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The Myth of Theseus

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Like Perseus, he too grew up without his father.   Perseus and Theseus both proved their worth and their strength as heroes many times over through their battles; at one point, they even rescued their princesses from dark powers (Booker, pp. 276-277).   Such similarities, as brave warriors, are seen in the heroic deeds of other Greek mythological heroes like Achilles, Jason, and Heracles.   Like these heroes, Theseus also showed great strength and skill in battle.   This is what made him stand out at a very early age, and what prompted his mother Aethra to reveal to him his noble heritage (Godwin, p.

252).   This strength and skill helped him lift the rock which hid symbols and evidence of his heritage; it allowed him to survive many battles; it also allowed him to kill the Minotaur, and it eventually allowed him to rightfully claim his place as his father’ s heir while keeping his greedy cousins at bay (Warner, pp. 24-27).   At the very core of his character, Theseus is a very honorable man as he always fought on the side of what was right and what was noble, even at great cost to his life.   However, as a hero, he also possessed a tragic element to his character, and this element can largely be attributed to his ‘ bad’ qualities.

Theseus had an unfortunate habit of forgetting.   This unfortunate habit actually proved fatal to his father when Theseus forgot to unfurl the white flag which would have signaled his victorious return from battle (Godwin, p. 255).   When his father saw the black flags waving on his son’ s returning ship, he mistakenly thought his son had perished in the battle and, overcome with grief, he hurled himself from the top of a turret and into the sea (Godwin, p.

255).   He can also be labeled as ungrateful when he abandoned Ariadne on an island, even after the latter helped him defeat the Minotaur (Garland, p. 204).   Theseus also had an unhealthy appetite for women; he was renowned for his amorous affairs.   The consequences of these affairs often proved to be unfortunate and disastrous.   His abduction of the Amazon Antiope prompted the Amazons to invade Attica (Warner, p.

28).   He, along with Peirithoos abducted Helen and Persephone.

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