Season: 4, Episodes: 1, Faction: N/A
Melissa was Florence’s daughter and Locke’s foster sister.
4×11 – Cabin Fever
She disliked backgammon and knocked the pieces off the table, and appeared to dislike Locke as well. Florence told her to leave the room when Richard Alpert arrived to speak with Locke. When Richard spoke to Locke he commented on Locke’s interest and abilities with backgammon. (“Cabin Fever”)
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In Greek mythology, Metis (“wisdom,” “skill,” or “craft”) was of the Titan generation and, like several primordial figures, an Oceanid, in the sense that Metis was born of Oceanus and Tethys, of an earlier age than Zeus and his siblings. Metis was the first great spouse of Zeus, indeed his equal (Hesiod, Theogony 896) and the mother of Athena, Zeus’ first daughter, the goddess of war and wisdom who was conceived after Metis helped Zeus in his war of the heavens against his father Cronus. By the era of Greek philosophy in the fifth century BCE, Metis had become the goddess of wisdom and deep thought, but her name originally connoted “magical cunning” and was as easily equated with the trickster powers of Prometheus as with the “royal metis” of Zeus. The Stoic commentators allegorized Metis as the embodiment of “prudence”, “wisdom” or “wise counsel”, in which form he was inherited by the Renaissance.
The Greek word metis meant a quality that combined wisdom and cunning. This quality was considered to be highly admirable and was regarded by Athenians as one of the notable characteristics of the Athenian character. Metis was the one who gave Zeus a potion to cause Kronos to vomit out Zeus’ siblings.
Metis was both a threat to Zeus and an indispensable aid (Brown 1952:133):
- Zeus lay with Metis but immediately feared the consequences. It had been prophesied that Metis would bear extremely powerful children: the first, Athena and the second, a son more powerful than Zeus himself, who would eventually overthrow Zeus.
In order to forestall these dire consequences, Zeus tricked her into turning herself into a fly and promptly swallowed her. He was too late: Metis had already conceived a child. In time she began making a helmet and robe for her fetal daughter. The hammering as she made the helmet caused Zeus great pain, and either Hephaestus either clove Zeus’s head with an axe, or hit it with a hammer at the river Triton, giving rise to Athena’s epithet Tritogeneia. Athena leaped from Zeus’s head, fully grown, armed, and armored, and Zeus was none the worse for the experience. In Western cultures, Athena has been most commonly depicted as the lifelong virginal diety as well as a warrior with the image of her sister Medusa inscribed on her shield. As Athena’s story developed throughout these Western cultures over time she became known as a woman of the ages. Athena was the patron of military forces, protector of cities and goddess of lower-class craftsmen. Through her actions, Athena also became known as the architype of the patriarchal daughter. Zeus used her to give authority to his subjects which included the denigration of her own kind. The similarities between Zeus swallowing Metis and Cronus swallowing his children have been noted by several scholars. This also caused some controversry in regards to reproduction myths and the lack of a need for women as a means of reproduction. While medical texts of fourth and fifth centuries debated whether the male figure simply planted a seed within the female figure or whether the woman contributed to the seed formation of an embryo as well, Greek myths provide far more imaginative views on reproduction with intentions of denying the female figure and involving a “first man” figure.
The second consort taken by Zeus, according to the Theogony was Themis, “right order”.
Hesiod’s account is followed by Acusilaus and the Orphic tradition, which enthroned Metis side by side with Eros as primal cosmogenic forces. Plato makes Poros, or “creative ingenuity”, the child of Metis.