Introduction to Western Literature and Arts (vǷn)

1st Semester, 2005

Topic 1. The Olympian Gods and Goddesses

Topic 2: Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book 1, Book 3

I. Fill in the blank 2% x 15=30%

Greek Name Roman Name Related Activities Related animals and plants Related objects
Zeus Jupiter, Jove prophecy, weather, justice eagle, bull, oak lighting, aegis, throne
Apollo Apollo prophecy, medicine, archery, music, moderation, law snake, laurel, hyacinth


lyre, bow &arrow


Dionysus Bacchus prophecy, tragedy, ecstasy, violation of limits bull, snake, panther, ivy wine, thyrsus, fawnskin
Hermes Mercury messenger, traveller, leads souls to Hades, trickster


XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX hat, winged sandals, wand


Artemis Diana chastity, hunting, protecting young, childbirth bear, deer bow&arrow, moon
Athena Minerva wisdom, war, weaving, chastity owl, snake, olive tree aegis, armor
Aphrodite Venus love, sex dove, goose XXXXXXXXXX

See : Table of the Olympian Divinities

II. The Following questions are based on Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book 1. Answer the questions briefly. 10% x 4 = 40%

1. What are the four ages before the flood? Which age characterizes the Mycenaean culture?
Answer: Golden Age, Silver Age, the Age of Bronze, the Age of Iron,
              The Age of Iron

2. Compared with other beings, what is the unique characteristic of human ?
Answer: "Man, alone, erect, can raise his face toward Heaven." (Human beings are capable of worshiping divinities. or Capable of spiritual activities.)

3. What is the reason of the flood? And what story explain this reason?
Answer: The flood is meant to punish the profanity, immorality, and cruelty of mankind.
              The Story of Lycaon.

4. In the catastrophic flood, there were only a man and a woman survived. Who are they? Following the oracle of Themis, how do they regenerate human beings after the flood?
Answer: Deucalion and Pyrrha.
             They throw the stone of the earth behind them. "Go from the temple, / Cover your heads, loosen your robes, and throw / Your mother's bones behind you!" (Face to the hardship and cultivate the earth.)


III. The Theban cycle contains stories which are ironical and paradoxical. The destiny of the house of Cadmus was closely related to "Serpent." The transformation of the family of Cadmus concerns about "vision" & "forbidden seeing."
Fill in the blank: 3% x 10 = 30%

Name Ironical Reversal Forbidden Seeing & Mystery Transformation.
Cadmus The destroyer of serpent was turned into a serpent. The gazer (of the Serpent) was gazed by other (as serpent). killed a monstrous Serpent, which was sacred to Mars both Cadmus and Harmonia --> serpent
Actaeon The hunter was hunted by his hounds. Voyeur the bath of Diana -->dappled dear, (or boar)
Tiresias The judge was judged. He saw two snakes mating twice. change of sex (two times)
blindness vs insight
Narcissus A self-lover, who adored his own sight, became a flower (a mere sight). Obsessed with his own self image --> flower
Echo A talkative speaker became the voice of the other (echo= mere imitating sound). She saw Zeus's affair but did not told Hera --> "echo"
Pentheus An unbeliever was frightened by what he saw. He saw the Dionysian mysteries with uninitiated eyes. -->deformation
His deformation is contrast of Bacchus's deformation.
Reference : Lecture Note-4