Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Dear Mythology Kids,

If you missed class on Monday, January 26th, you were given an assignment to read a section of the Heracles myth. Each student received a portion of the myth to read for class on Wednesday. If you missed class, then my suggestion would be to read the myth in your book. It is located on page 166. You will be a little lost when you return to class, but not by much if you read the myth in your book. You also missed your "mythological allusions" quiz and the submitting of your "Mythological Allusions" assignment. Please be prepared to take the quiz and submit your assignment upon your return.
Oh, and one more item.....STOP MISSING CLASS!

We will be working together in class on Wednesday discussing the myth of "Heracles" and why the irony within the text adds to the pathos experienced by the hero.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mythology is EVERY WHERE.....

Dear Mythology Kids,

If you missed class on Tuesday, January 20th and Thursday, January 22nd, you were introduced to the concepts of "Allusion" and "Reference," and the role of mythological allusions and references found in literary work. Please visit with a classmate in order to obtain this information.
I used Icarus as my focus for emphasizing how frequently references and allusions arise in literary work to mythology. This, of course, is due to the fact that universal themes are always prevalent within the myths; therefore, audiences of all types can connect with the themes that are used.

Your homework for Monday is to complete your "Mythology in Literature" assignment which was explained Tuesday. Again, if you were absent, please visit with someone from class. You will also have a quiz on Monday, where you will be asked to identify references and allusions to mythology found in several pieces of poetry. I gave everyone who was in class on Thursday, a copy of the "practice quiz," as I won't have time to post it here due to leaving for California this evening. You are welcome to call someone in class and have them give you the questions over the phone. To prepare for the "official" quiz, you should review the following characters: Fates, Prometheus, Aphrodite, Muses, Cupid, Demeter, Persephone, Pegasus, Graea, Chiron, Creation Myth, and the Greek Underworld.

I will look forward to seeing you on Monday.

Cheers, Crampton

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The history behind "Theseus and the Minotaur!"

This is an arial view of the palace at Knossos. The same palace, according to mythology
where Theseus was held captive and where he destroyed the Minotaur. From this perspective it clearly looks like a labyrinth.
Dear Mythology Kids,

Don't forget that you have an unusual quiz covering "Theseus" pgs. 155-165 and "Daedalus" pgs. 144-145 on Thursday. As you prepare for the quiz keep the following aspects in mind. You may use these as your extra-credit practice quiz for Thursday.

1. When Theseus was a younger man he attempted to carry-off a significant female character; however, he was stopped due to her brothers. Who is the female character?
2. How does Theseus' father recognize him upon his return to Athens.
3. Why does the witch Medea want Theseus dead?
4. Why does Theseus not want to go by sea?
5. He meets three villains, Sinis, Procrustus and Sciron, along the road to Athens. What did each do to their victims?
6. Identify some of Theseus' flaws...he has many!
7. Why are the young Athenians given to the Minotaur every nine years?
8. Theseus' best friend is named Pirithous. What poor choice does Theseus make with his friend?
9. Why is Theseus such a strong leader?
10. How is Theseus able to escape the labyrinth? Who assists him and how?
11. Identify at least four aspects that we know about the Minoan culture.

The Minoans were peaceful and gifted aesthetically. They valued the use of color in their artwork. This fresco depicts a Minoan youth.

We know that they Minoans valued the bull. One of their most popular athletic events
was that of bull jumping.

We also know that they valued nature, especially aspects associated with the sea, as
seen in the fresco above with the dolphins.

The palace at Knosso partially restored.

I have several pictures regarding the Minoan culture that I will post later...one of the girls is crying. I will return shortly.



Thursday, January 8, 2009

Perseus is a STUD!

Dear Mythology Kids,

Don't you think Perseus is a strong character? I like him! I hope you enjoyed the myth, as his character is different from most of the other Greek heroes we will study. I have included some images of the myth, and then your practice quiz is located below the pictures. At this point in our relationship, you should know the "routine" with your practice quizzes without any question. I look forward to seeing you on Friday.

This image depicts Perseus vowing to bring the head of Medusa back to Polydectes.

Athena coming to assist our hero.

The "death" of Medusa. Can you identify what is incorrect with this piece of artwork?

Practice Quiz: Identify who is being referenced or alluded to in the colored text for questions 2-9. Respond to the questions located below the quoted text. Some explanation may be required. (16 questions, each worth 1/2 point, so your total could be 8 extra-credit points)

1. Identify what is incorrect in the above sculpture.

2. "As she sat there through the long days and hours with nothing to do, nothing to see except the clouds moving by overhead, a mysterious event took place."

a. Identify the "she." ____________________

b. Why would "she" have "nothing to do?" Explain this to me......

c. What is the "mysterious event" that took place?

3. "In that strange boat, she sat with her little son. The daylight faded and she was alone on the sea."

a. Explain why this "boat" is "strange."

b. Identify the "little son."

4. "He probably told him that he would rather have the head of one of them than anything else in the world."

a. Identify the "he."

b. Who is being referenced with "head of one of them."

c. Why is this conversation taking place?

5."This radiant personage told him that before he attacked, he must be properly equipped, and that what he needed was in the possession of the Nymphs of the North."

a. Identify the "radiant personage."

6. "These women dwelt in land where all was dim and shrouded in light."

a. Identify the "women."

7. "Another deity was at hand to help. She took off the shield of polished bronze that covered her chest and handed it to him."

a. Identify the "deity" and "she."

b. What is the "shield of polished bronze called?"

c. Why is it so important for our hero to receive this gift?

8. "He found a lovely maiden had been given up to be devoured by a horrible sea serpent."

a. Identify the "lovely maiden."

9. "An absolute certain way in those day to draw down on one a wretched fate was to claim superiority in anything over a deity."

a. Explain this quote to me. Who is being punished and for what purpose?



Tuesday, January 6, 2009

WELCOM BACK.....Let's talk about being heroic!

Dear Mythology Kids,

I hope you had a wonderful break! Remember that your mosaics are due on Tuesday, Jan. 13th! I hope you made the choice to work on your mosaic over the holiday!


1. The nine characteristics of the archetypal hero. You were given these in class on Monday. Make sure that you are extremely familiar with each of them, as they will be part of your quiz.

a. Pathos: the hero experiences a significant amount of suffering, and this is why he is considered heroic.

b. Birth: There are two types of "birth." The first type of birth pertains to an unusual conception. The second "birth" takes place when the hero recognizes that he possesses skills that are above the norm. In essence he has an "aha" moment!

c. They are flawed, and must do their best to overcome these errors in their character.

d. They are always assisted by a "goddess."

e. They marry or have a relationship with an individual that causes them significant pain, both physical and emotional.

f. They are always faced with physical and spiritual challenges.

g. They become better or "enlightened" through the challenges that they must overcome.

h. Deaths are always violent.

2. Make sure you read the article that I gave you entitled "The Hero's Adventure." Pay special attention to the following aspects, as they will be part of your quiz.

For extra-credit on your "official" quiz, you are welcome to answer the following questions. Just print off the questions, and record your answers. Do not use your notes, as this is a practice quiz. This is clearly an "integrity issue" on you part, my young friends.

a. Why are there so many stories involving heroes?

b. There are two types of deeds that a hero undertakes. Identify the deeds, and then define them.

c. Why does Joseph Campbell consider women and children to be heroic?

d. According to the article, what is Campbell's explanation for the Dragon?

e. Why are flaws significant to the hero?

We will begin with Perseus on Wednesday. Due to our presentations concerning the lesser gods and monsters of mythology, you already have some schema regarding the heroic journey of Perseus.

Sunday, January 4, 2009