The Story Of Theseus English Literature Essay Free Essay

There one time was an island named Crete, ruled by King Minos, the boy of Zeus and Europa. His queen, Pasiphae, a girl of the sun-god Helios, had a aureate gleam in her eyes like all the posterities of the Sun, and was accustomed to great impressiveness. King Minos wanted his queen to populate in a castle every bit glorious as her male parent ‘s, and he ordered Daedalus, an Athenian designer and discoverer of fantastic accomplishment, to construct the great castle of Cnossus.

The castle rose up narrative upon narrative, over a wood of columns. Weaving stepss and intricate passageways connected the many halls and courtyards. Pictures were painted on the walls of the great halls, fountains splashed in the courtyards, and the bathrooms even had running H2O. Bulls ‘ horns of the purest gold crowned the roofs, for the Cretans worshiped the bull, since Zeus, in the form of a bull, had brought Europa to the island. Here the male monarch and the queen and all their tribunal lived in great luster and felicity until one twenty-four hours Poseidon sent a snowy bull from the sea. Since the island of Crete was wholly surrounded by his sphere, the sea, he excessively wanted to be honored, and ordered King Minos to give the bull to him. But Queen Pasiphae was so taken by the beauty of the white bull that she persuaded the male monarch to allow it populate: She admired the bull so much that she ordered Daedalus to build a hollow wooden cow, so she could conceal inside it and bask the beauty of the bull at close scope.

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Poseidon was, really angry, and for penalty he made the bull mad. It ravaged the whole island, and though the Cretans were great toreadors, no 1 could repress the animal until Heracles had come to capture it for one of his labours.

To penalize the male monarch and queen, Poseidon caused Pasiphae to give birth to a monster, the Minotaur. He was half adult male, half bull, and ate nil but human flesh. Such a fearful monster could non travel free, and the clever Daedalus constructed for him a maze under the castle. It was a labyrinth of passageways and small suites from which cipher could of all time trust to happen his manner out. There the Minotaur was shut in, and every bit long as he was provided with victims to devour, he kept quiet. When he was hungry, he bellowed so aloud that the whole castle shook. King Minos had to pay war with the adjacent islands so he could provide the Minotaur with the captives of war for nutrient. When a boy of Minos visited Athens and was by chance killed, King Minos used this as an alibi to endanger to plunder the metropolis unless seven Athenian maidens and seven Athenian young persons were sent to Crete to be sacrificed to the Minotaur every nine old ages.

To salvage his metropolis, Aegeus, the male monarch of Athens, had to accept, for Minos was much stronger than he. The people of Athens grumbled, for, while King Aegeus was childless and had nil to lose, they had to see their boies and girls sacrificed to the cruel Minotaur.

Twice now nine old ages had passed and the male monarch was turning old. For the 3rd clip a ship with black canvass of bereavement was due to go, when word came to the male monarch that a immature hero, Theseus, from Troezen, was doing his manner to Athens, destructing all the monsters and highjackers he met on the route. When King Aegeus heard that ) his old bosom round faster. Once in his young person he had visited Troezen and had been in secret married to Princess Aethra. He did non convey Aethra back to Athens with him, but before he left, he said to her, “ Should you bear me a boy and should he turn up strong plenty to raise this bowlder under which I hide my blade and aureate sandals, send him to me, for so he will be the worthy inheritor to the throne of Athens. ” King Aegeus in those yearss was known for his great strength.

Theseus, the immature hero, arrived in Athens and went directly to the male monarch ‘s castle. Tall and handsome, he stood before Aegeus with the sandals and the blade, and the male monarch was overjoyed. At last he had a boy who was a hero every bit good. The king merrily proclaimed Theseus the rightful inheritor to the throne of Athens and he became the hero of all Athinais when he offered to take the topographic point of one of the victims who were to be sent to Crete. Old King Aegeus begged his boy non to travel, but Theseus would non alter his head. “ I shall do an terminal of the Minotaur and we shall return safely, ” he said. “ We sail with black canvass, but we shall return with white canvass as a signal of my success. ”

The ship sailed to Crete and the 14 immature Athenians were locked in a keep to expect their day of reckoning. But King Minos had a lovely girl, Ariadne, as just a maiden as eyes could see. She could non bear the idea that fine-looking Theseus should be sacrificed to the ugly Minotaur. She went to Daedalus and begged for aid to salvage him. He gave Ariadne a charming ball of yarn and told her that at midnight, when the Minotaur was fast asleep, she must take Theseus to the maze. The charming ball of yarn would turn over in front of him through the labyrinth and take him to the monster, and so it was up to Theseus to overmaster the animal.

