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Mythology Review


PROMETHEUS (Promêtheus), is sometimes called a Titan, though in reality he did not belong to the Titans, but was only a son of the Titan Iapetus

PROMETHEUS was the Titan god of forethought and crafty counsel who was entrusted with the task of moulding mankind out of clay. His attempts to better the lives of his creation brought him into direct conflict with Zeus. Firstly he tricked the gods out of the best portion of the sacrificial feast,

acquiring the meat for the feasting of man. Then, when Zeus withheld fire, he stole it from heaven and delivered it to mortal kind hidden inside a fennel-stalk. As punishment for these rebellious acts, Zeus ordered the creation of Pandora (the first woman) as a means to deliver misfortune into the house of man, or as a way to cheat mankind of the company of the good spirits.

Prometheus meanwhile, was arrested and bound to a stake on Mount

Kaukasos where an eagle was set to feed upon his ever-regenerating liver (or, some say, heart). Generations later the great hero Herakles came along and released the old Titan from his torture.

Prometheus was loosely identified in cult and myth with the fire-god Hephaistos and the giant Tityos.


In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, sometimes called The Modern

Prometheus, is an allusion to the Greek myth of Prometheus.

Prometheus was a titan, condemned by Zeus for stealing his fire

and giving it to mortals for their use. His punishment was having

his internal organs eaten daily by vultures, and waking up the

next day to find that his organs were back in his body.

 By Anna Sevic and Amanda Interpreter


Artemis (ἀρτεμής), Greek Goddess of

Hunting and the Wilderness


While her power was over hunting, wilderness and wild animals,

she was also a goddess of chastity, virginity and childbirth- she

protected the female child until she married.

She had a twin brother named Apollo, who protected the male

child until marriage.

She was usually depicted as a female in a knee-length dress

holding a bow and quiver of arrows.


She is famous for the story of the Aloadai Giants. They

attempted to destroy Olympos in a rage, but Artemis was

determined to stop them. In the end, she tricked them into killing

each other.

After her birth, Artemis immediately assisted her mother in the

birth of hew twin, Apollo.


Artemis in Literature

There is an old French tale (Sept d’un Coup) that has been

told in many languages, the earliest known copy dating

back to the early 1800’s. This story is about a valiant tailor

who wants to become a king. He does so by proving himself

to the king who wants him to kill two giants who a ravaging

the cities and killing everybody. He does so in reference to

the myth of Artemis by tricking them into killing each other.

The Roman

temple of


A coin


Zeus - Ζεύς

Zeus is the son of Cronus and Rhea and is the

youngest of 6 (Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades,

Poseidon). He is married to Hera but has had many


The Myth:

For fear of being overthrown by his own son,

Cronus swallowed his first 5 children. Rhea was

able to save Zeus by giving Cronus a rock to

swallow instead. Zeus was hidden in a cave on

Mount Ida, where he was raised. When he was

grown, he returned to to overthrow his father and

the Titans. After, he won control of the sky and air

by castings lots with his brothers.

Zeus is the god of thunder and the sky. He is




“The Eagle”

He clasps the crag with

crooked hands; Close to


sun in lonely lands,


with the azure world, he


The wrinkled sea


him crawls; He watches


his mountain walls, And

like a

thunderbolt he falls.


Persephone and


Persephone (Περσεφόνη) is the daughter of Demeter and Zeus. She is the "maiden of spring", a vegetation goddess.

Demeter (Δημητηρ) is the goddess of harvest. She is the daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea.

While Persephone was out in the forest one day, she wandered away from her mother and Hades spotted her. He was so taken by her beauty that he kidnapped her, and brought her to the underworld, either by swooping down in a chariot and grabbing her or having the earth open and swallow her whole.

