Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on the quest of the golden fleece. Summary The “Quest of the Golden Fleece” is one of the many Greek myths, and is from Apollonius of Rhodes written around 300 BC. According to the poem, the Greek king Athamas grew tired of his wife Nephele, and decides to put her away in order to marry Princess Ino. Nephele feared for the life of her children because she knew Ino had plans of eliminating them, especially her son Phrixus, because only then will Ino be able to inherit the king’s throne. Hermes was able to send a ram with golden fleece to rescue Nephele’s two children.
The poem continues on to talk about how Pelias was able to overthrow Phrixus’ uncle, who was also a king. However, Pelias grew became fearful when the oracle told him that a stranger wearing only one sandal will be able to overthrow him as well. One day, Jason, the son of the king whom Pelias impeached did come along wearing only one sandal, and wanted to get back the throne which was rightfully his. Pelias pretends to conform but thought up of a way to get rid of Jason as well. He ordered Jason to find the Golden fleece. Despite the treacherous journey, Jason complied and after hurdling many challenges, successfully brought the golden fleece back to Greece.
During the journey, Medea, King Etes’ daughter fell in love with Jason after she was struck with Cupid’s bow. Medea helps Jason and even arranged a plan to kill Pelias, thus making the oracle’s prophecy come true. Medea bore two of Jason’s sons but unfortunately, Jason fell in love with another woman. This angers Medea so much that she killed her two sons and Jason’s new wife before flying away on a magic chariot.
Analysis and Response
The story of the “Quest of the Golden Fleece,” just like any Greek myth, is filled with themes of love, vengeance, and justice. In particular, the story puts great emphasis on the great evils that can come out of selfishness and jealousy. The characters in the story experienced so much pain and suffering because certain characters such as Athamas, Pelias, and Media needed to fulfill their own personal wishes. Although the actions that certain characters took went to extremes (such as murder), these scenes are not new to real life. The news is always filled with stories of how people kill each other just to claim their own goals, disregarding the conditions of their fellow humans.
On a much more positive note, the story also puts attention to the great sacrifices that one can make for the people that they love. In the story, Nephele begged for Hermes to save the life of her children. Medea opted for the death of her own brothers in order to save Jason. Of course, this selfless act was soon trumped when she killed her own sons out of a jealous rage.
Overall, the story of “Quest of the Golden Fleece” shows that people can go to great lengths for the people they love (including themselves). The story shows the dual nature of people, highlighting both their good and evil sides. As a personal reflection, the story teaches me that at the end of the day, we are the masters of our own fate. We make our own choices for our own benefit and for the benefit of others. It is always up to us how we can react to the situations that life gives us, and our actions are bound to speak of the character that we have.