The Quest of the Golden Fleece/Four G reat A dventures. The Quest of The Golden Fleece. Comes from 3 different writers: Apollonius of Rhodes, a Greek poet Pindar –wrote about Jason and Pelias Euripides Begins with the Greek King, Athamas
The Quest of the Golden Fleece/Four G reat A dventures
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The Quest of the Golden Fleece/Four Great Adventures
The Quest of The Golden Fleece
Comes from 3 different writers:
Apollonius of Rhodes, a Greek poet
Pindar –wrote about Jason and Pelias
Begins with the Greek King, Athamas
Gets tired of his old wife, Nephele, marries a new woman, Princess Ino.
Princess Ino wants to get rid of, Phrixus, Nephele’s son so her own son can inherit the throne
Hermes sends a flying golden ram to save him and his sister
Sister dies, Phrixus arrives in Colchis, and he sacrifices the ram to Zues
Gives the golden fleece to Aetes, the Colchis’s king,
Argonaut’s Quest for the Fleece
A man named Pelias usurped the throne that is rightfully Jason’s, an uncle of Phrixus
Pelias says Jason must first retrieve the Golden Fleece to retake the throne
A trick that would likely kill Jason during the journey
Many well known men joined Jason’s voyage
Hercules, Orpheus (a master musician), Achilles' father, and many more
They sailed on a ship called Argo, and they were called Argonauts
During their Voyage…
Arrived at Lemnos, where all the women killed the men.
Hercules left the crew because he was distraught of the death of his armor-bearer, Hylas
Met a man named Phineas, who has the gift of prophecy but was being tortured by Harpies
The Harpies were known as Zues’ hounds and Zuessent the hounds to torture Phineas because he liked the aspect of mystery and did not want someone constantly foreseeing the future.
The Argonauts helped him, and Phineas gave them help about how to pass the Symplegades. They must release a dove between the crushing rocks and if it survives, they will be able to pass.
They pass by a group of malicious women warriors called the Amazons and also get a quick look of Prometheus before arriving to Colchis
After the Argonauts arrived, up in Olympus, Hera urged Aphrodite to help her.
Aphrodite sent Cupid to make the Colchis King’s daughter, Medea, to fall in love with Jason
Jason talked with the Colchis King who pretended to want to give him the fleece, but he required him to do two impossible tasks:
1. Yoke two magical bulls that could breathe fire
2. Plow the field with the bulls and sow it with a dragon’s tooth which would cause armed men to attack him.
Medea uses her magic to help Jason complete the two tasks
She helps Jason steal the Golden Fleece, and rides back to Greece with the Argonauts
The army of Colchis pursued them, but Medea killed her own brother for Jason
The Journey Home/End
The Argonauts arrived home with the help of Hera’s guidance in sailing across Scylla, and the whirlpool of Charybdis.
Back at home, Peliasassisted in the father of Jason’s suicide, and Jason’s mother died of sadness.
Medea devised a trick which killed Pelias, and she also brought Jason’s father back to life.
Jason and Medea had two kids, however Jason decided to marry the daughter of the King of Corinth. The king was afraid of Medea and banished her.
Medea was angry and she sent a magic robe to the bride which instantly engulfed her in a fire and killed her.
She then killed her two own kids, and rode off in a magical chariot
Four Great Adventures
Phaëthon’s father is the sun, and he wants to seek his father
The sun was excited and grants his son any wish, and the river Styx was there as a witness, so he could not deny his son any wish
Phaëthon chooses to want to fly the Sun’s chariot across the sky
The sun knew that it would kill Phaëthon, and tried to persuade him to not fly on the chariot, but Phaëthon would not listen.
Phaëthon rode the Sun’s chariot but was out of control and struck by the Jove’s lightning bolt, killing him
Pegasus and Bellerophon
Bellerophon was a young man who wanted Pegasus, a flying majestic horse.
After sleeping in Athena’s temple, he wakes up to find a golden bridle that allowed him to tame Pegasus
The wife of a king accuses Bellerophon of wrongdoing and sends him on journeys she thought would kill him.
Because Bellerophon is able to ride Pegasus, he is able to defeat a monster called the Chimaera, and survive several other treacherous quests.
However in the end, his ambition got the best of him and he tried to ride Pegasus all the way to Mount Olympus. Bellerophon lost Pegasus and Pegasus resided in Zeus’ stable in Mount Olympus
Otus and Ephialtes / Daedalus
Otus and Ephialtes are two giants who believed they were superior to the gods.
Sons of Poseidon
Otus and Ephialtes capture Ares, however Hermes frees him. Zeus becomes enraged and wanted to use his thunderbolt, however Poseidon stopped him.
They were suppose to behave, however they tried to capture the goddess, Artemis.
She escapes and takes her vengeance by making the giants kill each other accidently.
Daedalus was a very intelligent inventor who was imprisoned with his son by King Minos
To escape, he builds wings, but warns his son that he can’t fly too high or else the glue will melt.
His son Icarus ignored his advice and ended up drowning
Daedalus was being hunted by King Minos, however he was protected by the Sicilian King
When people refer to a "Golden Fleece," they are usually talking about something high in value and difficult or impossible to obtain.
In the play, “The Merchant of Venice”, Shakespeare alludes to the golden fleece when a character describes a beautiful girl in the line. He writes about the golden fleece to convey the message about the value she holds and exactly how unattainable she is.
Pegasus Expedite Company, is a national delivery service
Hellespoint, a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmarawas named after Helle, the girl who fell off the golden ram and drowned in that body of water.
High Level Questions
Compared to amazing feats Odysseus accomplished in The Odyssey, should Jason be considered a hero? Does the amount of help one man receives from the gods affect if they are a hero or not? Why or why not?
What does Medea’s quick reversal in her role from victim to the villain at the end of the story show about mythology and its audience. Why do you think Medea ended up as the “villain” in the end?
What theme does all of the stories of the great adventures share? What are some examples of how the theme is still relevant today?