
  • She was the wife of Odysseus.
  • She was famous for her cleverness and for her
    faithfulness to her husband for 20 years.

  • Odysseus and Penelopes son
  • Favored by Athena
  • She helped him gain self-confidence and
    assertiveness when his father was gone for so
    many years. (He grew up without a father.)

Of taking notes, anyway.