When Demeter realized her daughter was missing, she began to worry, and when she couldn't find her she began to neglect her duties to taking care of the earth. The leaves of the trees began to fall off and die, flowers stopped

blossoming, etc, as she traveled the world looking for her daughter. By then, Zeus realized that something must be done. Helios, the god of the sun, shared that he had seen Hades kidnap Persephone. Demeter demanded her back-- but there was a catch. During her time in the Underworld, Persephone had eaten a pomegranate. If someone in the Underworld eats even a scrap of food while they there, they

must stay there forever. Persephone insisted that she had only drunk the juice from the fruit, and only swallowed six seeds. Hades still claimed her as his Queen, but Zeus ruled that she would only spend six months of each year in the

Underworld with Hades for the six seeds she had swallowed, and the other six months of the year with Demeter outside of the Underworld. Whenever

Persephone returned to her mother, the earth began to thrive again and because they were both happy, Demeter was able to work again. These are the seasons of Spring and Summer. However, Demeter would still neglect her work for the six months her daughter was gone each year. These are the seasons of Autumn and Winter.


Allusions in


Demeter mourning the loss of her

daughter Persephone and the pomegranate

Demeter, Persephone, and Hades

-The Iliad by Homer

-The Odyssey by Homer

-The Pomegranate by Eavan Boland


Mercury (Hermes)

Mercury is the god of messages, commerce,

eloquence and cunning.

Mercury guides souls to the underworld and is the

messenger of the gods.

He is the son of Maia and Jupiter.

He is very swift when he travels.

He wears the winged shoes talaria and a winged


Mercury wields the caduceus, a staff with two

entwined snakes that was given to him by Apollo.

He is one of the most popular gods.

Mercury influenced things in the scientific fields like


Odysseus / Ulysses

Odysseus is a man who was challenged

with a ten year journey as a curse from

Poseidon after the battle and fall of Troy. He

must return home and vanquish the suitors

who threaten his estate.

His challenges include those against

ruthless Cyclops, women who seduce to kill

(Sirens), lotus eaters, cannibals, and more.

Not only are they physically arduous, but

they require him to get over his ego and do




Born beautiful, Medusa was seduced by Poseidon, disguised as a horse, in

one of Athena's temples. Athena became enraged and turned Medusa into a


Mother and Father: Both mortal, as was she prior to Poseidon's seduction.

Originally, Medusa was depicted as a horse with wings, then a woman with

equine hindquarters and wings on her hair, now she is remembered as the

woman with serpents as hair and completely hideous.

Medusa is well know for her ability to turn men to stone with one gaze. After

Perseus slayed medusa her head was used in war as a great weapon.



Winged Horse

When Medusas head was cut of by the hero Perseus, the winged horse

sprang from her pregnant body. His galloping created the well Hippocrene on

the Helicon. Later, when the horse was drinking from the well Perseus was

able to capture the horse by using a golden bridle. The gods then gave him

Pegasus for killing the monster Chimera but when he attempted to mount the

horse it threw him off and rose to the heavens, where it became a


Mother and Father: Poseidon and Medusa



Watchdog of Hell

•According to legend, Cerberus was one of the monsters born from the union of Echidna and Typhon, both as monstrous and hideous as their offspring. Echidna was half-woman, half-serpent, while Typhon was the most fierce of all creatures.

•According to Horace, Cerberus possessed one hundred heads. Hesiod wrote that he had fifty, while most sources agree to only three. The center head was in the shape of a lion, while the other two were in the shape of a dog and a wolf, respectively. He also had a dragon's tail and a thick mane of writhing snakes.

•Cerberus’s master is Hades, who is the ruler of the Underworld.


Daedalus and Icarus


Where they are found in litarature

Both the original novel and the 1976 film adaptation of The Man Who Fell to Earth

reference this myth (the opening section of the novel is called "Icarus Descending")

— the protagonist is an alien who comes to Earth in hopes of saving his Dying Race

back home, but gradually succumbs to Earthly vices.

In Eragon, neither Eragon nor his dragon, Saphira, knows that air gets thinner the

higher you go. One night, they fly too high. The lack of air makes it impossible for

Saphira to concentrate and communicate mentally with Eragon, and she doesn't

realize there's a problem until Eragon passes out.

