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Creation 2

Length

5 min 28 sec

Story summary

Prometheus and Epimetheus are the only Titans to survive the war with the gods. One day Prometheus meets the three Fates who tell him that his children will inherit the earth. Not having a wife or children, he wonders how this can be and then remembers that in the early days of the world he had buried three jars filled with the flesh of his mother, the earth, and the blood of his father, the sky. He finds the jars and kneads their contents together with clay to fashion male and female forms. They all come to life and huddle together, except the last one, which falls to the ground, dead — the Fates’ first victim.

  • Starting-points
  • Pause points
  • Questions for discussion
  • Suggested activities
  • Recap with the children what they learnt about Prometheus in Creation 1. (His name means ‘forethought’. He was a Titan. He made three stone jars in which he stored handfuls of blood-soaked soil. He was spared the punishment suffered by the other Titans who had fought against the Olympian gods because he had not taken part in the war.) Tell the children that the soil stored in the stone jars is going to prove very important in this story and see if they can suggest why.
  • Explore the children’s ideas about fate. What does it mean if something is fated to happen? Is it different to believe in fate rather than in gods?

The ancient Greeks believed that there were three sisters called the Fates: Klotho (which means ‘the spinner’) who spun the thread of a person’s life; Lachesis (‘the apportioner’) who measured out the span of a person’s life; Atropos (‘the inevitable’) who cut the thread at the appointed time of death. What might these three sisters have looked like?

2 min 23 sec: But the three Fates were silent. It was as though they had turned to stone.

  • Prometheus has no wife and, so he says, no children. So what might the Fates mean when they tell him that his children are going to inherit the earth? If the children need a prompt, they can be reminded about the stone jars.
  • What do we learn about the three Fates in this story? (They live in a cave. They are ‘crones’, defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘withered old women’. They know the future and between them they define the length of a person’s life.)
  • How does Prometheus come to have children if he does not have a wife? (He makes them from the soil stored in the jars.)  Are they really his children? (Prometheus moulds humans out of blood-soaked soil, but the blood-soaked soil is made up of Gaia’s flesh and Ouranos’ blood.)
  • Pick out the similes used by the storyteller to describe the Fates’ appearance (their skin as white as apple flesh, creased and folded like old leather) and write your own detailed description of the three Fates, creating your own similes to describe the eyes, hair and nose.