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Story summary: Adonis and Aphrodite

The king of Cyprus’ daughter Myrrha hates the idea of love and marriage; this angers Aphrodite who devises a series of terrible punishments for her. An arrow from Eros makes Aphrodite fall in love with Myrrha’s son – she takes the mortal man-child to the underworld and names him Adonis. Here Persephone mothers and protects him and watches him grow into a beautiful man. When Aphrodite returns to claim him, Persephone will not release him and the two women are filled with rage. Hermes is sent by Zeus to settle the matter and an agreement is reached that Adonis shall spend a third of the year with each woman and the remaining third he would spend as he chose – hunting. Greedy for more time with him, Aphrodite starts to accompany him hunting. The gods’ fury at Aphrodite’s excessive attentions to a mortal find form in the guise of a wild boar which kills the beautiful Adonis.

Key themes

Different forms of love
Anger and jealousy
Obsession and greed

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