Mythological Allusions Research Assignment
For Each Allusion • Identify/summarize the story for each of the underlined mythological figures • Explain the meaning of the allusion in a well-developed paragraph. For the examples making a simile or metaphor (i.e. like or as), be sure to include the meaning of the comparison. (This is the SO WHAT—WHY KNOW THIS ALLUSION?!) • Find a related image • You may format the slides any way you want- try to make them attractive (see example – next slide)
Mercury Car Company (A PREVIOUS STUDENT’S EXAMPLE 1) Identify the Story: Mercury is the Roman god who is the equivalent of Hermes. He is very clever, and smart. Mercury is the God of the Thieves, and he is also the protector of travelers, as well as the messenger of the gods and goddesses. He wears winged sandals and a winged hat; he is quite swift , traveling place to place, as the Messenger god for Zeus. Meaning of the Allusion: The car company may have been named Mercury because, as God of the thieves, Mercury would have to be swift. Since he is also the protector of travelers, then that might mean that the car would be more likely to be safer for travel than other cars.
A PREVIOUS STUDENT’S EXAMPLE 2“I saw young Harry…rise from the ground like feathered Mercury.” -Henry IV Part I Identify the Story: Mercury is the Roman god who is the equivalent of Hermes. He is very clever, and smart. Mercury is the God of the Thieves, and he is also the protector of travelers, as well as the messenger of the gods and goddesses. He wears winged sandals and a winged hat; he is quite swift , traveling place to place, as the Messenger god for Zeus. Meaning of the Allusion: The character Vernon is speaking in this quotation. He is saying that he saw Harry mount his horse with ease, as quickly and gracefully as Mercury of the winged sandals and hat might. Harry, then, is characterized as being fast and light on his feet, and, perhaps even god-like. Note that the story of this allusion is the same as the previous slide, but the explanation for the meaning of the allusion is different because, in this allusion, Shakespeare employs a literary device: a SIMILE (note the use of “like”). As such, in the quotation, one of Shakespeare’s characters is comparing young Harry to the god Mercury. What does this tell us about the character of Harry? You would need to explain this comparison in your “Meaning of the Allusion” portion. Moreover, note that in EXAMPLE 1, the student didn’t specifically mention Mercury’s winged sandals in the explanation of the allusion’s meaning because it wasn’t really wasn’t as relevant to the car company, but in this Shakespeare example, the winged sandals are quite important because the quotation mentions “feathered.” In sum, be on the look out for quotations that are similes or metaphors, AND THEN specifically speak to those comparisons in your explanation of allusion’s meaning.
“It is a damned ghost we have seen, and my imaginations are as foul as Vulcan’s stithy.” –Shakespeare’s Hamlet
“Such strains as would have won the ear of Pluto to have quite set free his half regain’dEurydice.” –“Lucidas” by Milton
“From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:They sparkle still the right Prometheanfire.”–Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost
“Surely I dream’d today, or did I see the winged Psyche with awaken’d eyes?” –“Ode to Psyche” by John Keats
“I will in the interim undertake one of Hercules'labors, which is to bring Signor Benedick and the LadyBeatrice into a mountain of affection, th' one with th' other.”–Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing
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Our dependence on foreign energy sources is our Achillesheel, not just in the realm of diplomacy, but in terms of our future as the world's economic leader. –Judy Biggert
I'm not an Adonis, that's for damn sure. I've never really thought of myself that way, and it doesn't matter to me. My favorite actors aren't Adonises. Dustin Hoffman is a flawed-looking man; he's amazing to me. Tom Hanks is flawed-looking; people love him. Same with Gene Hackman. – Shia LaBeouf
“Bacchus hath drowned more men than Neptune.” –Thomas Fuller
“You seem to me as Dian in her orb, as chaste as is the bud ere it be blown; but you are more intemperate in your blood than Venus, or those pamper'd animals that rage in savage sensuality.” – Claudio to Hero—his fiancée—in Much Ado About Nothing (and yes, Hero is a girl’s name in this play! Hmmm…)