The first Iron Man film had Tony fly toward the moon, causing a buildup of ice on



Known as the Greek Goddess of War and Wisdom, Athena was one of the

three main “virgin goddesses,” not falling victim to Aphrodite’s spells of

passion and temptation, depicting her what we now in current times would

classify as a “career driven woman.” Athena could be described as a “huge

headache” for Zeus as the story of her origin refers to her birth through Zeus's

head proceeding his swallowing Metis. Immediately becoming Zeus's favorite

daughter, Athena assumed the role not of violence in battle but rather that of

a judge, mediator, and diplomat. As expert in the skill of war, many other Gods

and Goddesses would request her help before entering battle. Not only was

Athena highly skilled in war, she was filled with wisdom unlike any other,

becoming known for her extreme intellect and knowledge. Her decisions were

never self-driven but highly ethical. She is the protector of the city of Athens, a

title which she battled her uncle Poseidon to win, gifting the fist olive tree of

peace in Athens for the people. She is often depicted carrying a shield with the


Literary Aspects and


Athena is constantly alluded to and is a major

character in the classic The Odyssey by

Homer. She exists as a main character,

offering Odysseus her wisdom and insight

to continuing on his journey, developing a

very different relationship to any other

mortal in her history. She accompanied

Odysseus every step of his journey,

transforming his figure and even bringing

“fog upon the land” and some instances.

Athena is also referred to in Edgar Allen Poe’s


The titans

Gaia (Earth) and Ouranos (Sky) gave birth to the first generation of Titans

which consisted of twelve titans and titanides. The Titans were the parents,

aunts, and uncles of the Olympian gods and goddesses. The six titanides

were Rhea, Theia, Mnemosyne, Themis, Phoebe, and Tethys. The six Titans

were Kronos, Koios, Krios, Iapetos, Hyperion, and Okeanos. Ouranos, the

king, imprisoned the Kyklopes and the Hekatonkheires in the “belly” of the

Earth. Gaia persuaded her six sons to rebel against their father, Ouranos.

The Titans ambushed their father, and Kronos castrated him. Kronos later

became king and he feared that one of his children would try to overthrow

him because this was prophesized by Gaia and Ouranos. To solve this

problem, Kronos began eating his offspring, but Kronos’ wife, Rhea, helped

one of her sons escape, Zeus. Zeus grew up, raised an army, and forced


The Twelve Titans

Hyperion- Titan of Light

Iapetos- Titan of Mortality

Koios- Titan of Intellect and the axis of heaven around which the

constellations revolve.

Krios- The least individualized Titan

Kronos- The first son of Gaia and Ouranos and the leader of the Titans.

Mnemosyne- The Titanide of Memory and Remembrance

Okeanos- Titan of the Oceans

Phoebe- Titanide of Intellect and Prophecy



Also called Pluto, or Pluton

Son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea

Brother of Zeus and Poseidon

He managed the trial of all people after death and the

punishment of those found evil.

God of the dead, ruler of the Underworld.

Thought to be wealthy because precious metals, minerals and

also fertile soul come from the ground, (underworld)

His servants included Charon the boatman, and the hellhound

Cerberus was his prized three-headed.



Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Clash of the Titans


Titans of Chaos


The Fates

The Fates have the subtle but awesome power of deciding a

man's destiny. They assign a man to good or evil. Their most

obvious choice is choosing how long a man lives. There are three



, the spinner, who spins the thread of life.



the measurer, who choses the lot in life one will have and

measures off how long it is to be.


, she who cannot be

turned, who at death with her shears cuts the thread of life.

The Fates are old and predate the gods. It is not entirely clear

how far their power extends. It is possible that they determine

the fate of the gods as well. In any case, not even the most

powerful is willing to triffle with them.

Literary Allusions: The poet Homer mentions Fate as a single

force, perhaps simply the will of the gods. Another poet, Hesiod,

portrayed the Fates as three old women. They were called the

Keres, which means "those who cut off," or the Moirai, "those

who allot.“ Allusions are made to the Fates in Moby Dick by

Herman Melville.



Greek God of







He is the son of Zeus and Leto (a mortal) and the

twin brother of Artemis the huntress. He carries the

sun across the sky everyday with his chariot and


Apollo in Literature

“Hymn of Apollo”

Percy Bysshe Shelley


I am the eye with which the Universe

Beholds itself, and knows it is divine;

All harmony of instrument or verse,

All prophecy, all medicine, is mine,

All light of art or nature; - to my song



The Greek Goddess of passion, sexual love, and

womanly beauty. She is considered the epitome of

beauty and femininity. She is said to have been born

of sea-foam. She is kind to those she liked, but can be

cruel and merciless to those who displease her. She

married Hephaestos, had an affair with Ares, and was

caught. Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus and Dione,

and mother of Eros. Her animal totems are the dove,

sparrow, swan, and swallow. The plants sacred to her



According to legend, she was born fully formed from the white

sea form that arose when the god Uranus was castrated. She

came ashore on the island of Cyprus and lived on Mount Olympus

with the other supreme deities and was married to the homely

craftsman-god, Hephaestus.