In the dark of the dark, Ariadne went to Theseus ‘ prison and whispered that, if he would assure to get married her and transport her off with him, she would assist him. Gladly Theseus gave his word, and Ariadne led him to the gate of the maze, tied the terminal of the yarn to the gate so he would happen his manner back, and gave him the ball. Equally shortly as Theseus put the ball of yarn on the land, it rolled in front of him through dark corridors, up steps, down stepss, and around weaving passageways. Keeping on to the unwinding yarn, Theseus followed it wherever it led him, and before long he heard the deafening snore of the Minotaur, and at that place, surrounded by skulls and faded castanetss, lay the monster fast asleep.

Theseus sprang at the Minotaur. It roared so aloud that the whole castle of Cnossus shook, but the monster was taken by surprise, and so strong was Theseus that, with his bare custodies, he killed the cruel Minotaur.

Theseus rapidly followed the yarn back to Ariadne, who stood ticker at the gate. Together they freed the other Athenians and ran to their ship in the seaport. Before they sailed, they bored holes in all of King Minos ‘ ships so he could non prosecute them. Ariadne urged them to travel rapidly, for even she could non salvage them from Talos, the bronze automaton who guarded the island. If he should see their ship departure, he would throw stones at it and drop it. Should one of them manage to swim ashore, Talos would throw himself into a blaze balefire until he was juicy. Then he would fire the subsister to ashes in a ardent embracing. They could already hear his clanking stairss, when merely in clip they hoisted their canvas and a alert air current blew them out to sea. In their haste they forgot to lift the white canvas of triumph alternatively of the black canvas of bereavement.

Theseus ‘ bosom was filled with joy. Not merely had he saved the Athenians from the Minotaur, he was besides conveying a beautiful bride place to Athens. But in the center of the dark the God Dionysus appeared to him and spoke: “ I forbid you to get married Ariadne. I myself have chosen her for my bride. You must put her ashore on the island of Naxos. ”

Theseus could non oppose an Olympic God. When they came to Naxos, he ordered everyone to travel ashore and rest. There Ariadne fell into a heavy sleep, and while she slept, Theseus led the others back to the ship and they sailed off without her.

Poor Ariadne wept bitterly when she awoke and found herself deserted. Small did she surmise that the fine-looking alien who came walking toward her was the god Dionysus and that it was he who had ordered Theseus to abandon her. The God gently dried her cryings and gave her a drink from the cup in his manus and right off the unhappiness left her. She smiled up at the God and he put a Crown of scintillating gems on her caput and made her his bride. They lived merrily together for many old ages and their boies became male monarchs of the environing islands. Dionysus loved Ariadne greatly, and when she died he put her jeweled Crown into the sky as a configuration so she would ne’er be forgotten.

Theseus, in his heartache at holding lost Ariadne, once more forgot to lift the white canvas. When King Aegeus saw the black-sailed ship returning from Crete, he threw himself into the sea in desperation.

Theseus inherited his male parent ‘s throne and he and all of Athens mourned the loss of the old male monarch and in his award named the sea in which he had drowned the Aegean.

King Minos was beside himself with rage when he discovered that his girl had fled with the Athenians. He knew that no 1 but the superb Daedalus could hold helped Theseus unravel the enigma of the maze, so Daedalus was kept a captive in the castle and treated really harshly. Daedalus could non bear to be locked up and allow his endowments travel to blow. Secretly he made two sets of wings, one brace for himself and one brace for his boy, Icarus. They were smartly fashioned of plumes set in beeswax. He showed his boy how to utilize them and warned him non to wing excessively high or the heat of the Sun would run the wax. Then he led him up to the highest tower, and, rolling their wings, they flew off like two birds. Neither King Minos nor Talos, the automaton, could halt their flight.

