Ancient Greek Essay Questions

Ancient Greek Essay Questions-43
Kirk divides hero myths into three categories as well: those that deal with older heroes (in myths set in a "timeless past," long before the Trojan War); with younger heroes (in myths set in a time close to or during the Trojan War); and later "inventions" based on "definitely historical figures." In his study of the divinity myths, Richard Buxton identifies several characteristics of Greek gods as well as the prevalent themes of these types of myths.Buxton notes that Greek gods appear as neither good nor evil, but simply as powerful, and that conflict arises between gods and mortals when imbalances of power occur or when mortals overstep their boundaries.

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In analyzing the hero myths, Kirk details the exploits of some of the more prominent Greek heroes, including Perseus, Theseus, Oedipus, and Odysseus.

He notes that many elements in these myths were added on to older motifs over time.

Mondi examines this issue by focussing not on the textual transmission of myths, but on the diffusion of "mythic ideas" or motifs.

Such ideas include the "cosmic separation of earth and sky," the hierarchical organization of the cosmos, and the "cosmic struggle" by which divine kingship is attained. Rose begins his study of mythology by noting that "it is very clear that we cannot take [myths], as they stand, as historically true, or even as slightly idealized or exaggerated history." Rose then goes on to review (and invalidate) other approaches to mythology, including attempts to view myths allegorically, rationally, and "euhemeristically" (euhemerism being a school of thought in which mythical gods are viewed as deified human men).

In a different approach to the role of women in Greek mythology, C.

Kerényi studies the nature of the Kore, or maiden goddess, in Greek myth.In searching for the origins of Greek mythology, Martin P.Nilsson first makes a distinction between the myths dealing with heroes and those concerned with divinity and cosmogony, stressing that it is erroneous to assume that "the hero myths were derived from the same source as the myths concerning the gods." Nilsson contends that while divinity myths may indeed have "pre-Greek" origins, the heroic myth cycles as found in Greek epics can be dated back to the epoch known as the Mycenaean Age (1950 to 1100 B. Such critics as Richard Caldwell and Robert Mondi are more concerned with the Near Eastern origins of Greek creation myths.The most common themes of these myths include violence, deception, negotiation, reciprocity, and honor. Edinger takes another approach in his analysis of the cosmogonical myths; he examines them from a psychological standpoint, noting what the myths appear to demonstrate about the nature of the conscious and unconscious mind.Edinger argues that in these myths, whenever a being is brought from an unconscious state into a conscious one, a split into opposites occurs, and that conflict invariably results; unity is only present in the unconscious state.As far as interpretation goes, clearly no one can say with any confidence what a given myth "means." Rather, scholars can only suggest ways to approach myth, suggesting that it be analyzed allegorically, historically, or psychologically, for example.Whatever their approach, scholars and students alike continue to find in these ancient tales an endless source of inspiration, analysis, and discussion.The Korous sculpture and many like it lacked the coninutiy the form of the Egyptians and the later forms of the Greeks as seen in the Classical period. The Roman's were also great literalists, who ruled supreme in the art of rhetoric. A naturalistic form of art took place evolved that placed human beings as they might ideally look like. The legacy of Hellenism in the east is reflected in art as far away as China. It is true Rome made incredible changes and developments to Greek ideas, Philosophies, politics, warfare, art and other contributions, but Greek civilization formed the foundation for Rome. Fisher, Past into Present 3, pages 114-151, Collins College History, 1995 5) D. Greek Art Throughout history art has consistently reflected the cultural values and social structures of individual civilizations. The primary objective of Greek art was to explore the order of nature and to convey philosophical thought, while Roman art was used primarily as a medium to project the authority and importance of the current ruler and the greatness of his empire.Art and architecture flourished during the period of Classical Greece. The art in early Classical Greece began a new range of expression when compared to the Archaic period of Greece. Within the new severity another concept in art was developed in Classical Greece. During the Early Classical movement confidence and doubt were the basis of all Greek art. The artwork that lay inside and outside the temple may be the greatest art the in Greek History. There were several time periods throughout Greek history. These had an important impact on Greek art during its formative years (750-600 BC). This change in the meaning of art from Greek to Roman times shows the gradual decline in the importance of intellectualism in ancient western culture. It is apparent that from the beginnings of Greek art, meticulo... C., there existed an oral tradition "firmly rooted" in "Goddess worship." The goddesses of these matriarchal pre-Hellenic myths were both powerful and compassionate, but Spretnak notes that when they were incorporated into the Olympian myths, they were transformed into jealous, disagreeable, sexual objects.Robert Emmet Meagher also examines how early myths depicting women as birth goddesses and creators were subverted by the later mythological system and by the poet Hesiod into beings created by male gods for the purpose of bringing misery and death to human males as a punishment.


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