Sunday, February 8, 2009

February 6 Class Notes

Hermes has always been associated with Eros (Cupid, son of Aphrodite) because both are mischevious and have the power of manipulation.

With Valentine's Day fast approaching Eros is on most everyones mind. He has "the power to bring mere mortals to there knees" so how are we humans supposed to stand up against him?

Lewis Hyde

states that Apollos bands could not hold Hermes. Now we associate the snake wrapped around the staff with Hermes. Called Caduceus. Here is a really neat web site with all things Hermes and Caduceus.

Once Apollo heard the music created by Hermes he was seized with longing for the music. He was so infatuated with it that he eventually became the god of music. It was that type of music that reordered his being, the song was about the Gods and their immortality, he dedicated the the song to the mother of the muses(memory).

Idea of Order at Key West

Wallace Stevens
She sang beyond the genius of the sea.The water never formed to mind or voice,Like a body wholly body, flutteringIts empty sleeves; and yet its mimic motionMade constant cry, caused constantly a cry,That was not ours although we understood,Inhuman, of the veritable ocean.
The sea was not a mask. No more was she.The song and water were not medleyed soundEven if what she sang was what she heard,Since what she sang was uttered word by word.It may be that in all her phrases stirredThe grinding water and the gasping wind;But it was she and not the sea we heard.
For she was the maker of the song she sang.The ever-hooded, tragic-gestured seaWas merely a place by which she walked to sing.Whose spirit is this? we said, because we knewIt was the spirit that we sought and knewThat we should ask this often as she sang.If it was only the dark voice of the seaThat rose, or even colored by many waves;If it was only the outer voice of skyAnd cloud, of the sunken coral water-walled,However clear, it would have been deep air,The heaving speech of air, a summer soundRepeated in a summer without endAnd sound alone. But it was more than that,More even than her voice, and ours, amongThe meaningless plungings of water and the wind,Theatrical distances, bronze shadows heapedOn high horizons, mountainous atmospheresOf sky and sea.
It was her voice that madeThe sky acutest at its vanishing.She measured to the hour its solitude.She was the single artificer of the worldIn which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,Whatever self it had, became the selfThat was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,As we beheld her striding there alone,Knew that there never was a world for herExcept the one she sang and, singing, made.
Ramon Fernandez, tell me, if you know,Why, when the singing ended and we turnedToward the town, tell why the glassy lights,The lights in the fishing boats at anchor there,As the night descended, tilting in the air,Mastered the night and portioned out the sea,Fixing emblazoned zones and fiery poles,Arranging, deepening, enchanting night.
Oh! Blessed rage for order, pale Ramon,The maker's rage to order words of the sea,Words of the fragrant portals, dimly-starred,And of ourselves and of our origins,In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds.

It also inspired THIS painting.

Hermes gets everything he wants, and this is because he understands the concept of gift giving. He makes a shell into a lyre and gives it to Apollo etc.
He is also the guide to the underworld.
"Guide of Souls" and Interfaces

The Three Bee Maidens

In the Greek Homeric Hymn to Hermes written down in the eighth century BC, the god Apollo speaks of three female seers as three bees or bee-maidens, who like himself, practiced divination:
There are some Fates sisters born,
maidens hree of them, adorned with swift wings.
Their heads are sprinkled over ith white barley meal,
wind they make their homes under the cliffs of Parnassus.
They taught divination far off from me, the art I used to practise
round my cattle while still a boy.

These sacred bee-maidens with their gift of prophecy, were to be Apollo’s gift to Hermes, the god who alone could lead the souls of the dead out of life and sometimes back again. The etymology of the word ‘fate’ in Greek offers a fascinating example of how the genius of the Minoan vision entered the Greek language, often visibly, as well as informing its stories of goddesses and gods. The Greek word for ‘fate’, ‘death’ and ‘goddess of death’ is e ker (feminine); the word for’heart’ and ‘breast’ is to ker (neuter); while the word for ‘honeycomb’ is to kerion (neuter). The common root ker links the ideas fo the honeycomb, goddess, death, fate and the human heart, a nexus of meanings that is illumined if we know that the goddess was once imagined as a bee. (


The Three Tragedians:
  • Aeschyleus
  • Sophocles
  • Euripides


  • cosmic
  • positive
  • wrote the trilogy about Orestes
  • wrote Prometius bound and unbound


  • formal
  • precise
  • has been studeis for 2000 yrs
  • wrote the Theban plays: Oedipus Rex, Antigone, Oedipus at Colonus


  • chrolicle
  • horrifying notion with complete decimation of humans
  • at the end of these play writes eras

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