Theogony

by

Hesiod

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Tartarus Character Analysis

Tartarus, also sometimes known by the plural form Tartara, is both a god and a shadowy realm similar to the underworld. He comes into being along with Chasm and Earth. Like Earth and Heaven, Tartarus is both a place and a character, representative of the gloomy farthest reaches of existence. When Zeus defeats Kronos and the other Titans, he banishes them to Tartarus, a remote, dismal place that even other gods fear. Tartara is the father, with Earth, of Typhoeus, a terribly strong and fearsome god. Zeus destroys Typhoeus before the young god can pose a substantial threat to his power.

Tartarus Quotes in Theogony

The Theogony quotes below are all either spoken by Tartarus or refer to Tartarus. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Cycles of Succession Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of Theogony published in 2009.
Theogony Quotes

Great Olympus quaked under the immortal feet of the lord as he went forth, and the earth groaned beneath him. A conflagration held the violet-dark sea in its grip, both from the thunder and lightning and from the fire of the monster, from the tornado winds and the flaming bolt. All the land was seething, and sky, and sea; long waves raged to and fro about the headlands from the onrush of the immortals, and an uncontrollable quaking arose. Hades was trembling, lord of the dead below, and so were the Titans down in Tartarus with Kronos in their midst, at the incessant clamour and the fearful fighting.

Related Characters: Zeus, Kronos, Tartarus
Related Symbols: Thunder and Lightning
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:
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Theogony PDF

Tartarus Character Timeline in Theogony

The timeline below shows where the character Tartarus appears in Theogony. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Theogony
Family and Genealogy Theme Icon
The Natural and Divine Worlds Theme Icon
...begins the Theogony in earnest, describing the first divinities that arise, among them Chasm, Earth, Tartarus, and Eros. These gods and goddesses are the foundation of the universe from which everything... (full context)
Cycles of Succession Theme Icon
Violence and Power Theme Icon
...their efforts. With renewed vigor, they finally conquer Kronos and his allies, banishing them to Tartarus. Zeus assumes rule as king of the gods in his victory. (full context)
Family and Genealogy Theme Icon
Hesiod then details other inhabitants of the underworld adjacent to Tartarus, including the river Styx, whose waters compel the drinker to speak the truth. Zeus relies... (full context)
Cycles of Succession Theme Icon
Violence and Power Theme Icon
After Zeus assumes power, Earth bears a final child, this time with Tartarus, who is named Typhoeus. Typhoeus is remarkably strong and formidable, and poses a significant threat... (full context)