The Argonautika: The Story of Jason and the Quest for the Golden Fleece Characters

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The Argonautika: The Story of Jason and the Quest for the Golden Fleece Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Argonautika: The Story of Jason and the Quest for the Golden Fleece by Apollonius of Rhodes.

Jasonappears in All four books

Jason is the protagonist in the story of The Voyage of Argo. King Pelias of Hallas is fearful when he is told by prophecy that his death will occur after a man with one shoe enters his land. Jason, who loses a shoe in the mud by the river, appears before the frightened Pelias. To escape his fate, Pelias sends Jason on a voyage to Colchis where the Golden Fleece is kept. Jason is to take the fleece and return it to Hallas. Jason takes on the mission and gathers the bravest noblemen of the land to accompany him on this voyage. Their ship is the Argo and his crewmen are called the Argonauts. Jason allows the crew to pick their leader. Hercales is chosen first; however, Hercales defers to Jason as the true leader. The other Argonauts all offer their support to their young leader.

Jason and the Argonauts set sail on the long and treacherous journey and encounter many obstacles and dangers along the way. Jason respects his crew and prays to the gods that they are able to complete their mission and more importantly that he and his men all return safely home to Hallas. The Argo runs into adversarial situations that run the gamut from rough waters and Clashing Rocks to evil Kings and frightening serpents. Jason and his men never fail to honor and pray to their gods on whom they rely to help them through to journey's end.

If it were not for Medea, a beautiful witch and daughter of the evil King Aeetes, Jason and the Argonauts could not have completed their voyage. She uses spells and potions to defeat Jason's enemies and gain access to the Golden Fleece. Jason lauds the help of Medea whom, he tells his crew, makes their triumph possible. Jason vows to take Medea home to Hellas as a heroine and as his wife.

Medeaappears in Book Three: Jason and Medea and Book Four: Homeward Bound

Medea is the daughter of King Aeetes of Colchis, the land where the Golden Fleece is being kept. She is tutoring under Hectate, who is the goddess of witchcraft. Medea is well-versed in magical spells and potions. The goddesses Here, Athene and Aphrodite conspire to have Aphrodite's son, Eros, shoot an arrow in Medea's heart to make her fall in love with Jason. The goddesses want Medea to help Jason with her magic and know that if she falls in love with him, she will help him to his journey's end.

Eros shoots the arrow in Medea's heart and she does fall deeply in love with Jason. She is conflicted, however, knowing that if she helps Jason, she will be betraying her father who will be enraged with her intervention. Heart wins out over mind, as Medea decides to help Jason and flee her father's land. She tells Jason of her love for him and he succumbs to her charms and falls for her as well.

Medea casts a spell on the serpent that guards the Golden Fleece so that Jason is able to take it. After Jason, Medea and the Argonauts flee, King Aeetes sends an armada after them. He demands that they capture Medea and return her to him. Medea fears that her father will murder her and, with the help of the gods, is finally able to convince Jason to marry her. She is then allowed to return home with Jason on the Argo.

The Argonauts appears in Book One: Preparation and Departure; Book Two: Onward to Col

The Argonauts are the crew members of the Argo. The Argonauts, who are of fine lineage and are noblemen, choose Jason to be their leader.

King Peliasappears in Book One: Preparation and Departure

King Pelias, reacting to a prophecy, fears that Jason is the harbinger of his death and sends him off to sea in the great ship, the Argo, in search of the Golden Fleece.

Orpheusappears in Book One: Preparation and Departure

Orpheus is one of the Argonauts, the crew members of the Argo. Orpheus is known for his beautiful singing voice and magical songs.

King Aeetesappears in Book Three: Jason and Medea and Book Four: Homeward Bound

King Aeetes is the cruel ruler of Colchis who is the keeper of the Golden Fleece. After Jason and Aeetes' daughter flee the land with the Golden Fleece, an enraged Aeetes pursues them with an armada of Colchian vessels.

Hypsipyleappears in Book One: Preparation and Departure

Hypsipyle is the ruler of the all-female island of Lemnos. Jason sleeps with Hypsipyle during a short stay on the island. He tells her if she has a son to send him to Iolcus to comfort his parents in case he perishes on his journey.

Phineusappears in Book Two: Onward to Colchis

Phineus is the old, blind oracle who is punished by Zeus for rejecting his gift of prophecy. Phineus is to be starved by the harpies (birds) that Zeus sends down to steal his food.

Hercalesappears in Book One: Preparation and Departure

Heracles was an Argonaut but is accidentally abandoned on Mysia. This abandonment is part of the gods' plans. They are going to test Hercales to join them as an immortal.

Athene, Here, Aphroditeappears in All four books

Athene, Here and Aphrodite are the goddesses who keep a watchful eye over Jason's voyage on the Argo to find the Golden Fleece.

Erosappears in Book Three: Jason and Medea

Eros, son of Aphrodite, is the god who shoots a love arrow in Medea's heart, making her fall in love with Jason.

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