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Story summary: Theseus and the Minotaur

The Minotaur had the body of a man and the head of a bull. He was the son of King Minos of Crete. The Minotaur would only eat human flesh and the king would demand that seven young men from each of the Kingdoms of Greece would be sent every year to feed him. The King of Athens couldn’t bring himself to send seven young men. Angered, King Minos sailed to Athens to claim them for himself and singled out the king’s son, Theseus, to be among them. They are taken to Crete and entertained but slowly some of them are fed to the Minotaur. Princess Ariadne dances for them – she is transfixed by Theseus, and he by her. Ariadne helps Theseus defeat the Minotaur and the couple sail away together and arrive on the island of Naxos. That night Ariadne awakes to find herself alone and Theseus sailing away from her laughing and shouting that he had never loved her. Dionysus takes pity on the abandoned Ariadne and makes her his queen and a circlet of shining stars in the heavens.

Key themes

Deceit
Duty
Fatherly love
Abandonment

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