Aphrodite involved herself on several noteworthy occasions

with the affairs of mortal heroes. Always eager to help lovers in

distress, Aphrodite was equally quick to punish those who resisted

the call of love. Cupid shot golden arrows into the hearts of those

his mother wanted to unite in marriage. Aphrodite also had a

magic girdle that made its wearer irresistible, and she sometimes

loaned it to others. Under her influence, Zeus more than once fell

in love with mortal maidens. Afraid of being mocked someday by

Aphrodite, Zeus decreed she should lose her heart to Anchises, a

shepherd of Troy.

Aphrodite was worshiped chiefly as the goddess of human

love. Since she was born from the sea, she was widely venerated



Hercules was the son of Zeus and Alcmena, the wife of Amphitryon. One night while Amphitryon was away, Zeus came to Alcmena disguised as her husband. The next day, the real Amphitryon returned and slept with his wife. Concerned that Amphitryon did not remember being with Alcmena on both nights, the couple consulted the blind prophet, who told them that Zeus had slept with Alcmena the first night and predicted that she would bear a child who would become a great hero.

When the goddess Hera discovered that Zeus had seduced Alcmena and fathered Hercules, she was furious. Hera was jealous of Zeus's lovers and children. She tried to kill the infant Hercules by having two poisonous snakes placed in his crib one night. However, the he grabbed the snakes and strangled them. Though Hera failed to kill Hercules, she persecuted him throughout his life, causing many of the events that led to his great suffering and punishments.

Hercules went to fight the Minyanas, as a reward for conquering the Minyans, the king of Thebes gave Hercules the hand of his daughter. One day after Hercules returned home from a journey, Hera was crazed with anger, he killed his wife and children. Hercules was horrified by what he had done. Devastated with sorrow and guilt, the hero went to the oracle at Delphi, the oracle told him to go to King


"Let Hercules himself do what he

may, the cat will mew and dog will

have its day", Hamlet by

Shakesphere; end of the

Graveyard scene

“Like a young god. Hercules—

something like that. And the sun,

the sun all around him. Remember

how he waved to me? Right up

from the field with the

representatives of three colleges

standing by? And the buyers I

brought, and the cheers when he

came out—Loman, Loman, Loman!

God Almighty, he’ll be great yet. A

star like that, magnificent, can

never really fade away. “

Death of a Salesman by Arthur



King Laius went to the Oracle at Delphi before Oedipus was born. The oracle predicted that Laius would have a son

that would kill him and marry his wife.

Laius drove a stake through Oedipus' feet and gave him to a servant who was asked to leave the child exposed to the

elements to die. The servant gave him to a shepherd. The shepherd took the child to his master the king of Corinth,

Polybus. Polybus and his wife could not have son so they adopted Oedipus as their own child. Oedipus grew us as the

prince of Corinth. When Oedipus grew into a man he sought out the Oracle at Delphi. The Oracle said that one day

Oedipus would kill his father and marry his mother. Oedipus then left Corinth.

While he was traveling he met a man on the road and a dispute arose over which man had the right of way. Oedipus

killed the man he was fighting with, unbeknown to him the man he killed was Laius, his father.

On his journey to Thebes Oedipus came across a sphinx that asked a riddle nobody had been able to solve. The riddle

went something like: “what walks on four feet in the morning, two in the afternoon and three at night?” Oedipus

answered correctly, “man, as an infant he crawls, as an adult he walks and in old age he uses a walking stick. The

Thebans were very grateful to Oedipus for solving the riddle and made Oedipus their king. Oedipus married the

recent widow of Laius, also Oedipus’ mother.

