Presentation on theme: "A Midsummer Night’s Dream Theseus and his Myth. Mysterious Origins Like many other heroes of myth and legend, Theseus was born and raised in unusual and."— Presentation transcript:
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Theseus and his Myth
Mysterious Origins Like many other heroes of myth and legend, Theseus was born and raised in unusual and dramatic circumstances. His mother was Aethra, daughter of King Pittheus of Troezen. Although some accounts name Poseidon* as his father, most say that Theseus was the son of King Aegeus of Athens, who had stopped at Troezen after consulting the oracle at Delphi.
oracle priest or priestess or other creature through whom a god is believed to speak; also the location (such as a shrine) where such words are spoken. The oracle had warned Aegeus not to get drunk or father a child on his way home to Athens—or one day he would die of sorrow. However, at Troezen, Aegeus ignored the warnings and became Aethra's lover. Before leaving for Athens, he placed his sandals and sword under a boulder and told Aethra that if she bore a son who could lift the boulder, that son would inherit the throne of Athens.
Tesesus as a young man Theseus grew into a strong young man, and one day he easily lifted the boulder and retrieved the sandals and the sword. He then set off for Athens to claim his heritage. On the way, he faced a series of challenges: three vicious and murderous outlaws; a monstrous pig that was destroying the countryside; a king who challenged travelers to fatal wrestling matches; and an innkeeper named Procrustes who tortured people by either stretching them or chopping off their limbs to make them fit his beds. Theseus overcame these dangerous opponents and killed them by the same methods they had used against their victims.
Meeting the Minotaur. Upon arriving in Athens, Theseus found King Aegeus married to an enchantress named Medea. Medea tried to poison Theseus. But when Aegeus saw the young man's sword and sandals, he realized that Theseus was his son and saved him from the poison. Medea fled, and Theseus became heir to the Athenian throne. He continued his heroic feats, defeating a plot against his father and destroying a savage wild bull.
On the road of heroism Determined to end this grim tribute, Theseus volunteered to be one of the victims. When the Athenians reached Crete, Minos's daughter Ariadne fell in love with Theseus. (Some accounts say that Aphrodite*, whose help Theseus had requested, filled the girl's heart with passion.) Before Theseus entered the Labyrinth, Ariadne gave him a ball of yarn and told him to unwind it on his way in so that he could find his way out again. Deep in the maze Theseus met the Minotaur and killed it with a blow from his fist. He and the other Athenians then set sail for Athens, taking Ariadne with them. Along the way, they stopped at the island of Naxos, where Theseus abandoned Ariadne. Theseus had promised his father that if he returned safely to Athens he would raise a white sail on his homecoming ship. He forgot to do so, however, and left the black sail hoisted. When Aegeus saw the black-sailed vessel approaching, he killed himself in grief, thus fulfilling the prophecy he had heard at Delphi.
Theseus and the Minotaur Theseus, a hero of Greek mythology, is best known for slaying a monster called. When Theseus entered the Labyrinth where the Minotaur lived, he took a ball of yarn to unwind and mark his route. Once he found the Minotaur and killed it, Theseus used the string to find his way out of the maze. Athens labored under a terrible curse. Earlier Aegeus had sent another warrior, the son of King Minos of Crete, against the bull. The prince had died, and in revenge King Minos called down a plague on the Athenians. Only by sending seven young men and seven young women to Crete every year could they obtain relief. In Crete the youths were sacrificed to the Minotaur, a monstrous man- bull that lived below Minos's castle in a maze called the Labyrinth.
Later Adventures. On his father's death, Theseus became king of the city- state of Athens, where he won honor and was credited with enlarging the kingdom. His name sometimes appears in myths about heroic deeds, such as a battle against the centaurs or the quest of Jason and the Argonauts for the Golden Fleece*.centaurs Theseus also went to war against the female warriors known as Amazons, and he captured and married one of them—either Hippolyta, the Amazon queen, or her sister Antiope. This wife bore him a son, Hippolytus.