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Story summary: The Calydonian Boar-hunt

In the land of Calydon, when the Queen gives birth, she has a vision that if the log in her hearth is destroyed by the flames, her child will die. She plucks the log from the fire and throws it into a bronze box. The baby is named Meleager and grows into a highly competent warrior. One day, the king calls for a hero to slay a monstrous boar inhabiting the forest. Many great men, including Prince Meleager take up the challenge. Despite others’ reservations, Meleager welcomes the captivating Princess Atalanta to the chase. Champions killed champions in their over-eagerness to gain the title ‘hero’ and Atalanta is pursued by the beast, which she is the first to strike with her arrow. Others don’t believe it was her arrow and Meleager defends her, killing his own uncles, his mother’s beloved brothers. Just as Atalanta has agreed to marry Meleager, he is overcome by heat and the taste of ash in his mouth. His mother has heard what has happened to her brothers and thrown the log into the fire.

Key themes

Fate
Competition 
Blinded by love
Disappointment
Revenge

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