Theseus Essay Research Paper TheseusGOT A

Theseus Essay, Research Paper


GOT A B+ (89%)

In Greek mythology, Theseus can truely be thought of as the greatest

Athenian hero. He was the son of Aegeus, king of Athens, and Aethra, princess

of Troezen, and daughter of Pittheus, king of Troezen.

Before Theseus was born his father Aegeus left Aethra in Troezen of

Argolis and returned to Athens before he was born. But before he left king

Aegeus put his sword and his pair of sandals under a large rock and said to

Aethra that when Theseus was old enough to lift the heavy rock that Theseus

should take the sword and sandals and come to see him in Athens.

At the age of 16 after being brought up in Troezen, Theseus was finally

able to lift the heavy rock. Theseus with his long blond hair then took the

sword and the sandals and began his journey to Athens to claim Aegeus as his

father. The young Theseus made his hazardous journey by the coast road along

the Isthmus, clearing the road of six villains, murderers, and monsters which

inhabited the road. Theseus killed these villains by the same method by which

they had murdered their own victims. Among the villains that Theseus killed,

were Sciron, Sinis, Procrustes and Phaea.

Theseus arrived in Athens wearing a sword and a pair of sandals that

Aegeus had left for him in Troezen. He was then greeted by his father Aegeus

and his stepmother Medea who was a sorceress. But she was jealous of his

influence over Aegeus so Medea tried to kill him by sending him to kill a wild

bull. But Theseus succeeded and sacrificed the bull to Apollo. He then returned

to Athens and was almost poisoned by Medea, but as soon as Aegeus got wind of

her plot, he proclaimed Theseus his son and heir to the thrown and banished

Medea from Athens and she escaped to what is now Asia.

According to legend, the people of Athens had to send seven youths and

seven Maidens every year as a tribute to Minos, the king of Create, to be eaten

by the Minitor, who was a terrible monster, half man and half bull.

Theseus decided to go as one of the youths and try to kill the minitor.

When he reached Create, Ariadne, the beautiful daughter of Minos fell in love

will him and helped him kill the Minitor by giving him a sword which he killed

the Minitor with and a ball of thread to help him find his way out of the

labyrinth in which the Minitor lived. Theseus then left Create with Ariadne

but dumped her on the way back to Athens.

On his return from Create to Athens, however, in his hurry to get home,

he forgot to hoist a white sail signaling his success against the Minotaur. So

when Aegeus saw a black sail, he believed that his son was dead and was so sad

that he threw himself from a high rocky cliff into the sea, which has ever

since been known as the Aegean Sea in his honor.

Theseus then became the King of Athens. And as king of Athens, Theseus

was wise and generous, and united the many small communitties of the Attic

plain into a strong and powerful nation and brought prosperity and civilization

to the people.

But he kept his love of danger and adventure and during a war with the

Amazon Women he abducted the Amazon Hippolyta, who bore him a son who was named

Hippolytus. He took part in the Calydonian boar hunt and in the quest of the

Argonauts for the Golden Fleece. He was a devoted friend of Pirithous, king of

the Lapithae, whom he accompanied to the underworld to rescue the goddess

Persephone. Both men were imprisoned by the god Hades for their rash deed, but

Theseus was subsequently rescued by Hercules. Returning to Athens, Theseus found

his kingdom in disarray, torn by rebellion and corruption. Unable to reestablish

authority, he sent his children away and sailed to the island of Skyros, where

Lycomedes, king of Skyros, murdered him by throwing him from a cliff into the

sea. Later the Delphic oracle commanded the Athenians to gather Theseus’s bones

and bring them back to Athens. The Athenians then paid him great honor by

building him a tomb dedicated to the poor and helpless whom he had befriended.


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