Years later a plague struck the city and Oedipus said that he could and would end the plague. The Oracle at Delphi

said whomever murdered Laius must be found and killed. To try and identify the killer Tiresias, the blind prophet,

met with Oedipus. Tiresias told Oedipus that he was the killer. Oedipus didn’t believe him. A messenger arrived from

Corinth that the man Oedipus believed to be his father had died. Oedipus could not figure out how he contributed to

the death.

Worried about the prophecy that he would marry his mother the messenger from Corinth reassured him with the

information that he was adopted. Oedipus’ mother and wife realized who Oedipus was and went to kill herself.

Oedipus then confirmed the story with the servant that had given Oedipus to the shepherd. The shepherd tells him

his true identity and Oedipus realizes the man he had killed on the road was his real father. He realizes that he was

married to his mother and goes to look for her, finding that she had killed herself Oedipus takes the pins from her

dress and blinds himself.


"Oedipus Complex"

The Oedipus complex is a psychological theory developed by Sigmund Freud to explain why children have sexual desires towards the parent of the opposite sex and hate the parent of the same sex. As Freud puts it, at a young age a child goes through the Oedipal stage where they start to recognize their own gender and identity. This fact brings about mental

separation, as the child starts to notice which parent they are most similar to and which parent can be considered a separate individual. The child then latches on to the parent of the opposite sex, causing that parent to become the object of their affection, while the other parent is scorned. The Oedipus complex is usually linked to the male children only, which is why it is named after Oedipus, who became attached to his mother,

married her, and had children with her. The female version of this is attributed to Carl Sung and called the Electra Complex, also known as “Daddy Issues.”


Ares: the God of War

The son of Zeus and Hera, he represents the physical and

violent aspect of war. Any association with Ares endows a

savage, dangerous or militarized quality to it. He was rarely

worshipped except by the Spartans; he was regarded as

“overwhelming, insatiable in battle, destructive and

man-slaughtering.” His chariot was drawn by Fear (Phobos) and

Terror (Deimos).

Despite being the god of war, his usefulness is dubious. He

sided with the Trojans in the Trojan War and thus on the losing

side. Athena handily beat him in several encounters during the


Ares played a role in the founding myth of Thebes. The


Literature and Myths

Ares was a lover of Aphrodite who was married to

Hephaestus. When the two were engaged, Ares put a

youth, Alectryon, by the door to warn them of Helios’ arrival

because Helios would report this to Hephaestus. Alectryon

fell asleep and Helios discovered the two and reported this

to Hephaestus. In rage, Ares turned Alectryon into a

rooster, which now announces the arrival of the sun.

Ares plays some small part in the Iliad: he originally took no

sides. Then he promised Athena and Hero he would fight

for the Achaeans, then was persuaded by Aphrodite to fight

for the Trojans. Athena wounded Ares during a battle



The “Midas


Ability to turn

everything to gold

Midas was a king

in Phrygia



Midas treated Silenus, Dionysus’ satyr well and

received a wish from Dinoysus.

In efforts to maintain a strong kingdom, he wished

for everything he touched to turn to gold.

Midas even turned his daughter into gold.

After a while, he realized the curse of his power

because everything lost its value once it was gold. 

Dinoysus allowed Midas to watch the power away

in the river Pactolus.




When vines are at their best(during

the spring) is when people held

festivals in his honor. The central

focus is theatre and plays produced in

ancient Greek were meant to be










Achilles was the son of Peleus and

Thetis. When he was but an infant,

his mother tried to make him immortal

by dipping him into the river Styx. She

was successful in making him

immortal short of one fact. She had

forgotten that she held Achilles by the

heel when she dipped him making it

the only place he could receive a

mortal wound. Now this

semi-immortality did not go to waste.

Achilles was praised as the best



Agamemnon was leading the Greek army to

Troy to Win back Helen for Menelaus.

Achilles is, at first not a part of the fight.

However, when he got news of the death of

his friend Patroclus by the hands of Hector,

the greatest of the Trojans, it became

personal. Achilles fought his way to Hector

and bested and killed him in a one on one

battle. Not only did he

defeat Hector,


dishonored him by dragging his

body behind


chariot for nine days. Not long after that,

Achilles was slain by an arrow to the heel,

guided by Apollo, and shot by Paris,Hector's

brother. Kind of an anticlimactic way to go for


figure head as he repeatedly taunts the  man mourning for his lost lover.


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