Theisius Vs Ariadne Essay, Research Paper
Theseus & Ariadne
My soul leaned out to grasp her. All else in this moment was as passing
dust clouds or a summer shower. says Theseus, the Athenian hero and
narrator of The king Must Die by Mary Renault, about the kingdom of
Athens as he looks over it from is father s palace. Theseus has a stronger
love for Athens then anything else, including the gods. Soon after he
discovers the beauty of Athens, he is sent to Crete to be a bull dancer: a kind
of sacrifice for the decadent goddess on earth Ariadne. When they meet
they quickly fall in love despite her passionate, blood thirsty personality.
When the Cretan civilization is overturned by war, he takes Ariadne and the
cranes,( his bull dancing team ), and they go to a nearby island called Naxos.
While they are there, Ariadne takes part in a celebration and ends up
performing the acts of the women who are in touch with the gods of the
civilization. Theseus is troubled by this because she did such a holy act
without communicating or being in touch with the gods. He makes the hard
decision to leave Naxos and return to Athens without Ariadne. He loves
Athens too much, and thinks that it might hurt Athens to bring Ariadne back
with him. He makes this decision because Ariadne will never respect the
gods as he does because she does not believe in them. Also, she has lived as
the goddess on earth too long , and is used to having human blood
sacrificed to her. Because of this, she has a spoiled attitude, and takes things
for granted. Finally, she is the epitome of the Matriarchal culture, and he was
raised in the Patriarchal world.
Ariadne can never devout herself to the gods like Theseus because she
does not believe in them. She basically thinks that they are silly superstition.
When she follows the others to the top of the mountain in pursuit of the king
of Naxos, she keeps on going when all of the others who do not hear the gods
have stopped. If she had really believed in the gods, she would have stopped
with the others out of respect for them, but since she does not, it is all a game
for her and she keeps on playing.
Living as the goddess on earth for so long has molded her into,
basically, a spoiled brat. She is so used to having people sacrifice to her as if
she was an almighty goddess. They even sacrifice human bodies. Not even
the real gods ask for those kinds of sacrifices! What is sad is that she takes
the whole thing so lightly. She thinks nothing of the bull court other than that
it is a great form of entertainment. In fact, the bull dancers are giving their
lives up for her! If she goes back to Athens with Theseus, she will not be
able to handle it because she is so used to being treated like a goddess. They
even carry her when she leaves the palace!
She grew up in the Matriarchal culture where the women are the rulers,
and the men are just there to work and get them pregnant. All the women in
her culture are highly respected. If Theseus takes her back to Athens with
him, she will never be able to respect him as a king who has authority over
her. He wonders Will she always see me as a mainland bull-boy, even when
I am king? . Probably.