when a character in a play speaks directly to the audience, but the other characters on the stage cannot hear his words
instructions written intothe script of a play, indicating stage actions, movements of performers, or production requirements
a very handsome young man [fromAdonis, the handsome young man loved by Aphrodite, goddess of love)
shield or protection; sponsorship [fromaegis, protective shield of Zeus, king of the Greek gods]
fantastical; unreal; impossible; absurd
a. FromChimera,fire-breathing monster with a lion's head, goat's body, and serpent's tail
delightful, blissful, heavenly
a. From Elysium, mythological paradise where after death the blessed mortals especially favored by the gods dwell
full of confusing passageways; intricate; complicated a. like the labyrinth, a fabled maze in Crete
unnaturally drowsy, sluggish, dull
a. from Lethe, a river inHades—Hell—whose water, when drunk, caused forgetfulness of the past
inconstant; unstable; subject to rapid and unpredictable mood changes a. from Mercury, the messenger god
in love with oneself; excessively fascinated and gratified by one's own physical and mental qualities
a. from Narcissus, a handsome youth who, after falling in love with his own reflection in the water
long series of wanderings or travels
A. from Odyssey,the epic poem dealing with Odysseus' ten years of wandering on his way home from the Trojan War
assuming different forms or shapes
a. from Proteus, sea god who could change his shape to elude capture
to tease or excite a hope but prevent its fulfillment
a. from Tantalus, kept hungry and thirsty in Hades with food and water very near but beyond his reach
someone's source of inspiration, especially inartistic, creative endeavors
a. fromGreek mythology-The Muses were nine goddesses who presided over the arts.They gave inspiration to mortals.
brave resistance to authority or rebellion against the established order of the universe
a. from Greek mythology: Prometheus was a demigod known for his cunning. Having been tricked by Prometheus, Zeus withheld fire from mankind. In response, Prometheus went to Mount Olympus and stole some fire, which he gave to man. Zeus punished him by chaining him to a rock; each day, an eagle came and ate out his liver, which grew back each night. He was eventually rescued by Hercules.
a prediction or message that is ambiguous and difficult to interpret
a. from Greek mythology: Delphi was the location of the Temple of Apollo. Peoplecame to this temple, the site of Greece's most famous oracle, with all kinds of questions and Apollo's priestess would go into a trance and deliver the answers.These answers were riddle-like and difficult to interpret.
refers to a repulsive or terrifying woman
a. from Greek mythology: Medusa is the most famous of the Gorgons,three sisters who had snakes for hair and turned anyone who looked at them to stone.
a seemingly endless, perhaps useless task
a. from Greek mythology: Sisyphus was a king who offended Zeus. His punishment was to spend eternity in Hades, rolling a giant boulder up a hill.Each time the boulder neared the top of it, it would roll back down to the bottom and he had to start his task all over.
Scylla and Charybdis
to be caught between two equal dangers in which avoiding one means getting closer to the other
i. Scylla was a many-headed sea monster, living in a cave on one side of a narrow strait
ii. Charybdis was a whirlpool on the opposite side of the strait. Sailors, including Odysseus and Jason, had to steer their ships very carefully between the two to avoid being the victim of either one.
a person's area of particular vulnerability
a. from Greek mythology: When Achilles was a baby,his mother dipped him in the River Styx because the waters from this river gave immortality to humans.His mother held him by the heel, so that was the only place on his body not touched by the water.From then on, Achilles' heel was his one area of vulnerability. Eventually Achilles was killed during the Trojan War when a poisoned arrow struck his heel.
anything that tempts a person away from safety and toward a destructive path
a. from Greek mythology: Sirens were sea creatures who lured sailors to their deaths on the rocky shores by singing a beautiful, irresistible song.
Icarus/fly too close to the sun
to fail or be destroyed because of lack of caution and excessive ambition
a. from Greek mythology: Icarus and his father, Daedalus, escaped from the island of Crete, by means of wings constructed by Daedalus.The wings were held on by wax, and although Daedalus had warned Icarus not to fly too close to the sun, Icarus did not heed the warning; the wax melted and he fell to his death in the Aegean Sea.
a dog with three heads who stood at the gates of the underworld and let dead souls in but not out
Three women who had the power to decide how long people would live and what happened to them.
a. Life was represented by a thread-one Fate spun the thread, another measured it, and the third cut it when a person died.
a nagging woman
a. from Greek mythology: Harpies were ferocious winged creatures with women's faces.
the priest in Troy during the Trojan War who warned of Greeks bearing gifts (the Trojan Horse)
a curious, gifted woman who opened the box she was supposed to leave shut and let out all the evils of mankind except Hope.
anyone who rises above severe problems
a. from Greek mythology: long-lived, supposedly immortal, mythological bird that could set itself on fire, burn, then rise from the ashes reborn.
any of a group of giants who ruled the universe one at a time. Zeus and some other gods finally ousted them.