Young and foolish, Icarus could non defy the enticement to lift of all time higher into the sky ; the whole universe seemed at his pess. He flew excessively close to the Sun and the wax began to run. The plumes came free, the wings fell apart, and Icarus plunged into the sea and drowned. Sadly Daedalus flew on alone and came to the island of Sicily. His celebrity had flown in front of him and the King of Sicily welcomed him heartily, for he excessively wanted a glorious castle and bathrooms with running H2O.

Equally shortly as King Minos ‘ ships were mended, he set off in chase of Daedalus, the cunning craftsman. He sailed east and he sailed west, and when he came to the Sicilian shore and saw the fantastic castle traveling up, he had no uncertainties as to who was constructing it. But the King of Sicily hid Daedalus and denied that he had him in his service. Slyly King Minos sent a conch shell up to the castle, with a message that, if anyone could draw a yarn through the twists of the conch, he would give him a poke of gold as a wages. The King of Sicily asked Daedalus to work out the job. Daedalus thought for a piece ; so he tied a satiny yarn to an emmet, put the emmet at one terminal of the conch shell and a spot of honey at the other terminal. The emmet smelled the honey and found its manner through the conch, drawing the yarn along with it. When King Minos saw this, he demanded the immediate resignation of Daedalus, for now he had cogent evidence that the King of Sicily was concealing him. Cipher but Daedalus could hold threaded the conch!

The King of Sicily had to give in. He invited Minos to a banquet, assuring to give up Daedalus. As was the usage, King Minos took a bath before the banquet. But when he stepped into the fabulous bath that Daedalus had built, boiling H2O rushed out of the pat and scalded him to decease. And Daedalus remained for the remainder of his life at the tribunal of the King of Sicily.

After the decease of King Minos there was peace between Crete and Athens, and Theseus married Phaedra, Ariadne ‘s younger sister. He became the greatest male monarch Athens of all time had, and his celebrity as a hero spread allover Greece. Another great hero, Pirithous, male monarch of the Lapith people in northern Greece, was his inseparable friend. The first clip the two heroes had met, they faced each other in combat. But each was so impressed by the other that alternatively of contending, they dropped their arms and swore ageless friendly relationship. Together they performed many great workss, and when Pirithous married a Lapith princess, Theseus, of class, was invited to the nuptials banquet. The centaurs were invited excessively, for though wild and lawless they were however distant relations. At first they behaved rather well-mannered, but as the vino jugs were passed around, they became rambunctious and bully. Suddenly a immature centaur sprang up, grasped the bride by the hair, and galloped off with her. At that, the other centaurs each grasped a shriek miss and took to the hills.

Theseus and Pirithous with their work forces set off in fleet chase and shortly caught up with the centaurs. There was a barbarous conflict, for the wild centaurs tore up large trees and swung them as nines. But in Theseus and Pirithous they had found their Masterss. They were chased out of Greece, and the winning heroes, with the bride and the other Lapith misss, returned to the banquet.

Pirithous lived merrily for a piece ; so he became a widowman and asked his friend Theseus to assist him win a new bride. Theseus vowed to assist him, but shuddered when he heard that Pirithous wanted no 1 less than Despoina, the queen of the dead. She was unhappy with Hades, he said. Since Theseus had promised to assist his friend, and a promise could non be broken, he descended to the underworld with Pirithous. They forced their manner past Cerberus and entered the glooming castle. Hades glowered at the two heroes, who had dared to come in his kingdom, but he listened courteously while they stated their errand. “ Sit down on that bench, ” he said, “ so we can discourse the affair. ” Grim Hades smiled as the two friends sat down, for it was a charming bench from which no 1 could of all time lift. There they were to sit everlastingly with shades and chiropterans fluttering about their caputs.

A long clip later Heracles came to Hades on an errand, and pitied the two heroes seeking in vain to acquire up from the bench. He took clasp of Theseus and tore him free with a mighty jerk. But when he tried to liberate Pirithous there came a loud temblor. The Gods did non let Herculess to put him free, for he had been excessively fresh by make bolding to desire a goddess for a married woman. Theseus returned to Athens wiser but dilutant, for a portion of him had remained stuck to the bench. Ever since so it has been said that the people of Athinais have had thin thighs.

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